The ironman spectator has a huge positive influence on race participants.
I played the part of ironman spectator several times after my own racing career came to an end. Usually it was the years when I had booth at the expo and was selling my book Ironstruck The Ironman Triathlon Journey.
I would always stay for the race and it was a great experience watching other people cross the finish line.
It was especially satisfying meeting people who were taking ideas and inspirations from my books into the race with them. In many cases these were people I had communicated with online but had never before met in person.
The first few times I sure wasn’t used to being an Ironman spectator. It seemed a bit strange to be a spectator instead of out on the course having others cheer for me.
I learned quite a lot from spending the day and much of the night on the course cheering on the competitors.
I saw the race from a different viewpoint and was able to see how other spectators reacted to the race and how they supported everyone.
Many spectators were up an hour before the start gun in order to land a prime viewing spot.
While the runners were out on the bike course people were writing inspirational chalk messages on the road.
It was amazing to see just how much support the Ironman spectator provided for all the participants. It was also special to see how they stayed out there hour after hour to cheer everyone on.
I’m glad I had a chance to see the race from another point of view and came to a major conclusion once it was all over.
You have to be ‘tough’ to be a spectator during an Ironman event. This is especially true of the spectators who spend the entire 17 hours out on the course and at the finish line.
It can be quite an emotional and physical drain to watch so many people do something so amazing.
If you have never seen an Ironman Triathlon before it can be quite an eye-opening experience. Some people are very moved by watching others achieve something special.
Many people on the sidelines become “Ironstruck” and often being an Ironman spectator is enough to inspire them to take on the challenge of the Ironman themselves.
When I watched a race for the first time I soon realized how important spectators are to an triathletes success in the Ironman.
If someone is on the fence about doing their first Ironman I always suggest the best thing they can do is go to a race and be an Ironman spectator.
Visit Ironman.com for upcoming Ironman races.