Spectator Zones

Spectator Zones: Tips and Tactics

2017_Spectator_SignSpectating and cheering on the runners of the Kansas City Marathon presented by Garmin is an important role!  All runners love to feel support and encouragement along the course, and there are a variety of ways to do this!  Help bring enthusiasm and energy to a local event and show your neighbors & visitors what KC is all about!

Here are a few tips to consider when planning to cheer and spectate at the Kansas City Marathon presented by Garmin:

  • Identify a spot on the course where your group will meet.  It’s best to get set up before the race start time to avoid road closures.
  • When offering items to runners, yell out what you have as they approach so they can make their way to you.
  • Distribute items in an efficient “to go” way.  For example, fill a Dixie cup with a few jelly beans and pass it off to the runners as they go by.
  • Choose a spot to cheer that might seem “off the beaten path.”  Quieter stretches on the course can be the hardest for runners and hearing your cheers can give them the extra motivation to keep going!
  • If a runner has their name on their shirt or bib, call it out as they go by.
  • Make it a party! Bring music, provide snacks for you and your friends, create a theme for the group and dress up.  Watching you have fun is a great distraction for the runners.

Offer items to runners that aren’t provided at designated water/fuel stops. Runners appreciate:

  • Kleenex
  • Chewable candies like gummy bears, starburst, jelly beans
  • Pretzels
  • Sliced oranges and halved bananas in the peel
  • High fives (and low fives)
  • Signs that are funny, encouraging or personalized
  • Popsicle sticks dipped in petroleum jelly, Band-Aids – chaffing or blistering runners will love you!

Spectating for a race is an inspiring and rewarding activity for the whole family.  Get creative, have fun and be proud of the hard work happening KC!  Thank you for being part of this amazing community event!  Together, as a city, we can create a very positive experience for the runners!

Click here to learn about the first-ever spectator contest!

Click here to join the official Marathon Ambassadors Spectator Facebook Group