Like some of you, I spend a lot of time on the sideline, twiddling my thumbs and waiting for Mike to come across the line (or into transition, depending on the type of event he’s doing that weekend). I’ve already talked about the awesomeness that is the Kindle, but I thought it might be good to discuss more generally the things I do to pass the time on the sideline:
1. Read – um Kindle again.
2. Friends – If you’re a sideline spouse, you’ll start to see some of the same people at every event. Say hi, ask about their runner/athlete, even offer to share a chair or whatever. It’s a great way to pass the time and maybe meet some friends with something in common with you.
Also, if you have friends with you that you bring, that’s also good. Especially with triathlons, we had lots of friends who were interested in how the events work. A few times they rode along with us or met us at events. Family is great, too. At the Rock n Roll Arizona Marathon in Phoenix, Mike’s entire family joined us and that made the finish line a lot more fun for him and for me.
3. Watching the race – Come on now, don’t be THAT person, the one who comes to an event and just doesn’t care. Check out transitions. Especially the professional athletes are REMARKABLE to watch (and you might even get pointers for your own athlete in their future events). I find the finishing line lots of fun to watch. Sometimes people grab their kids, cry hysterically or wear funny costumes. It’s a party at the finish and I love being an observer of that. Oh and in a big race, sometimes getting to the finish earlier than your athlete actually means you’ll make your way up to the sideline and SEE your person.
4. Music or games – this is especially important if you have kids with you. Sometimes the finish line will have live or recorded music, but have a player with you and headphones in case they don’t. And games or cards can help pass the time for long events. Make sure the kids have something to do, otherwise they get crazy eye and no one wants that (especially people who don’t have kids and don’t find their racing around to be charming).
Just remember that when you make a list of stuff to take with you that you also take stuff for you. You’re going to be out there as much as your athlete and you won’t have all the working out to pass the time.