Marathon Spectating 101… be the best that you can be!

Marathon spectating is never easy.  Still not sure why your loved ones are running 26.2 miles without being chased by zombies?! Because 26.3 would just be crazy! Your friends and family members have dedicated much time and effort in training for the big day, so now’s the time to motivate them, and be the absolute best spectator you can be! Get out on the race course and cheer on over 4,000 participants as they race their way to the Finish Line! Here are some useful tips for Kiawah Island Golf Resort Marathon and Half-Marathon spectators alike:

1.      Make some noise.

Runners want to hear you!  In between sips of your oh-so-delicious and festive Peppermint Latte, give them a shout out!  Our runners’ bibs are personalized so we encourage you to personalize your encouragement.  All it takes is a quick “Atta boy Steve!” or “Way to go, Martha!” as they run by to give them an extra pep in their step. After all, they are going to be taking quite a few thousand steps on race day… Make one of them a little brighter!

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2. Make signs.

Who wouldn’t want to see their name on a sign? Even better than a person’s name, though, is someone’s helpful input into the 13.1 or 26.2 mile situation. For example, “Toenails are for sissies” is sure to make even the most serious runners giggle a bit. Or seeing someone with the sign, “This parade is going too fast…where are the floats?” would certainly make at least a few runners chuckle. Looking for more ideas? Here’s a few!

Maybe you want to be bit more inspirational with your sign. We’ve got some ideas for that too! Imagine you are running the marathon, hurting a bit and beginning to consider throwing in the towel. As you are running by all the spectators you see a sign that says, “Pain is nothing compared to what it feels like to quit.” So, you kick up your heels and finish the race. As a spectator, you could be the person who inspires someone to finish the race. Why be just another bystander when you could be the reason someone pushed themselves through each and every mile?

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3.      Find your perch and park it.

There are many beautiful spectator viewing areas throughout the island.  You can get out there by foot, bike or shuttle; just stay clear of the course.  Need help finding the ideal vantage point. Join our Race Staff Friday (December 13) on the Pre-race Bike Tour; our staff will help you navigate through the course to find that perfect spot.

Biking:   When biking, please follow all Kiawah Island Golf Resort Marathon bicycle rules. Most importantly, do not impede any runners or the flow of traffic on the roads, and pacing runners is not allowed.

Shuttle:  Everyone is welcome to hop onto the complimentary spectator shuttle.  It will take you to two different stops on the race course.  The shuttle begins at 8:30 am, departing from the shuttle drop-off /pick-up site in the Sanctuary Parking Lot.

marathon spectator 34.      Volunteer.

Want to be more involved in the event? Volunteer!  We are always looking for enthusiastic and energetic individuals to encourage and support our athletes.  Whether you chose to be a Course Monitor or Aid Station volunteer, we will get you out there in the middle of the action. And you go home with your own official 2013 Volunteer Shirt! Interested? Contact us at

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 5.      Reunite with your runner.

Know ahead of time about how long your runner should be on the course and plan on toasting them as they cross the finish line. They are going to be exultant to see you after all that running! Greet them at the finish line with some water and a Marathon souvenir. Once they have cooled down a bit, send them over to the Finish Line Party for some great food and cold beer. They certainly deserve it!

Children are welcome to cross the finish line with their parents.  Some of our most memorable photographs have been taken at this point; the look of admiration in the children’s eyes is priceless. Children can meet up with their parents at the corner of Sea Forest Drive and Town Center Way and make that home stretch with their parents.

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 6.      Stay informed.

The Kiawah Marathon Facebook page will be posting updates throughout race day. You may even see a picture on our page of someone you know! We will also be tweeting updates and shout-outs to some of our race participants on Kiawah Marathon Twitter, and reading your tweets!

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 7.      Be respectful of the runners.

Do not invade the race course. Because our course travels on both bike paths and roads, always walk and stand on the grass.  You can find more spectator information on the Kiawah Marathon website and our staff would also love to help you determine the best places to watch on race day.

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 8.      Don’t say “You’re almost there!” Ever.

Not at mile 1, not at mile 25. Either way, this is just going to annoy the runners and possibly give them false hope of how close they are to the finish line. “You are NOT almost there” is better, and could possibly garner a few laughs. A good go-to — just keep telling them how great they are; no one gets tired of that!

marathon Spectator 89.      Visit the Expo.

I think someone deserves a special gift after running 5 miles, let alone 13 or 26. The first ever Kiawah Island Golf Resort Marathon Expo will be an amazing place to pick up a surprise gift for your favorite runner. The Expo will feature a variety of companies and organizations, as well as the Official Kiawah Island Golf Resort Marathon merchandise store.

marathon Spectotor 910.  Use #KiawahMarathon for your tweets.

Not only do we want to hear from the runners, we want to hear from the spectators as well! Use #KiawahMarathon for your twitter posts, and tag us on Facebook at @Kiawah Island Marathon. We want to see your favorite pictures and hear from you about your race day experience!

The days until the 36th Annual Kiawah Island Golf Resort Marathon are dwindling down as quickly as the excitement on the island is growing. With just 51 days left, we already know what an exciting day December 14th will be this year! So start making your last minute plans to be the world’s best spectator, or, if you are running, keep working hard and we will see you in less than 2 months!