But, on Sunday that's exactly what we did.
That's the back of my head (I may or may not have showered), cheering for Sheila!
We have gotten to know some amazing people through running, just one of the many things that has changed for the better in our life since we became triathletes, and we try as hard as possible to support them in their endeavors, as they do in ours.
Just yesterday I was sitting with Amber, one of my greatest friends in this world - someone I wouldn't even know if it wasn't for running, and I was getting a little emotional thinking about who has come to support us during our races and how much it has meant. While we didn't have people physically there at Cleveland, believe me some people would have been there if they could have, we had people cheering us on from all over the country. Our Facebook pages were blowing up during the race, and after.
When Eric suggested the concept of "Sherpas for Shme", Shme is Sheila's nickname, we jumped at the opportunity. At one week post-marathon for us, it was the perfect timing and the perfect inspiration.
Sherpas for Shme was simple, Eric wanted as many people as possible to come cheer for Sheila at the Buffalo Marathon and keep it a surprise.
Mike and I made signs the night before, one personalized and one not, and planned out our cheering route for the day. Side note - making the signs was a bit of an adventure since THREE of our markers died in the process, and we had to use a dry erase marker as a last resort.
People LOVED the sign
On marathon morning, as we stood at mile 7.5/mile 11 (this was an out and back portion of the race) waiting for Sheila, our sign started to get recognition. People smiled and it made me feel good that hopefully we were making a difference in someone's race. Mike also started to offer high fives and one person remarked that his was the first high five they had been offered!
Still a little sleepy, but ready to cheer!
Then, I saw her! Sheila was making her way toward us and we gave a loud cheer for her! She later said she liked the victory lap sign, and then noticed her personalized "Shme" sign. She was pleasantly surprised that we were there.
After she came back, we quickly (and also went the wrong way a little bit) got to our next cheering spot. Mike continued to offer high fives to runners, and the runners were loving it!
Mr. High Five guy, as he was called
We saw a few of the same runners at each location, and we started to get called out on it. It was nice to know that not only did we help surprise Sheila but we also helped some other runners in the process.
Last cheering spot around mile 22
Having people cheering for you at races can make a HUGE difference. Until this year we haven't had many people come to our races, and we are used to doing them "alone" (yes we are always there together, but we can't really support each other while we are racing). However, it also feels good when people are there showing us that what we do matters.
I guess my point is this: take a break from what you want to do every once in awhile and go support people who are pursuing their goals and dreams. It's worth it!