Sunday’s Twin Cities Marathon will bring thousands of runners, and many more spectators, to the streets of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Regardless of whether your goal is to be in the middle of the madness or to avoid it altogether, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the course map and favorite spectator hotspots.
Top spectator locations
TCMevents.org has compiled a list of the Top Ten Places to Watch Marathoners. The top five include:
- Mile 2 – Corner of Douglas & Hennepin Ave. / Near the Walker Art Center
- Mile 4 – Lake Calhoun
- Mile 7 – The Rose Garden at Lake Harriet
- Mile 11 – Minnehaha Parkway & Cedar Ave.
- Mile 13 – Half-Marathon point
My favorite viewing spot is Lake Calhoun near the intersection of Dean Parkway and Lake Street. At this point runners are still full of energy and upbeat. If you drive, parking is plentiful in the neighborhoods and businesses nearby. For cyclists, this spot is steps away from the Midtown Greenway. There is also a Caribou Coffee and Urban Eatery nearby for coffee and food.
If you want to avoid the congestion, TCMevents website is also the place where you’ll find a list of road closures.
How to (and how not to) cheer for runners
Spectators usually have the best intentions when they cheer for marathoners. But based on my own anecdotal experience, and the experience of my marathoner friends, there are some cheers that are better than others.
Things to say:
- Good job!
- Nice work!
- Keep it up #(fill in bib number)!
Things not to say:
- You’re almost there! Unless you are standing at the finish line, you’re too far away to shout this to a runner.
- Pick up your pace! In the midst of the event, very few runners want feedback on how to improve their run.
- You look great! This comment got mixed reviews among the runners I asked. Some liked it, but most didn’t. Most runners know they don’t look good while they are sweating and exhausted. A simple woo-hoo! is usually more effective inspiration.
Got a cheer to add to the list? Feel free to hit the comment button below.