Balloon ½ Marathon Recap (From Someone Who Didn’t Race It)

The day after running my 5k PR, I was up early again for a race…but this time I wasn’t racing. I was running yes, but not racing. I was there with some friends to support the racers.

The cheer squad.

The cheer squad.

I had SEVERAL friends running this race – (Hot Air) Balloon ½ Marathon & 5k – Including my brother…it was his first Half!

So I got there early to get in some miles before the race. We eventually came to the start of the race just in time for the gun. We cheered on the runners until it thinned out then jumped on the course and joined them. We ran along the first 4 miles and eventually found my brother and ran with him for a short while.

Along the way we saw dozens of hot air balloons as they launched. That was a cool sight.

I don't care what you say, those dudes are full of hot air!

I don’t care what you say, those dudes are full of hot air!

We also found some friends who were there to cheer too. Though the racers didn’t seem to appreciate their sign. It read, “You are NOT almost there.” Haha!

We then ran back to our cars for 10 total miles! Waiting in our cars were mimosas, bloody mary’s and shiner beer. We were parked at mile 11 of the course and tried to encourage the runners to finish strong!

Our cheers didn't work on that guy...he kept walking.

Our cheers didn’t work on that guy…he kept walking.

A lot of the runners thanked us for being there. This course was VERY hilly. The temps were VERY hot. It was a tough day for them all. I’m glad we could help some of them.

My run bud Ana. I guess we made her smile.

My run bud Ana. I guess we ‘cheered’ her up. See what I did there?

Buuut, some of the runners had a bad attitude going into the race….



And apparently I was hatching an evil plan in my head while we spectated…

Muahaha! Evil smile much?

Muahaha! Evil smile much?

And then we saw my brother!

Almost done with is first half marathon!

Almost done with is first half marathon!

As my BQ friends there mentioned, he was looking pretty solid at this point of a very tough race. He didn’t look like he was hurting at all. And he got er dun!

In the end, we cheered on many runners – friends and strangers alike. I know I appreciate the support of race spectators. And if we can squeeze some of our own miles in along the way, then all the better!

Our 'refreshments' are almost gone. Time for one last pic.

Our ‘refreshments’ are almost gone. Time for one last pic.

Sometimes it’s good to give back like that.

How bout you? Ever go to a race just to cheer? Ever run along a race course to support the runners? Was it wrong to taunt them with our mimosas?


Categories: fitfluetial, marathon, Race Recaps, run, Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 37 Comments

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37 thoughts on “Balloon ½ Marathon Recap (From Someone Who Didn’t Race It)

  1. Yaaay!! So happy for your brother!! Fabulous job!! I love how supportive you are!! Sounded like a fun, neat race (although eeek to the hills)! I definitely love being a spectator!! No pressure & all smiles!! Way to cheer!! LOVE IT!! XOXO!! 🙂 🙂

    • Thanks Kristin! We felt bad for the runners. It was sooo hot and hilly and there were zero clouds to block the sun. But he finished! Ha, yes, it is easier to be the spectator for sure! Thanks again! XOXO!

  2. Congrats to your brother on his first half! I’ve spectated a few races to cheer on my friends and I love it.

  3. Congratulations to your brother! Spectating can be fun. I’ve gone back to races to cheer on the marathoners (after I’ve only done the half). Always reminds why I don’t want to do another marathon when I see how tired they are.

    • Thanks Angie! That’s great that you do that! I’ve actually gone back after marathons to cheer on the finishers, but like you said, by then it’s usually the ‘less prepared’ we are seeing and yes, they look pretty tired and beat up! Not that I don’t when I’m running one!!!

  4. What a fun looking race! Congrats to your brother on his first half! I actually don’t think I’ve spectated at a race now that I think of it, which I find kind of weird! I should get on that And yes – totally mean to taunt them with mimosas!

    • Thank you!! It’s not that weird…I actually had never spectated a race until pretty recently…but now I do it whenever I can! You should get on that! 😉 Haha, yeah, a couple of the runners were frustrated when they realized what we were drinking.

  5. I have spectated before, it was fun but also hard because part of the course was fenced off. But I never spectated as prepared as you did! I have that “hate running” shirt and I saw so many people running in it at the Ventura half. Congrats to your brother!

    • Good for you! I can relate to being fenced off – the start of this race was only open to people with tickets to the balloon festival, so we missed that. Oh well. Ha, that shirt is funny, but especially so if they look totally miserable when wearing it!

  6. I’ve only gone when someone I know is running, but would be fun to just go out and cheer anyway, needlessly taunting the runners with our fresh icy drinks. I usually end up jealous and want to run though.

    • You might be surprised about who you see – I only knew a few friends were running this, but ended up seeing tons others I didn’t know were going to be there! Haha, yeah, one lady was really hurting and asked if we had water, I said no, but we have mimosas, bloody marys and beer…she was not impressed. But a water station was half a mile further, so it wasn’t too bad.

  7. runningschlub

    Congrats to your brother on his first half. I’ve been to a few races where the wife was running and I was not. So as I followed her around the course via vehicle I would stop and cheer everyone on. Most people are genuinely appreciative which is very cool.

    • Thank you! Very good of you to support her, ha! That’s cool that you found a way to drive around the course. This race had so many roads closed off that the only way we could get around was to run it. And yes, most of them really did appreciate the cheering!!

  8. I will be the coach cheering on the sidelines of Chicago, although I have promised to drag anyone across the finish that needs it 😉 Looks like a beautiful/tough race. Always fun to go cheer. I find it to be great inspiration.

    • Very good of you! I haven’t done it myself, but I’ve had friends who help other runner friends by running with them in races. It can help keep them going! Yes, it is an inspiration – not so much the fast people, but the ones in the back who are really struggling but keep moving anyways!

  9. Jane Likes to Run

    I love that you brought mimosas. Now that’s spectating in style.

  10. I love cheering for races! I get super loud and probably very obnoxious. As a racer I love hearing fun cheers and seeing smiling faces. You shoulda been handing mimosas out to runners! All I wanted during my last race was a cold beer and no one was handing those out until we finished!

    • Good on you!! I’d love to hear your loud cheering at a race someday! I do enjoy the cheers too, so we were trying to give back. Ha, we did offer drinks to a few runners, but nobody accepted. Haha, ya know, a friend was in this race who doesn’t drink beer, but said that is all she wanted after this race.

  11. I love that you got to cheer on your brother! My mom and sister and prepping for their first 5K and I hope to be there too!

  12. So sweet of you to be supportive of your brother! Awesome!

  13. LOL worst/best evil smile! CONGRATS to your brother!!! WAY TO GO! I have only cheered at some kids’ fun runs (that my little cousins were in- other wise I’d probably get in trouble)! We don’t have too many races close by where I live(d)!

    • Hahaha, thanks!!! And thanks again! Oh yes, I remember you cheering at the kids runs. And yes, you’d better know somebody there or else you might get a visit from the authorities!

  14. That looks so fun! I hate to say it but I’ve never spectated a race because I sign up for any and all local races happening. There aren’t that many in Santa Barbara, but I wish there were more! Congrats to your brother!

    • I’m like you, I usually don’t like being at a race if I can’t race it. But I’ve learned how good it feels to go and give back to the other runners! Go find you some!

  15. So fun! Congrats to your brother and friends. And I want that running shirt…badly.

  16. Congratulations to your brother! I’ve never really spectated a race before, I’m usually the one running them. It would probably be fun (and mean) to cheer while holding an adult beverage 😉

    • Thank you! Ha, yeah, I’m usually running them too, but a few times I’ve been able to get out and cheer. People REALLY appreciate it. Ha yes, we did get a few frustrated faces and comments from some of the racers.

  17. Congrats to Bro! And Just gotta mention I literally laughed out loud (not just lol) when I read the “your not almost there sign.” Personally, unless you are beyond the 13 or 26 mile marker, you should NOT have a sign that says Almost there….because as a runner you really aren’t.

    • Thanks yo! Ha, yeah, I know how much it sucks when people tell you you’re almost there when you know that you are NOT. But I guess it was kind of mean of them too. Haha!

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  19. I haven’t gone to a race to cheer yet, but I do volunteer at water stops a lot which is a lot of fun, and technically we cheer from there! It’s nice to be on the other side every once in a while!

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