With less than 24 hours to go for the eleventh edition of the Mumbai marathon, it is time to get into the spirit, even if you are not competing. What makes Mumbai different from the other marathon cities in the world is the enthusiasm of the people, the encouragement they offer not just the elite runners, but amateurs too. Runners, who come in to race from other cities as well as overseas, have often spoken about one of the best things about the Mumbai marathon the charged atmosphere and the fillip they get from bystanders and those who are out to watch.

There is nothing more encouraging for failing legs and burning lungs than spectators’ cheers. The shouting gives new strength to legs that are not even finding the ground. Runners will attest to how they went that extra mile or five on encouragement alone. Even though traffic opens at a stipulated time, it is respectful to avoid driving for at least six hours if you have no emergencies. It shows that you have consideration for runners trying to finish the race.

Do not jeer at runners or ridicule them if they are huffing and puffing on the inclines. It takes courage to go to the start line, and the marathon distance of 42.195 km is enough to humble the best. Do not pass sexually charged remarks at women runners, it is disgusting and shows gross disrespect. Just be a spectator who is proud to have an event of this magnitude in the city. Be a shining part of this marathon for this is an event about both runners and those who egg them on through the pain and tears right to the finish line.