Why Marathons Make Me Cry

Without fail marathons make me cry. Really all it takes is for someone to cross the finish line holding hands and I’m a mess. (Don’t even get me started on watching a wheelchair marathoner finish.) After working on our sixth year of campaign creation for Novant Health Thunder Road Marathon, I think I’m finally beginning to see why.

3 Lessons I’ve learned from Thunder Road

1. Life is made up of marathon moments.

For everyone there comes a moment where we choose, in spite of our circumstances to keep running, stay the course and give it all we’ve got. Whether in projects, relationships or work we often want life to be a sprint, with immediate reward, but if we’re honest, more often than not it takes the hard work of showing up day after day.

We wanted to channel this attitude when building the 2015 ad campaign. And the stories of perseverance were everywhere. Don’t believe me? The ad on the right features a Running Works participant and coach – two people involved in a program that uses running to combat cycles of poverty and homelessness. Talk about putting in the miles. I’m quickly learning, everyone in Charlotte is already a marathoner, they just haven’t signed up for a race yet.

Thunder Road Marathon Ads

2. We’re not in it alone.

We all need at least one person who instead of saying, “You’re crazy!” says “Let’s do it!” I’ve always been a firm believer that some of the most meaningful relationships are the ones that push us to be the best version of ourselves. Marathons bring out that type of comradery in people.

This year we helped craft the Novant Health Thunder Road Marathon Buddy System, to celebrate the people who believe in you more than you believe in yourself. With a social media campaign, training t-shirt and swag kit we wanted to encourage the community to #RunCharlotteTogether.

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3. A city is only as great as the community it creates.

There’s something special about living in a city where people celebrate one another, cheer loudly and find any excuse to gather for a good time. That’s what I love about marathons, they’re more than just 26.2 miles, they’re city-wide celebrations.

We knew we couldn’t be a part of every runner’s training, so we did the next best thing. We (literally) took to the streets to remind runners the city was behind them. Partnering with the awesome gals at #theSavageWay, we scattered motivational messages on popular running routes to encourage runners right when they needed it most – on their run.

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Congratulations to everyone who ran this year’s Novant Health Thunder Road Marathon! Thanks for inspiring my happy tears. You all are rock stars.

P.S. It’s hard to believe it but we’re already planning for next year…stay tuned. It’s going to be AWESOME. 

Love running? Check out the work we’ve done for Girls on the Run!