Coffee, Pom-poms, and Guitars: Community Supports AthHalf Runners

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Lauren Webb and her children cheer on runners at the AthHalf on October 25, 2015.

Getting up early on a Sunday morning to watch people exercise probably does not sound like a very exciting idea.

There was plenty of excitement during the annual AthHalf, however, as hundreds of spectators and volunteers, many armed with a travel mug of coffee, lined the streets to watch friends, family, and total strangers complete the 13.1 mile course.

Some spectators were present to cheer on friends and relatives, while others hoped to use the event as a learning experience. Lauren Webb brought her children to the race, and hopes that the experience will encourage them to lead active lives. “I really want to teach them the importance of fitness, and getting out and doing things like this,” she said, as her son showed his enthusiasm by shaking a pom-pom.

Several local bands set up along the course to provide live music for the runners. Jason Corrigan, guitarist for the band “Despicable Liars,” said this is the third year his band has performed during the race. “We try to kinda get in the pace and the groove of the runners,” Corrigan said. “It’s exciting for us because it’s fresh and new.”

Besides cheers and music, the runners were also treated to cups of water by volunteers along the road. UGA athletes manned a water station at the Five Points intersection. While they are used to people watching their athletic performances, some were inspired by watching the runners endure the miles and hills. “Maybe this is something I would like to do one day,” said women’s basketball player Mackenzie Ingram.

No matter their motivation for coming out to watch the half-marathon, the many spectators gave the race a supportive, friendly atmosphere.


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