So if you read my last article you know that I just completed my first half marathon. Beyond the personal life lessons and running skills I gained from this race, I learned one funny lesson: you need to go to your next local race.

I mean it when I say that the people on the sidewalks made the race. Not in a "it's all mental kind of way", but in a without them the race wouldn't have been the same. At some moments I was nearly on the verge of tears thanks to the genuine kindness and excitements their cheers shared.

Seeing their (clever) signs and dedicated cheers honestly kept me smiling through my whole run. Even better were the high fives whether they were during mile one or twelve. I have to say, the stretches without cheers were the hardest to get through... I attribute that completely to the cheerleaders.

So the next time that there's a 5k, 7k, half marathon, or marathon near you and you're not running in it, get out there with a sign and some good spirits. You can and will make the difference for a lot of runners. And I guarantee you'll be inspired, too.