To be specific, it would be a handful of friends who didn't already run an event that same day. It would be people who dealt with event traffic/road closures/early wake-up calls to watch my tomato face huff and puff.
It started with a regular conversation about the race with friend/emergency contact Ken, a former photographer who's still got the bug ... and a new camera. Maybe he would swing by at the start and take a few photos of me, he said.
Then out-of-town friends who were already going to be in Des Moines that weekend anyway asked what I was up to; I told them that Friday night — not Saturday — would be the time to paint the town, because Cory and I would be racing Sunday.
"What time does it start?" they responded. "It wouldn't hurt us to be sober enough to cheer you on."
Next was a discussion of when to catch up with a perpetually out-of-town friend. As we rattled off our various commitments, I mentioned the race, and how there might be a few cheerleaders there for me.
She lives downtown, not far from the start — "Oh, I should come cheer you and Cory on!" she said.
And then, that night, as fellow runner Regina and I argued over whether she would be prepared for the Living History Farms race (I say she will; she disagrees), I reminded her that with my taper week coming and a recovery week to follow, we could run together, no problem.
"When's the race again?" she said. "I should come watch you guys."
My feelings wouldn't be hurt if every single one of them thought about being awake and out of bed at 10 a.m. on a Sunday; I'm honestly just touched that anyone would toss the idea out there.
Still, I've shared the athlete update link with all of them and mentioned the app Ken told me about that lets people track you in real time (helpful with coordinating out-of-town guests' arrival, he says).