If you are planning to have friends and family cheer you on during your upcoming marathon, then be sure they can actually see you and that you can see them. Get a map of the course (typically available online at the event’s website) and even consider contacting the management of the course to find out the best places for your friends or family to see you. Do not just look at the map and say, “See you at mile 5, 17, 21, and 26.2.” These areas may not be accessible to spectators.
Do not just assume they can get to those points. They may not! Speaking from experience, it is a major disappointment to expect to see your supporters at a specific point and they are not there when you get there. While you know they want to be there, you also know they cannot be there. Plan ahead! Let your supporters know where they can see you. They will give you a major emotional lift when you see them.
Speaking of you seeing them, expect there to be lots of people cheering in the areas you expect to see your supporters and know that it may be difficult to hear them or easily see them. They may want to carry a sign or something they can hold up to attract your attention.
Consider wearing something bright. You do not want your supporters to be at the expected spot and not be able to see you! I am not suggesting this, but during my first marathon, I recall seeing a hairy guy sporting a pink tutu and pink cowboy hat. You will never see me wearing that, but the point is to wear something that stands out so your supporters can easily spot you in a group of runners.
If you will not have personal supporters to cheer you on, then consider printing your name on your shirt. The lift you will get will be amazing and make the marathon or half marathon fun for you as total strangers cheer you on. Make sure your supporters know where they can see you, make sure they CAN see you, and get support from strangers.