I gotta have more cowbell, baby!

3 May

I got a fevah! And the only prescription…is more cowbell!

Have you ever been to a race where a spectator was obnoxiously ringing a cowbell? If so, that was probably my husband and I sincerely apologize. (Sorry, honey.)

When I lived in South Carolina, it was not uncommon at all to hear cowbells ringing in the last few miles of a half marathon or marathon. In fact, at one big running weekend festival, the Spinx Run Fest, they even sell them at the expo! I love them because when there a million people yelling at me from the sidelines (toward the end of a half marathon or marathon, spectators are cheering for EVERYONE), the sound of a cowbell helps me spot my #1 fan/personal race photographer/husband.

This past February, in the days leading up to the Rock N Roll Mardi Gras Marathon, I was making my list of all the things I would need to pack. And then it hit me! We needed a cowbell!! (Don’t even ask me how difficult it was to find such a thing. I had to call EVERY sporting good store, running specialty store, tack and feed store, pet store, etc. in town. I FINALLY found one at a costume shop. Go figure, huh?)

Fast forward to marathon day…

As I was rounding out the last half mile or so of the marathon, I HEARD THE COWBELL! (You know those scenes in movies where some deep animal bellows and it echoes through the mountains and all the birds fly away? That’s sort of what it was like.) 🙂 I knew I was close and I knew my honey could see me, even if I couldn’t see him yet. Hearing the cowbell made me start listening for HIS cheers above the others. It meant my personal cheering section was ready to welcome me in.

After the event though, my husband said that while he was standing there waiting for me, feverishly ringing that wonderful cowbell, other spectators around him were giving him dirty looks and making rude comments about the cowbell. They thought it was strange, rude even! (Say whaaa??)

Is ringing a cowbell at a race really that strange or absurd? As a runner, how do you feel about them? Do they bother you?

5 Responses to “I gotta have more cowbell, baby!”

  1. Karen May 3, 2011 at 3:11 PM #

    To be honest at the end of a marathon if I wasn’t aware that someone would be ringing a cowbell for me, I probably wouldn’t even notice. 🙂

    I think you should do what works for you and helps you celebrate your achievement. Go for it!

  2. eattoruntoeat May 3, 2011 at 3:30 PM #

    I like the encouragement cowbell or no. To me it’s thrilling and keeps me motivated. So keep ringing it!

  3. tavalava May 3, 2011 at 5:45 PM #

    I agree. I have been to a few races where the spectator were, well, dead so to speak. Made it awkward when all of us runners were going by and they were just staring. If you aren’t going to be participating then doggonit cheer for me!! I think races are the perfect place to have cowbells. Good for your husband!!

  4. Scott May 4, 2011 at 6:44 AM #

    The cow bells are a neat idea at the race but when your three year old son gets a hold of one you begin to regret their invention.


  1. Day 2: Media Credentials, Expo, and Parade of Nations! « katieRUNSthis - October 10, 2012

    […] jeep rolled through and all of the athletes were handing out cowbells. You know this made me happy. I love me some cowbells. As the Parade of Nations ended, the expo opened and it was buzzing! We spent some time at the […]

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