Words of inspiration instill levity on otherwise testy day

When it’s hot, humid and you’ve still got miles to run, it’s nice to get a quick message of encouragement out on the Mill Race Marathon course.

Particularly one that might make you laugh.

“Run, Random Stranger,” was one of the signs held up by the Hyatt family from Columbus, who were roaming Fifth Street with a number of funny messages to encourage Mill Race Marathon participants and their own family members who were running in Saturday’s race.

“The ‘stranger’ sign always get the most comments,” said Kate Hyatt, who handed the signs off to her grandchildren Eliza Hyatt, 2 and George Hyatt, 4, who were also cheering on their mother Tonya Hyatt on the course.

“Hurry up Mom, we’re hot,” was one of their signs, along with “Hey Mom, you’re a lot faster without the stroller.”

The “Hurry Up, the Kenyans are already drinking your beer,” also was drawing some laughter from the runners on the course.

It was all in good fun, said Tonya’s husband, Dave.

Many of the signs were personal messages to individual runners who were surprised to see their name on a sign as they ran the first few miles of the marathon.

Linda and Craig Moore of Columbus were holding a “Run Madi Run” sign for Madeleine Moore, their daughter-in-law, saying she had just seen it at Mile 4.

A little further along the course, Melissa Hinckfoot and her daughter, Leah Hinckfoot, were holding a sign for Leah’s older sister, Sarah Weber, which said, “Go Sarah, run faster, we love you.”

Columbus Signature Academy — Lincoln sixth grade teacher Stephen Shipley put a large sign on the school building — on Fifth Street, between Pearl and Chestnut streets — to encourage runners, including those who attend or work at Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp., to keep moving quickly on the course.

“Run! like the bell just rang on Friday,” the sign said.

Several teachers, parents and students smiled at the sign as they ran by, including Superintendent Jim Roberts, who was running the half marathon.

Shipley said he constructed the sign out of shower curtain and painted it to look like a sheet of paper.

“I typically do ‘car line’ at school and it’s all saying ‘walk, walk … walk,’ to the kids,” he said. “But this is ‘run.’”

Author photo
Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.