The God's Country Marathon is a VERY spectator friendly race, and we encourage everyone to get out on the course and root on our runners. Being a spectator is a great way to get involved in the God's Country Marathon, without having to run 26.2 miles.
Where are the best places to watch and take photos? What's great about our race is that it is an open road course. We are also a small race, so it is very easy to spot and keep up with your runner along our course. You may drive, park and spectate from anywhere along the course. You can even follow your runner. You may stop to take photographs at any point. Just be sure to be safe wherever you stop to spectate, and be sure not to get in the runners' way or interfere with the course. The only place that parking is prohibited along the course is on Main Street in Coudersport along the final stretch to the finish line. However, there is plenty of free parking around the finish line at the Courthouse Square in Coudersport or along the sides streets off of Main Street.
Some suggested viewing locations:
Full Marathon Start Line: The start line of the full marathon at the Galeton High School (25 Bridge Street, Galeton, PA 16922) is a great place to begin. There is plenty of free parking. It's always nice to wish your runners a successful race before they begin and to see them while they still look good!
Half Marathon Start Line: The start line of the half marathon at Denton Hill State Park/Ski Denton (5661 US Route 6, Coudersport, PA 16915) also has plenty of free parking or you may park across the road at the PA Lumber Museum for free.
Top of "The Hill": The top of "the hill" is at mile 18. You may park at the nearby DCNR Susquehannock District Office for free and cheer on your runners as they officially "Conquer the Hill!"
Sweden Valley: You may park at Sweden Valley Inn to stop and take photos.
Intersection of Route 6 & Route 872: Free parking is also available at the corner of Route 872 and Route 6 before runners get into downtown Coudersport in the old Beef and Ale parking lot. You should be able to get some good photos here.
Main Street Coudersport/Finish Line: Be sure to get to the finish line to celebrate with your runners! Everyone wants that great finish line photo and we allow you to get up close for a great Kodak moment. We'll have music, food and all kinds of fun at the finish line. Restaurants will be open in downtown Coudersport for you to stop and get a beer or a meal.
Be a Really Good Spectator: Runners need your support and motivation on this course! Be a good spectator and follow this simple advice:
What to say/not to say: It's always good to cheer on runners with phrases like "Looking good," "keep it up," "keep going," "great job," etc. But unless you're right next to the finish line (within the last mile of the race), DO NOT yell, "Almost there" or "Not far to go." It's also not a good idea to yell out a specific distance such as, "Two miles to go," unless you're 100% certain that the number is the correct distance to the finish line (if you happen to be standing next to a mile marker, for instance). Too many spectators give out wrong information, which can be frustrating, confusing, and disappointing for runners.
Please consider making a sign - funny or motivational - help them keep going! Some ideas are:
Toenails are for sissies
Chuck Norris never ran a marathon
Where is everyone going?
Your feet hurt because you are kicking so much ass
Getting up early to make this sign wasn't easy either.
Smile, you paid for this.
You eat hills for breakfast
Seemed like a good idea 3 months ago
Run Like You Stole Something
It's a Hill, Get Over it! (around mile 16)
This marathon would be fun if it wasn't for all the running
Hurry up! My arms are getting tired.
I've been training for months to hold this sign
Why do the cute ones always run away?
Run quietly. People are still sleeping.
Run quietly. I'm totally hungover.
Worst. Parade. Ever.
This parade sucks. Where are the floats?
You've done dumber things drunk.
Run, Forrest, Run
26.2. Because 26.3 would be crazy.
You're all crazy!
Any idiot can run. It takes a special kind of idiot to run a marathon.
May the Course Be With You (with a picture of Yoda)
Go, Random Stranger, Go!
I'm proud of you complete stranger!
Don't poop your pants
5 to 1 you puke before this is over
Chafe now...brag forever
Pain now...beer later
If it was easy, I would do it.
Hurry up...beer misses you!
Toenails are overrated
You are NOT almost there (in beginning miles)
My mascara runs faster than you
$70. 10 mile...only $50.75 to go! (This one requires a little math, but runners will love it)