Cheer in the Next Gear: How to Make Your Support Count

Each time a cyclist peddled past our corner at the Ironman triathlon , the woman sitting next to me on the curb would clang her large cowbell.  No words.  No sign of emotion.  This went on for hours.  It was almost aPavlovian response.  See bike, ring bell. She was committed.  She never missed an athlete.   For whom was her bell tolling?  Why was this helpful?

In contrast, my husband Marcus is my cheering hero.  I have run several marathons by his side, and watched him as he cheers from the inside of the race; looking to encourage anyone running behind, ahead or beside him.  His cheers go something like this:

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Ironman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)