Marathon Spectator Signs for the Roughest Spots of the Race

Supporter Holds Sign Encouraging Runners at Marathon Start
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Many runners have doubts during a marathon but reading the perfect sign at the perfect moment can help put those fears out of their heads. If you have friends or family running a marathon, you can help them through those rough patches by making a sign with one of these slogans and standing in just the right spot. 

Keep in mind that some of the toughest stretches of a marathon are the hills, the "wall," and every mile past 20. Here are some inspirational marathon signs that can really help marathoners through a rough spot.

Signs for Hills or Tough Spots

Check the marathon course for a hill and be there ready with an inspiring sign to get the runners through those obstacles.

  • "If you walk, you'll still be hurting."
  • "Wicked hard, but you got this!"
  • "Pain is nothing compared to what it feels like to quit."
  • "One day you won't be able to do this, but today is not that day!"
  • "You can throw in the towel or you can use it to wipe the sweat off of your face." -Gatorade
  • "The voice inside your head that says you can't do this is wrong!"
  • "Even atheists pray at some point!"
  • "You're beating everyone on their couches!"
  • "One foot in front of the other. That's all."
  • "When your legs get tired, run with your heart."
  • "Pain is temporary. 26.2 is forever."
  • "All it takes is all you've got."
  • "Trust your training."
  • "Shut up, legs!"

Signs for the Wall

The "wall" is the point where a runner's body may have burned up all of the available fuel. It usually occurs between 21 and 22 miles. Marathoners don't train past that distance, so it's a psychological barrier as well. Be at this spot and ready to support your marathoner with some encouragement.

  • "All walls have doors."
  • "Break through the wall!"
  • "Humpty Dumpty had wall issues, too!"
  • "Forget everything you've done. It's just a Sunday 10k left to do!" (for Mile 20)

Signs for the Final Miles

Those final miles take mental toughness, especially for a runner suffering from blisters, chafing, and exhaustion. This is where they can use your support the most. While you may want to cheer them on the finish line, it's a great idea to help them make those last few steps.

  • "If you can dream it, you can do it." -Walt Disney
  • "This mile marker is farther than most people will ever reach."
  • "There's beer at the finish line."
  • "Your place in history is almost secure."
  • "Your feet won't fail you now!"
  • "This is your moment. Celebrate the pain."
  • "You are no longer a runner, YOU are a marathoner."
  • "Every step is one less to take."
  • "Be your own hero!"
  • "I don't even know you, but I'm so proud of you!"
  • "Remember the reasons you are running."
  • "Run like a champion today!"
  • "Stop being tired and start being awesome."
  • "Success tastes salty, not sweet!"
  • "You own that finish line!"
  • "No guts, no glory"
  • "It may not be easy, but it's worth it."
  • "You are going to finish a marathon!"
  • "The end is near!"
  • "FINISH"

A Word From Verywell

Making the decision to run a marathon is a big deal. You know the hard work your marathoner has put into this endeavor and signs like these are a simple way you can help them reach their goal. Have fun and be ready when the challenges are greatest and they will appreciate your effort at the finish line.