Seahawk running back, Marshawn Lynch scored a number touchdowns in home games this past season and the faithful 12th man showered him with the chewy candy every single time. While playing pop warner youth football, Lynch’s mother would give him skittles after he scored; this ritual stuck with Lynch throughout his entire career.
After seeing one of the nation’s best football players participate in this obscure superstition, it makes you wonder what crazy habits elite runners may have before or during competition. We asked the members of our elite training group the Brooks Beasts what interesting things they do to great ready for competition. Here are their outlandish racing superstitions:
Similar to most runners, Amanda will do several strides before she toes the line to compete. If you ever watch closely though, you will notice Amanda never crosses the finish line before the race begins, she waits until her race is complete before she leans across the tape. Why not make your first time special, right?
Ever since high school, when Angela runs a personal best she credits her delicious breakfast of Eggo Waffles for her ability to tear up the track that day. She puts a new meaning behind “Lego my Eggo!
While you may think “why would a coach need a pre-race ritual?” Danny gets just as nervous for the races as his athletes. On race day you will find Coach Mackey at the local track or bike path doing a hard work out to blow off some steam. Anyone can tell you how to run, but Coach Mackey can go stride for stride with his athletes.
While Deb is warming up before her race it is typical to see her trotting around for 15 to 20 minutes. What you don’t know is that Deb always stops her watch at the :09 second mark of her final warm up minute. Miss Maier hopes that by doing this, her childhood hero, Mia Hamm, who wore the number 9 jersey, will give her the ability to dominate the competition.
Mr. Heath, a Stanford grad, made it through college without developing an addiction to coffee. As impressive as that is, this bearded miler has joined the java addict’s full force since hitting the real world. Before every race Garrett will be seen sucking down a cup of Joe while listening to his favorite play list. Even though “Ice, Ice, Baby” has made the pre-race play list, he sticks to hot coffee before circling the track.
Katie hides her laundry list (literally) of pre-race superstitions behind her effervescent personality. This bubbly runner’s pre-race routine includes everything from eating a banana before she goes to bed the night before to wearing the same socks and underwear for every event! Katie has also been known to kill two birds with one stone by using her “lucky” body wash before and after races to clean up the “super-stench-ious” odor that goes hand in hand with running.
Mr. Symmonds has recently acquired a new routine to ensure he is able to execute his signature come-from-behind winning ways; He chews RunGum. A new product that he produced, RunGum allows athletes like Nick to experience the rush that coffee gives you without the burden of liquid sloshing around in your tummy.
Wizzo, as he is referred to by his friends, is always well aware of his attire while he is approaching race time. When Mark leaves for the track he is always dressed in the typical runner “short shorts.” However, if you have ever seen Wizzo race you will notice that he never competes in shorts, he exclusively rocks half tights. Similar to Clark Kent and his alter ego, Superman, Mark finds a place to change into his super-race-hero outfit and to put on his lucky half tights. It is safe to assume that split shorts would be his Kryptonite.
It would be very impressive if someone was able to escape the early stages of their running career without developing any obscure superstitions. Megan was not able to accomplish that impressive “feet.” In fact, Megan may have one of the grossest superstitions of them all; while she is at a meet she wears the same socks!! This includes for each round. Please keep in mind that there can be up to 3 rounds for her race, the 800 meter!
Despite being the most intelligent, handsome and suave member of the Brooks Beasts (and this blog’s author), Riley struggles with a very unusual routine before he leaves his hotel room for the track; he has to leave the television on in his hotel room. While this practice may not be the most energy conscious decision this miler has ever made, he truly believes he will not be able to perform if SportCenter is not tuned in on his TV set while he is on his way to the track.
While pre-race superstitions may be bizarre, they are something that nearly every profession athlete experiences and shares with one another. Next time you see Angel Bizzarri gracefully gliding along the track or Cas Loxsom bulldozing down the home stretch, you’ll know a few moments before that they were doing some kind of funky habit to get ready for their race. Who knows, maybe the next time Nick Symmond breaks the tape at a US Championship the crowd will shower him in RunGum, similar to how the 12th man rains skittles down on Marshawn Lynch.