A great thing to hear at the end of a race–or to say to your legs + lungs during one.

If it’s Friday, that must mean it’s time for another installment of Take It From a Mother, the excerpts that didn’t make it into the bright—and I do mean b.r.i.g.h.t.—orange book we like to call Train Like a Mother: How to Get Across Any Finish Line – and Not Lose Your Family, Job, or Sanity. This was a tough one to dump because the good ones were so good, and the bad, so bad.

Take It from a Mother: What is the best or worst thing you’ve heard said at a race?

“I overheard a police officer working my 12K say something about ‘a few stragglers coming.’ Gee, thanks.”
—Anjeanette (despite the negative comment from the man in blue, ran her first 12K race with a smile on her face)

“A father, in front of me, told his son, just behind me, that he could not let a girl beat him. I thought that was tacky.” (Ed note: we agree.)
—Autumn (dreams of running in the English countryside)

TLAM: It’s what’s for breakfast.

“Just past the starting line, I heard my own mother yelling, ‘You only have 12.9 more miles to go.’” —Christy (repeats “It’s now or never” to motivate herself to get out the door)

“After a race, a young man thanked me for pushing him to run harder. He may not have wanted to finish behind an older woman, but he made me smile because we helped each other to the finish line.” —Gina (proudest racing moment: running the See Spot Run 5K with her husband and 3 kids)

“During my last leg of Hood to Coast, someone yelled ’only two blocks to go’ when really it was almost a mile. I wanted to cry.”
—Jessica (a doctor who gets up at 4:00 a.m. to run the roads of Billings, MT)

“An overweight lady in her late 50s/early 60s running the home stretch of a race was yelling, ‘I did it! I ran the whole thing! I made it!’  The crowd went crazy for her as she finished. She set a goal, and everyone there saw her accomplish it.”
—Jill (dream running date: an oceanside run with a shirtless Ryan Reynolds)

“A woman yelled for my attention, and when I looked her way, she said, ‘I love that smile on your face right now. Great job.’”
—Julie (counts backwards from 120 to push through a rough patch; that doesn’t work, walks for 60 seconds to power the rest of her run)

“Our two kids ran onto the course to finish a marathon with me and my husband. It was a great moment until we heard, ‘Here come Peter and Michelle. It looks like they have their grandkids with them, or maybe 3 generations.’  I guess we looked pretty bad, but, at 33, I don’t think we looked like grandparents.”
—Michelle (“My kids think of me as a runner. It is all they know, and I am proud of that.”)

“’Go Shorty!’ And I’m only 5 feet tall.”
—Karen (paints her toenails black before a race because she thinks it makes her run faster)

“Around mile 11 of my half-marathon, some dude started running by me and told me, ‘You’ve got this…you did this!’ It helped.”
—Darcy (after she fell down the stairs and dislocated her shoulder, she couldn’t run for two months)

“I don’t like it when people yell at you to go faster. At my first and only half, there was this woman barking at people to pick it up around mile 11.”
—Lindsey (would rather shove a hot fork in her eye than run on a treadmill)

“I hate hearing, ‘You’re almost there.’ I want to yell back, ‘No kidding. I can add!’”
—Melanie (speaks for all mother runners here)

 Now we’re taking it to you mothers: What’s the best or worst thing you’ve heard at a race?