Race sign ideas (and mega motivation!)

So, I’m trying to get back on track. I was thinking hard about what I really want my goals to be. I believe that running is a part of that. In the my first (and only) half-marathon, funny and encouraging signs by the spectators really helped me through it. I also remembered how much I wanted to create such a sign that would really be encouraging to my dear friend when I spectated at an out of town race. (When I searched for ideas then, I couldn’t find much). So, during a late night surf session I started looking for some race-day poster ideas (and some motivation).
I have compiled a long list (currently about 8 pages worth) of brief funny/motivating running poster ideas.
(Some of these I have actually seen on courses, and they really really really help!)
Which is your favorite? Do you know of any more? Will you use one for a poster if you spectate at a race? Which one?

“Toenails are for sissies”
“Your feet hurt because you are kicking ass”
one held up by a female spectator that said, “Single and supportive”
“Chuck Norris never ran a marathon”.
“Where are you guys going?”
‘relax, neither you nor I are going to win’
26.2 because 26.3 would be crazy.
You paid for this!
“Go Marathoners Go! Then come back!”
“Getting up early to make this sign wasn’t easy either.”
“Get ‘er done.”
“it was long and hard..now just do it FAST (that’s what she said)”
“Run Like You Stole Something”
around mile 25: “Your Medal is Waiting.”
“Hurry up! My legs hurt…”
“that’s not sweat, it’s your fat cells crying”.
“you’re a MARATHONER”
“Almost time for beer”
Pain is weakness leaving the body.
“I came here to run with the Kenyans, where are they?”
“If you think endurance training is hard, try chemotherapy”!
“Don’t walk…. your friends are watching!”
“We are proud of you! Oh, and take a dump in your pants if you need to!”
Run like an angry Kenyan!
Glad you made it lard ass!
“Way to go! You’re almost there!”
“You’re all Kenyans.”
“There’s beer at the finish line.”
“All walls have doors”
“In our minds, you’re all Kenyans.”
“Your legs will forgive you…eventually.”
“This still isn’t as hard as labor and delivery!”
“Don’t stop — people are watching.”
Worst Parade Ever
“Chafe now…brag forever.”
“Take a cab. It’s faster!”
You’ve got stamina! Call me!
“Pain now…beer later.”
“If it was easy, I would do it.”
“Hurry up…beer misses you!”
“You’re not slow. You’re just enjoying the course.”
You’re not slow, you’re just getting your $ worth for your entry fee!
“Stop reading this and keep running!”
“Beat Oprah!”
“Puke and rally!”
“Don’t worry, toenails are overrated.”
“Run like someone’s chasing you.”
I think someone’s chasing you.
“It’ll feel better when it stops hurting.”
“Mortuary ahead….look alive!”
“You are NOT almost there.” (seen at mile 1)
“The end is near.” (Sign held by man dressed as the Grim Reaper at mile 21 of the 2010 Marine Corps Marathon, which was on Halloween)
“It’s fartlek. Not fart lick.”
‘Move your bloody arse’
Naked Cheerleaders Next Mile
“You should have taken a dump when you had the chance!”
“If you don’t win…Don’t bother coming home!”
“Honey, you get a BJ if you PR.”
Kick Assphault!
Only x miles til beer! (x depends on what mile you’re at)
I think you can, I think you can, I know you can!
Wall? What wall?!? I don’t see no stinkin’ wall!
“Pain is temporary, finishing lasts a lifetime”
“MOVE IT! My mascara runs faster than you.”
“Beware: # is gaining on you!”
Body Glide: $7
Brand of shoes: $80
Race entry: $70
Crossing the line? Priceless!
Having fun yet?
You run like a girl! (Put a picture of Paula Radcliffe on the poster)
Nice A$$ – do you work out?
You couldn’t just take up roller blading, could you?
“If you finish, next roll in the hay is Marathoner’s Choice”
“This Seemed Like A Good Idea 18 Weeks Ago”
“On this day, you’re my hero.”
“Pain is temporary, pride is forever.”
“You’ve done harder things than this.”
“You made it to the START, you will make it to the FINISH.”
Never back down.
“Remember the reasons you are running.”
“Think bragging rights”
“It’s not 26.2 miles…it’s 10 water stops.”
“Last is just the slowest winner.”
My mommy is faster than your mommy.
“If it was easy, everyone would do it.”
“The person who starts the race is not the same person who finishes the race.”
“This 26.2 is for all the girls picked last in gym class.”
“The only reason I would take up jogging is so that I could hear heavy breathing again.”
“If you start to feel good, don’t worry, you will get over it.”
If joggers knew how tempting they looked to morning motorists, they would stay home and do sit-ups.”
“Every human being has a finite # of heartbeats, and I don’t intend to waste any of mine running around.”
“I love running cross country….On a track, I feel like a hamster.”
– Robin Williams
someone has to sit on the curb and clap as you go by
“I run so my goals in life will continue to get bigger instead of my belly.”
“Running is a mental sport…and we’re all insane!”
“Life is short… running makes it seem longer.”
“I didn’t train all that time just to come here and get it over with as fast as I can.”
“I go running when I have to. When the ice cream truck is doing sixty.”
“Will run for chocolate.”
“Running: Cheaper than therapy”
I overtrain so, I can overeat!
“Your pace or mine?”
“Fast girls have good times.”
“The faster I get there, the faster I can start eating.”
“See Dick Run. See Jane Run Faster.”
“Running: Cheaper than plastic surgery.”
“Athletes run. Everyone else just plays games.”
“Why are all these people following me?”
“Endorphins: Runners’ drug of choice”
“One more mile and the cake is history.”
“Running is my happy hour”
“My sport is your sport’s punishment”
Pain is temporary..Internet results last forever.”
Running…because dieting is not an option.”
“Who fartlek’d?”
Back of shirt: “Like my shirt? After the race, I’ll let you read the front.”
Back of shirt: “If you can read this, I’m just warming up.”
“It’s a hill. Get over it.”
Back of shirt: “Don’t pass me….I’m not in your age group”
“Didn’t your mother warn you about fast women?”
Back of shirt: “If you see me collapse, please hit ‘Pause’ on my Garmin.”
Back of shirt: “If found collapsed, please drag to finish line.”
“Born to run. Forced to work.”
“Obsessed is a word lazy people use to describe the dedicated.”
“Anyone can run a hundred meters, it’s the next forty-two thousand and two hundred that count.”
“Will run for bling.”
“Running a marathon…there’s an app for that.”
“Run faster…I just farted.”
You know you’re a runner when… your first thought when you look at the weekly weather forecast is, “When can I fit in my runs?”
You know you’re a runner when… you’ve lost a toenail. And you tell people, “It’s not that bad.”
You know you’re a runner when… you smirk when non-runners ask you, “So how long is this marathon?”
You know you’re a runner when… you have a drawer full of medals and other race souvenirs that you’re not sure what to do with.
You know you’re a runner when… you no longer make fun of fanny packs because your running belt looks very similar (although cooler) to one.
You know you’re a runner when… you have a line in your budget for “race entry fees/race travel”.
You know you’re a runner when… you have dreams about showing up to a race late or not wearing any clothes.
You know you’re a runner when… you’re not embarrassed to wear spandex.
You know you’re a runner when… you get an invitation to a wedding and you automatically think about what race the date will conflict with.
You know you’re a runner when… you know how to take a cup of water from a water stop without choking on it or spilling it all over yourself.
You know you’re a runner when… you know where your illiotibial band is located.
You know you’re a runner when… you no longer hate port-a-johns. In fact, there have been times when you’ve been very happy to see one.
You know you’re a runner when… you know where exactly one mile from your front door is (in any direction).
You know you’re a runner when… you know where exactly one mile from your front door is (in any direction).
You know you’re a runner when… you own more pairs of running socks than dress socks.
You know you’re a runner when… you pack more running clothes than bathing suits when going on a beach vacation.
You know you’re a runner when… you have several drawers dedicated to running shirts.
You know you’re a runner when… your running partners know more about your bodily functions than your significant other.
You know you’re a runner when… your only recent photos of you alone are race photos.
You know you’re a runner when… you’re excited for your next birthday because it means you’ll be in a new age group at road races.
You know you’re a runner when… you spend more money on running clothes than work or casual clothes.
“Marathoners do it till it HURTS!”
Free kiss if you PR today!
Runners have balls, others just play with them!
Nipple chafing turns me on!
“it’s rude to count the people you pass..OUT LOUD.”
Endurance on the track, endurance in the sack
“Hurry up, MY legs are starting to hurt!”
“Put your big girl panties on and deal with it”
“Suck it up buttercup”
“If you have time to read this… you aren’t going fast enough”
“If it doesn’t hurt, it’s not fast”.
“Love the pain.
“Next Loop I’ll Be Naked!!”
“Put me in your race report/recap! (please.)
“Is that a banana in your speedo or are you just happy to see me?”
Talk is cheap!
It’s just one foot in front of the other.
“Run you fat [email protected]@rd! I’ve seen you run faster than that!”
“Haven’t I seen you before?” (on a loop)
“I’m a stranger, but I’m so proud of you!”


Nothing about being a race spectator is easy. The credit usually goes to those on the course, but a lot has to be said for the friends, family and volunteers who get up at dark o’ thirty to stand around for hours. Here are some race sign ideas to make that process a tad easier.

Thanks you dear spectators.

They wait patiently.
They scan the runners for ages wondering where you are.
They worry. They fret. They clap til their hands are raw.
They shout, they jump, they high five.

Ok maybe I’m only describing the really great spectators, but the truth is those really wonderful spectators can give a great big boost to runners having a tough day, shooting for a PR or just out to enjoy the course. Have someone coming out for the first time to cheer you on?Here are a few things that help both spectator and runner have more fun.

Show Up
This may sound obvious, but the truth is a lot of us talk a big game about coming out to cheer and then…well..it’s REALLY EARLY or cold or dark or wet and we don’t. Your runner

Be Visible
As we are running by scanning the crowds it’s hard to find your faces, but we desperately want to!! Try wearing a super bright shirt, holding a massive foam finger, a Dora the Explorer balloon. This way if we see you before you see us then we can start to hoot and holler {assuming that energy remains}.

Post Race
Coordinate the post race meet up – We might be too nervous or too focused on the race to tell you where to meet us. Check out the finish line map and then remind us a few times where you’ll be.

Race Signs
Yes we love them, chuckle at them and are entirely motivated by those pieces of cardboard no matter how pretty or ugly. If you are in need of some race sign ideas here are a few by category!


We could all use a good laugh as we near the final miles of a race, so feel free to make us laugh.

  • You thought they said RUM didn’t you?
  • Smile you paid for this
  • Smile this might be on YouTube
  • High five if you love running
  • You look HOT
  • On a scale of 1-10, you’re a 13.1
  • Smile if you’re not wearing underwear
  • Your pace or mine?
  • If it were easy, I would do it!
  • No one ever died drowning in sweat!
  • Chuck Norris never ran a marathon
  • Pain is temporary; race results are online forever
  • You’re running better than the government
  • Stop reading, start running
  • May the course be with you
  • You think you’re tired, my arms are killing me
  • Don’t Stop! People are watching!
  • It’s just a hill — get over it.
  • Worst parade ever
  • The Kenyans are already done
  • Because 26.3 would just be crazy!
  • If you think this hard, try dating you
  • Toenails are for losers
  • I see crazy people
  • Run like someone just called you a jogger
  • You’ve Got Great Endurance, Call Me
  • Charlie Sheen called…he’s says you’re WINNING!
  • Run now, wine later
  • Which one of you fartlek’d?
  • If you want a ride home, run faster I am leaving soon
  • I stayed up all night making this sign
  • Stuck between a walk and a hard pace
  • I’m an athletic supporter

If it were easy, I would do it! — 50 Memorable Race Sign Ideas to save for later! #runchat


Early on we’re still thinking how bad ass we are for doing this, so feed those egos to keep us going!

  • Your feet hurt because you’re kicking butt.
  • Kick some asphalt
  • If Trump can run you, so can you
  • Pain is temporary, finishing is forever
  • You’re stronger than you think you are
  • Embrace the suck
  • You look hot when you sweat
  • Humpty Dumpty had wall issues too
  • Pain is weakness leaving the body
  • Someday you will fail…today is not that day
  • Go random stranger Go!!
  • There is no time limit on 26.2 greatness
  • Running is a mental sport and we’re all insane
  • Less than 1% of Americans have run a marathon. You are one of those 1%.
  • Oh hell, you’ve come this far, may as well finish
  • Run your new weight! 1:50 (loved this weight loss encouragement sign! sorry I didn’t snap a photo while racing!)


Want to really take things to the next level…

  • Create a big blow up of their face
  • Get a group of you to dress up (think themes like cowboy or Hawaiian)
  • Blast music because runners can always use it and we love to see you dancing
  • Pass out candy, orange slices or heck beer
  • Create 2 signs: You’re Almost There. That’s what she said.
  • Sidewalk chalk, this keeps your arms free for all that high fiving.

If that still wasn’t enough, I came up with 31 more hilarious race sign ideas >>

Need more than just a sign, checkout creative ways to support your runner in training!

What’s the best race sign you’ve ever seen?

Do you pay attention to signs while running?

Other ways to connect with Amanda
Instagram Daily Fun: RunToTheFinish

Facebook Community Chatter: RunToTheFinish

Get more running tips: Pinterest


Nothing is better than a funny, creative race day sign.

There’s no doubt about it, the true unsung heroes of race day are the spectators. Good race or bad race, a funny or inspirational spectator sign is nothing short of a blessing. When your quads are screaming and you’re ready to fall over from exhaustion, a funny spectator sign isn’t just a distraction, it’s a lifeline. I’ve seen many a funny sign in my day but I wanted to share 14 of my favorite spectator signs with all of you.

1. Have you seen Kelly anyone? How far back is Kelly?

Photo via @KellyKKRoberts

My Mom stepped up her game when she dragged her behind out of bed at 5 in the morning to cheer for me in the San Francisco Marathon. She said the runner’s reactions to the signs were the best part. They would say, “We saw her stop in at a bar!” or “She’s still at mile 2!” which kept her entertained until I got to where she was cheering. (Note the folding chair. Comfort while spectating is important.)

2. Beyonce never ran a marathon.

Photo via @pastryschiff

It’s true. She may be Queen but Beyonce has never run a marathon.

3. Marathon and Chill?

Photo via @KellyKKRoberts

Perfect for a Valentine’s Day marathon like the LA Marathon.

4. It’s okay to cry.

Photo via @lineke_kroon

Just a friendly reminder.

5. Run like Prince Harry runs from commitment.

Photo via @KellyKKRoberts

Guaranteed to make you run faster!

Or an equally funny option…

6. Run like millennials run from commitment.

Photo via New York Road Runners

This will make anyone over 35 laugh.

7. Last Damn Bridge.

Photo via @clidinazionale

For that hilly race, park yourself on the last bridge and bring joy to every runner’s race like this woman did.

8. That bad tinder date is behind you, run faster!

Photo via @SamanthaRoberts

I just about fell over when I saw my sister’s sign at the 2013 TCS NYC Marathon, that’s how hard I laughed.

9. Shake Shack is only 10 blocks past the finish line.

Photo via @delmarfoto

It’s funny because it’s true.

10. Need money for next marathon. Please help. God Bless.

Photo via @KellyKKRoberts

Every single runner can relate! (And who knows, maybe you’ll even make a few bucks!)

11. Run like Maury just told you, “You are the father!”

Photo via @KellyKKRoberts

How can you not laugh?!

12. Professional spectator.

Photo via @guinners

Perfect for the supportive friend, family member, or significant other in your life who is always waking up at dawn selflessly to cheer you on in that millionth half marathon.

13. Free wifi ahead­ run faster!

The best sign for anyone running an international race. (The wifi struggle is real!)

14. John­, you’re a cheating bastard.

Photo via @KellyKKRoberts

Just the distraction a runner needs around mile 20 of a marathon! You’ll spend the next 6 miles thinking about John!

Let’s be honest—there’s nothing better than a funny spectator sign. What’s the funniest spectator sign you’ve ever seen at a race? Let me know! Tweet them to me and Women’s running at @KellyKKRoberts and @WomensRunning! Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.

Spectator signs are great; runners love to read them as it breaks the monotony of the course. They come in all sizes and shapes, from personal notes and inside jokes to purely motivational, and from funny and innocent to somewhat offensive. We have put together some of the best for you.


Who needs them anyway.

Husbands can probably relate!Run, bitch! AdvertisementOne for the moviegoersCan’t say I am not tempted, but I think I’ll pass…Well, technically… you are right.

Listen to the ladies #RunnersProblems Brave the pain.


One for the running moms Who can say no to this little guy? Woof. So deep this one.


Listen to your heart You can do it! Post-run makan just got one step closer. And yes, this is listed under “motivational” on purpose!

Runners, which one is your favourite? Do you recall seeing any at your last runs?

Spectators, if you’re planning on watching a marathon, make some signs – the runners will love you for it. After all, nothing is better than putting a smile on someone who is struggling.

Funny signs for marathons

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