It's a great feeling when you are participating in a race and you see people cheering for you, even if they are complete strangers! I remember during the mini marathon this year, there was a woman participating in the wheelchair division, but she was struggling. Those folks started before the runners and walkers and they should have been miles ahead of us, but this one woman was amidst us, straining to get up the hills. However, no one was grumbling about having to dodge this woman in a wheelchair. It was quite the opposite: everyone was screaming words of encouragement at her and telling her that she "got it!" I hope that those words of support helped her push when she didn't think she could push any longer.
Yesterday I received a nice compliment from a stranger and it has stuck with me since! I was at Milestone swimming and sharing a lane with an older man. My plan was to swim 1/2 mile without stopping and so I greeted the man as I got into the pool and then once I finally stopped 18 minutes later, we were on the same side of the pool again. He asked me how far I had gone and after I told him 1/2 mile, he goes, "You were really cooking there!" I laughed and told him about my triathlon plans and he was just full of praise based on the short time he had seen me swim. I thanked him and got out to go run, but I couldn't stop thinking about how his nice words had made my day.
When a runner or triathlete or anyone trains and trains and trains, it's very easy to get discouraged or worn out. Support your family and friends! Your words will give them the motivation to carry on.