mushroom coffee

All winter long, I ran with a group of runners on a team called “Lord of the Rings,” which was ridiculous because maybe five people had read the books or seen the movies. Most of us were largely clueless about major plot points and characters, but every week we had to chant something from the movie as our rallying cry.

Nobody ever really memorized it, but our team captain would always say, “Let’s go hunt some Orc!”

I went to cheer for my crew at a local half-marathon, yesterday, and I made a “Let’s Hunt Some Orc” sign. It looked like this.

The key to a good marathon sign is to get the right balance of inspiration and readability. People have to see what the sign says while they are whirring by, and my choice of ombre neon posterboard was key. I also added some kitschy DIY shit — glitter glue, pictures, a hand-written note on an angle — to give it a down-home touch.

And the sign worked on a lot of levels. I saw my running pals. Every nerd on the course gave me a thumbs up or a high-five for my sign. And some awesome dude yelled out, “Over Isengard, there is a veiling shadow!”

(Or something like that.)

It was fun and ridiculous at the same time. But I was able to support my team and connect with a lot of runners, especially towards the end, who needed a little boost.

I hope I provided a boost! I’ll need one, next week, at the Tar Heel 10-Miler.