06 March 2015

Make Races Fun for Friends with Spectator Bingo

Hi everyone! Today I have a guest post for you about a fun way to keep your friends and family entertained and occupied while they are waiting for you to cross the finish line at your next race. In full blogger disclosure, I was financially compensated for this, but that being said, I think this is a totally awesome idea and kind of wish I could play while running!

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Make Races Fun for Friends with Spectator Bingo
Help them enjoy the marathon as much as you do with a fun bingo game

Much as many of us enjoy competing in marathons and would love to have the support of our friends and family as we run, it’s not always easy to get them to come with you, especially if they've watched you race before. The reason is much simpler than you’d think: watching a marathon can be extremely boring. All the spectators really do is wait and cheer, and with half-marathons lasting up to 3 hours depending on your pace, spectators spend more than enough time twiddling their thumbs. 

You can, however, make marathons more enjoyable for your spectator friends! All you need to do is print out copies of Spectator Bingo cards, and they’ll be keeping their eyes peeled throughout the race. Bingo is a game that just about everyone knows how to play, and although its popularity waned after the 60s, it’s come back with a vengeance, especially online. Playtech, the company that owns the Virtue Fusion software that runs the bingo games on Betfair, is constantly churning out bingo games with different themes, and even independent bloggers have come out with their own versions of the game.


Spectator Bingo is one such variation. Created by Susan Lacke and found on Competitor.com, the game pokes fun at all the funny and strange things one can expect to see at a marathon, from women wearing makeup and teased hair to tribal tattoos on arms and calves. The idea is to give one card each to your spectator friends, and similar to iSpy, they keep an eye out and try to spot the items on the card first, marking them off as soon as they see them. The first to complete a BINGO pattern or cross out the whole card wins the game!

 The game isn't just a neat way to help your friends pass the time – it’s also a convenient way to make sure that they’re actually paying attention, rather than just texting on their phones the whole time. Once the race is over, you’ll also all have something to talk about. As you point out that you managed to pass about a dozen runners wearing “neon-colored running shoes” or experienced some "overly enthusiastic high-fiving" from either other runners or spectators, your friends might chirp in and say that they managed to see that too – and they're got the marks on their bingo cards to prove it.

Isn't that so fun?! I totally want to print out some copies to give to my family next time they come and see me run. In fact, knowing the way I race, there are at least three things that can be checked off about me! 

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

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