Marathon Bingo: A Game for The Non-Runners

We all love having the support of our friends and family when we go on our long runs and marathons, but let’s face it: attending these marathons can be deathly boring for the non-runners. These “spectathletes” are left standing at the sidelines waiting for you to come running up to them, and while some fancy dress runs can be wildly entertaining, not all marathons can provide the same level of enjoyment to spectators.

Or can they? When you think about it, the huge variety of people running marathons means that there are endless possibilities for the kind of people you’ll encounter. A bingo game devised by Susan Lacke for makes use of this fact to help make races more fun for spectators. It puts together some of the things you’d commonly expect to see at races and turns it all into a bingo card. You can then give the card to your friends before the race starts, and they can preoccupy themselves with scouring the crowd for people who fulfil the conditions on the card. The first person to successfully complete a BINGO pattern or get a full card wins the game.


By playing the game, you give your friends and family something fun to do so they don’t get bored out of their wits while supporting you at the race. Hopefully, it’ll be fun enough for them so that they won’t even have to be asked to come and watch you race. You could even customize the card for other races, and if you’re going to a fancy dress run, it’s bound to be all the more interesting.

Of course, bingo has been used in other sporting events too, and recently, Betfair ran some promotions in line with the Cheltenham Festival. You could then transform the Marathon Bingo card into a bingo card for any occasion – all you need to do is come up with a list of things you expect to see at a sporting event, use a free bingo card creator like the one on, print them out for the event, and get playing!

Would your “spectathletes” be interested in this idea? Quite a quirky concept that would probably help them pass them time, especially in a marathon when you see your runner once or twice for a few seconds over many hours!

Do you get your friends and family to come watch your events? Both my parents love watching me race, and my dad loves hearing about my splits and intricacies. He’s like a coach!

***Guest Post***

4 Replies to “Marathon Bingo: A Game for The Non-Runners”

  1. If only I had seen this before Friday! Andy and my parents watched me do the marathon this weekend, and it was lovely to have some support in the crowd. They used the app which gave them my split times and also predicted when I would be at certain points based on my pace- clever stuff.
    Actually while I am running I like this sort of game- I was behind a guy for a while who was listening to headphones and kept laughing, and then later a guy who was punching the air in front of him as he ran- for a good mile!
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…Now and thenMy Profile

    1. For people who aren’t really into watching runners who they don’t know it’s a brilliant game. My dad, bless him, loves watching races and loves telling me the sights he saw or the different running styles. He’s getting to be as obsessed as me now!
      AnnaTheApple recently posted…Afternoon Tea ConnoisseurMy Profile

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