The Victory Celebration

I love watching running. I want to be able to flip on my television on the weekend and watch running. Unfortunately, it is rarely on. I can probably find a Cubs game, a soccer match and maybe even some bowling – but running? Fat chance. After doing no research whatsoever, I think I’ve uncovered one of the reasons: The Victory Celebration. Long distance runners don’t do victory celebrations!!



Baseball is a pretty traditional sport. It’s been around for over a century. If you do something stupid, there’s a good chance you’re going to take a pitch in your back. And yet, it has subtly changed over time to the point where there are now celebrations!



There’s nothing subtle about the celebrations in basketball. These guys are pretty proud of themselves. I have a feeling they chest bump one another in the locker room after going #2 before the game.



Of all the “major” sports, football has my favorite celebrations. While I was never impressed by the goalpost dunk (which now gets you penalized), some players used a little imagination. Check out a few of the classics here.



Even golf has celebrations now… golf!! While Tiger probably accelerated this trend, others have joined in on it. Even Phil went vertical (barely) after winning The Masters in 2004.



Tennis players love to celebrate. Not just the match… or even a set… or even a game! Sometimes they get fired up just for winning a point.

Usain Bolt


Sprinters, who are basically our cousins (okay, second cousins), get to celebrate. They run for what? 10 seconds? 20 seconds?

What Are We Doing Wrong?


In the pictures above, Wilson Kipsang and Paula Radcliffe just set world records! Sure, they’re tired. But a smile and a couple of raised arms?


This is Meb winning the NYC marathon – he also went with raised arms, as did Geoffrey Mutai (right), as he crossed the line in the fastest marathon time ever recorded (at least for a few more days). At least Rory Bosio (middle) was somewhat creative when she offered a curtsy to the crowd after running over 100 miles.

What Do We Do?

I’ve seen people do a little bit more at races – the occasional cartwheel across the finish line and what not. Distance runners, we need to do more. We need our leaping, chest bumping, fist pumping, shouting moment… but better!

There are still a few days left before the London Marathon and over a week before the Boston Marathon…

How do you suggest the winners of these races celebrate?

How do you usually celebrate after finishing a race?

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22 Responses to The Victory Celebration

  1. emmelineruns says:

    I promise I’ll get creative if I get the opportunity to win a race 😉 I love all the crazy soccer celebrations so that’ll be my inspiration!

  2. haha I never thought of that before, but it’s so true. They run across the finish line with a smile and that’s about it. It would be pretty awesome if they did a dramatic knee drop and a crowd lifted them in the air or something cool like that.

  3. piratebobcat says:

    I agree with emmeliruns, soccer players have the craziest celebrations! I haaate how US football calls penalties for “excessive celebration”. Just let them do their dances or whatnot.
    I have a friend who likes to do cartwheels across the finish line. At the Dopey Challenge I did a dance across the line at one of the races. But I fist pumped the final race – just happy to complete the challenge!

  4. Brittany says:

    Runners are just so modest, I kinda love it!! I celebrate with a huge smile, and a fat donut.

  5. Kristin says:

    Haha, I love this post!! Man, you’re so right, too, we need to mix it up some and get creative!! Well, personally, when I finish a race, I usually don’t look half as good as the professionals. I push through the finish line, stop, walk a few steps, and then bend over and grab my knees and cry, “UGH!” I guess not the most interesting!! If I attempted any of my gymnastics moves when I was tired (at the end of a race), I probably would draw a large crowd because I’d pull a muscle and be carrying on about it.

  6. bpangie says:

    Perhaps after running a world record marathon you’re so assed out all you can do is raise your arms…

    • Jason says:

      Haha, true! But what if there were props? Picture this: Mutai runs sub-2:03 and his agent hands him a boombox playing “Jump Around” by House of Pain – he could hold it over his head like John Cusack in “Say Anything”

  7. Andrea says:

    Haha…I’ve never thought about it like that before. I’m usually so tired at the end of a race that all I want is to find some water and a place to sit for a minute. I’ve been to some really good post-race parties though a few hours after a race where people do some serious celebrating!

    • Jason says:

      Ha, true! What race has the best post-race party that you can think of?

      • Andrea says:

        RunTheBluegrass had a party the evening after the race at the host hotel. I had to head home so I didn’t stay for it, but heard it was fun. My running group always has a party at a local bar/restaurant the evening of the Flying Pig. It’s nice to go home, shower, relax and then head back out for food, drinks and race stories!

      • Jason says:

        I like the idea of getting cleaned up and then partying – fun times!

  8. Me at the end of the race=barely standing. I couldn’t attempt anything creative. It would be fun to see some of the elites surprise us with a funky dance or something though. That’s how it’d start. One person does something and makes headlines and then other elites try and top them lol!

    • Jason says:

      Barely standing is not a problem… You could collapse to the ground… and then break into a worm! Sure, people would probably trip on you, but it would be so worth it!

  9. Ha! This is so true. I love it. I don’t even know what I do…Sometkmes I wave, wink or raise the roof. I tend to like to do something though.

  10. pauldburton says:

    My opinion: Don’t do anything. If you come in with the masses just move along. I have a friend that is a sports photographer and does event timing too, and he has many nasty stories of people doing their end of run celebrations and hurting others that are trying to get across the line. Cartwheels? A foot in someone else’s face. Be aware of other runners and don’t be selfish at the finish line. People are tired and may not be expecting to have to suddenly change course.

  11. milesbyriles says:

    HA! Hey, do you get the “Universal Sports” channel? I recently ran across it, and they air lots of running!

  12. I would have to agree with bpangie. Just too tired (what does that say about the other sports…..just saying) I don’t think that sports should penalize for celebrating, but some take it alittle too far. then I feel bad for the other guys. What can I say, I root for the underdog 🙂

  13. dnardi710 says:

    Oh, you missed some great hockey goal celebrations! (Why does everyone always forget hockey?!?) While not wildly appropriate this is one of my favorites:

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