THON 2019: Essential Things to Bring for Spectators

Photo by Mitchell Valentin

THON 2019 is in full swing. Forty-six hours in the Bryce Jordan Center with no sitting and no sleeping, all for the kids. The thought of standing as a spectator in the stands for 46 hours may seem daunting to most, and it is certainly no easy task. You probably aren’t used to standing for long periods of time, and your body is going to feel the burn, even after just a couple of hours. Whether it’s your first time at THON or you’re an experienced THON-goer who still hasn’t learned all of the tips and tricks, you’ll find these spectator essentials helpful for surviving THON weekend, especially in these final hours.

As far as what you need to last in the BJC, no one knows better than the THON-goers themselves. Francesca Truax from Havertown, PA is a Dancer Relations committee member. She thinks that, “some essential things to bring to THON would definitely be a portable charger, a change of shoes, and plenty of water to make sure you’re hydrating.” Spectators are not allowed to use the outlets in the BJC to charge their phones, so a portable charger is a must to make sure you have enough battery power to posts unlimited snap stories of dancers, performers, and your friends at THON. Your feet will definitely start to feel sore after hours of standing and dancing. Bringing a second pair of comfy shoes will give your feet a break, and give you a boost of energy. As Truax mentions, water is very important. Standing for an extended period of time, especially with limited sleep, can quickly lead to dehydration or dizziness. Bring an empty water bottle to the BJC and fill it up at one of the many water fountains. During THON weekend, you’ll want to drink more water than you ever have before.

A tennis ball, gum, deodorant, and water guns are more essential items that you should be sure to pack for the rest of THON weekend. Katie Tisot is a senior from State College, PA, and is a Public Relations committee member. Katie says some essentials that she would recommend are, “definitely a tennis ball because your feet will hurt after a while, mints or gum because it’s nice to feel fresh, deodorant to feel clean, and water guns, because those are always fun to use.” Taking your shoes off and rolling a tennis ball under your feet will loosen up your sore muscles and allow you to keep pushing through the long hours of standing. As time goes on, using toiletries like a toothbrush, toothpaste, makeup wipes, and deodorant will make you feel more comfortable and energized to keep standing and dancing.

As members of clubs and organizations in the stands, people often make some mistakes when it comes to showing up to THON weekend prepared. Truax says that “people don’t realize that being on your feet for 46 hours is crazy. You’re normally not on your feet for more than an hour at a time during the day. People underestimate how long it really is. Being in the stands is hard because you’re just standing there in like a one foot by one foot space.” Mentally prepare yourself for how long it really is that you will be standing there, and make sure you pace yourself. Tisot thinks that, “people underestimate coffee a lot. They think that coffee doesn’t affect them that much.” Coffee makes you crash more easily, so you should keep track of your coffee intake more seriously than usual.

As THON weekend continues on, make sure to pack these essential items so you can put all your energy into providing support for the kids. Happy THON from the staff at VALLEY!

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