100 mile crew

Lists

If you have a crew, have a list of all the things you have and tape it to the inside of the window or on a board or somewhere easy to see. When someone asks “what do you want” , “what do you need” after 15 hours your mind can go very blank. You don't know what you want, you know you want “something” just maybe not sure what… having a list can prompt you, or your crew as to what you have.

Banana Box

You know those sturdy, flat, card board boxes that you can pick up from supermarkets. Lay out a selection of food, drinks, nibbles,pills whatever on one of these. That way (especially if you are sitting down/standing by the back of the car you can simply look in the box and pick up what you fancy to eat/drink and can be easily carted around if needs be.

Saving Time

Having a crew is a huge help on almost any long ultra, but you have to be careful that they're not costing you time. It's very tempting to stand and chat, not least as they may have been waiting for you for three hours and it seems rude to breeze past in 15 seconds with a “see you in another three hours!”

But be disciplined like at aid stations. If you can have a crew person meet you ahead of the car/aid station and ask you what you need. Let them take ruck sacks, bottles or rubbish from you and then go ahead of you to the aid station/car to start work on what needs doing. Likewise, don't stand with them at the car/aid station, have them walk with you, they can hold drinks whilst you eat, sort out ruck sacks, take back rubbish. That way you get to spend some time with them, and they're speeding your progress. Times this by ten? You've saved maybe 30 minutes or an hour off your time.

Walk with me

At the GUCR I had my long suffering girl friend meet me with a shoe box full of a selection of food/drinks (although a plastic box would be better if there were any chance of it raining). The basic premise was that whenever we met I wouldn't stop, we would just walk together whilst I grazed, drank and gave any instructions to what I might want next time. This worked really well I felt, walking maybe 500 yards in 5 minutes chatting and munching isn't fantastic progress. But its far better than no progress. Meet 10 times? That's then 5000 yards/3 miles and 1 hour closer to the finish...

Be prepared

For some crewed events, for example Badwater, it really isn't too much of an issue to decide where and when you're going to meet. You're on a long straight road generally and you can park up and await your runner to come along. At trail events though it can be rather more tricky where the path intersects roads only at certain points, possibly only at aid stations. Knowing exactly how to get there, the directions, where to park and so on can save an awful lot of stress on race day. Getting lost and missing your runner can be a bad thing.... Google Maps and street view are amazingly useful tools to plot where to meet your runner. Agree where you're going to meet, and hopefully roughly when, this will invariably change, but knowing when you're next going to meet your crew is something that runners can look forward to hugely and can be crushing to the spirit if you're not there because you went astray or aren't parked where you thought you were or that kind of thing. Be prepared!

Follow the rules

Many 100 mile events have rules for crews, where and where you cannot meet runners, some aid stations might be out of bounds, or there may have been complaints or traffic issues. Pay heed! Runners invariably are responsible for the actions of their crews and there are usually provisions for disqualification or time penalties if crews break these rules. Getting your runner disqualified may not make for a harmonious drive home.

 

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