I spent the last 36 hours crewing the Sweet Baboo at the Javalina Jundred. I'll put up some pictures soon.
The Javalina Jundred is a great, well-run party that has ultra runners doing 100 miles in it. It's 6 laps of 15.4 miles each, and then a 9-mile loop. YES, I KNOW THAT ADDS UP TO OVER 100 MILES, WHICH IS BEYOND F***ED UP, but there it is. If you are unable to complete all seven laps, but complete at least four, you get the Javalina Jundred "Whimp-out 100" buckle, for completing 100K (62 miles). What's great about that option is that it keeps people from hurting themselves for a buckle.
So I ran back and forth a bit fetching for him. Made him put on sunscreen even though he was cranky. You know what crew means, don't you? Cranky Runner, Endless Waiting. I figured it was a good sign.
Andy paced his 5t lap, and I paced him for his 6th lap, and between the two of us, we saw Baboo through the night.
So during the lap I paced, it's dark, and we're power-walking and doing some jogging on miles 75 through 90. The aid stations are 5 miles apart which seems appallingly far apart, but whatever. They are super well stocked with friendly, knowledgeable aid-station volunteers. So we're cruising along in the dark, and then dawn comes - I hand Baboo his sunglasses and as we hit one of the inexplicable warm spots in the desert, he says something I don't quite catch. Something like, "when the trail gets really nice, I can sprint it." and then he does.
Oh, yes, he did: while I was trying to extricate one arm from my pullover jacket he takes off at a pretty full on run, and I have to follow him, because what kind of loser pacers gets her ass kicked by her runner? I thought it was going to be a trot, but then he's running full tilt. I mean, the dude had 80+ miles on his feet, and he is SMOKING me. What a freak! I'm hauling ass, trying to catch him, and it's only about 3 miles later that I finally catch him, because he stopped at the next aid station.
I was able to catch my breath after that, but he set off at a trot and I had to keep up. It was at this point that I suggested that maybe he didn't need me after this loop. I might even be slowing him down. Don, on the other hand, was happy to pace Baboo for his final 8 or so miles.
And I"m like this big baby. I've gone 15 miles at a pretty good clip, and I'm all, "It's hot out here. My feet hurt" but I never, ever said that. I said things like, Just think how great it will be when you're finished.
I watched one pacer, who was jogging backwards facing his sobbing, exhausted runner, You're not going to give up! You know why? Because Janet doesn't give up! Janet is going to get that buckle!! Janet kept running. and crying a little, but I don't think she quit. That's what a pacer does. Doesn't let that runner quit. The ones that do get recriminations a day or two later when the fog has lifted, Why'd you let me quit? I wasn't injured. I was just tired. You should have kept me going!
So anyway, sweet Baboo finished, wasn't last, my Baboo ran 100 miles. Again. I bet your Baboo can't do that.
PS: Phoenix is just crazy hot sun, even in November. Ugh.
Meanwhile. I have some general comments to make about crewing an ultra runner. Now, I'm not saying I'm the world's best crewer, I'm still learning. But I witnessed some pretty shameful "help" from people toward their runners. I want to address them, who will go to work tomorrow and tell their co-workers/friends that they "crewed" for someone at the Javelina Jundred, when indeed, their runner was pretty much on their own. I'm not naming any names. That would be mean.
YOU ARE NOT CREWING IF YOU DO ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
- Showed up five hours after the race started, missing their entire first loop.
- Spend most of your time kicked back, reading, napping, instead of getting everything ready for your runner.
- Sat in a chair, watched your runner come in...and then watched him or her leave, all without getting out of your chair.
- Watched your runner search for something in their bag without helping them find what they think they need.
- Watched your runner run back out into the Arizona sun without putting sunscreen on them.
- Believed that because they are a grownup, they don't need to be reminded of anything, and they don't need your help.
- Don't check to see how much they are drinking.
- Don't find out when the last time they peed was.
- Left at sundown even though your runner was not finished with their race, when indeed sundown is when they start needing you the most.
- Weren't around to know that, in the night, they became discouraged and tired and then quit, because nobody was there to talk them through it or tell them to get their butt in gear.
- Spent most of your time eating and napping. Then, when you left, you behind left the foods that runners don't eat (meat and cheese trays), taking with you the foods that ultra runners do eat (potato chips).
- Haven't bothered to learn about any of these things, because even though your spouse or parent has been doing this for years, you haven't bothered to learn a damned thing about it. .
And that's all I'm going to say about that.