I liked crewing for Baboo and am already processing it and working on ideas to make it easier, more fun, and more useful for him.
Why I liked crewing:
- In ultra running, there is the tactic acknowledgement that the crew is critical. You're not just a tangential bystander; you're part of a team.
- Although it's good to have a runner that is hyper-organized, ultimately, they can get a little loopy and make poor decisions. The job of the crew, including the pacers, to make decisions FOR them. Eat this now. Drink this. Have you gone to the bathroom lately? You're warm? Fine. You don't want an extra shirt for going up over that mountain pass? Well, tie this shirt around your waist, in case you need it.
- It's a great way to be involved in this event in case you are not insane enough to want to actually run 100 miles. :)
- We used a little cabinet with drawers that were see-through. This was very useful. It was easy for me to find things that were arranged: medical, nutrition, hot weather stuff, cold weather stuff, nighttime running stuff.
- I made a chart for each aid station, telling me what I needed to do, inside a tiny notebook. I would just flip to the page, and it would tell me about what time he was expected, and what he would need.
- We emptied one side of the element and laid down a futon mattress and a thick quilt. While waiting for Baboo at night, I was able to get a few minutes of Zzzzz. Before he reached May Queen inbound, I was able to get about 2 hours. This was pretty important since I was getting ready to run 15 miles with him and had been up for over 24 hours already.
- Prior to the race, Baboo and I had driven around to each aid station and loaded it into our Garmin Nuvi. When it was time for me to drive to the next aid station, I didn't have to think - all I had to do was call it up and it told me how to get there.
What didn't work / Needs changing:
- I need an organizer that's on wheels, or at least something that can hold clear containers and is on wheels. I'm thinking of this rolling thing.
- I need a small folding table. I'm thinking of a cooler that has sides that flip up and become a small table. This would be good for carrying cold drinks, and Baboo can sit on it, as well.
- For races that we fly to, instead of the cooler, I need a folding chair that is easy to carry. This one (above, left) can be carried as a backpack. I'll also need to bring a sleeping bag liner because those nights get chilly, for waiting.
- I need to bring real food for myself - cruising the aid station, when I'm not doing running, is not a good idea. The food is designed to provide lots of fast calories and sodium, neither of which I need while crewing.
- Some of the crews there had ways to make themselves visible to their runners, such as bright colors, a large estrella on a stick, and lights on their vehicle at night. I'm going to try to find something like this.