Today, we take you on a journey through the exhilarating world of crewing in ultra-running, sharing the wisdom we've gathered over five years of running adventures. At the outset, we didn't always choose the optimal path, but that's precisely why we're here – to share, learn, and, most importantly, laugh together. And by the way, the tips we have for you aren't limited to ultra-running. Feel free to apply them to your other endurance sports!
Shared Goals and Small Achievements Along the Way:
Everyone has their own goal in sports, whether it's finishing, achieving a specific time, or securing a position. The key is to align your goals and be aware of what you're collectively working towards. And hey, don't forget the sub-goals – small achievements along the way that bring extra motivation!
AID Station: The Planned Pit Stop:
Your AID station should be a well-planned pit stop, not a flea market. Whether it's a major or minor stop, plan it out: drinks, RabbitFuel, clothing changes, keep everything in view! And dear crews, don't ask what the athlete wants; instead, say, "According to the plan, you wanted to eat a banana here. Alternatively, I also brought watermelon." 😄
Offline Routes and Mastering Drive Times:
Remote routes? No problem! Download the racecourse, AID stations, routes, and addresses offline. Plan your drive times in advance so you're not on the road longer than your athlete. Keep an eye on schedules, bus times, and AID stations – that's what makes your crewing a success.
Motivation, Team Spirit, and Planning:
Crewing can be demanding, so be grateful for each other! Motivate each other, remind the athlete of their goals, and bring good vibes to the team. Focus on the positive, motivate with small rewards at AID stations, and simplify thinking for the athlete.
What Should be on the Crew Checklist:
Quickly, here's a cheat sheet for your crewing planning:
- Align goals
- Racecourse GPX file
- Meeting points (AID stations)
- Check mandatory equipment
- Plan drive time to the start
- Set drive times between points
- Create a plan for each meeting point
- Study rules with cut-off times
- Pack food for athletes and crew
- Have spare clothing ready
- Full batteries and backups
- Keep an eye on weather data
- Don't forget the first aid kit
- Note supermarkets, cafes, or gas stations along the route
- Organize entertainment for the crew
- Have emergency numbers handy
When the Plan Goes Awry: Maintain Improvisation and Good Spirits!
Sometimes things don't go as planned. Improvise, stay positive, and don't tell your athlete about it – let them focus on themselves. You can only achieve it as a team!
So, dear readers, take our crewing tips on your next adventure, whether it's ultra-running, a marathon, or a cycling race. Everything is easier together.