One of the best things about ultra running, doesn't involve running. Though in general I find it hard to be around athletic endeavors without fully participating myself, crewing is something I actually enjoy.
The entire act itself is pretty selfless. It requires you to go out to a race that usually requires a decent amount of personal free time (between traveling, crewing, waiting), and spend it all making someone else's dreams come true. You don't really worry about your training (because you can't) and you don't really worry about your own needs (because they drastically pale in comparison to your runner's). You just are perfectly present in helping someone else.
Of course there's socializing at aid stations and smack talking with friends from around the country, but the best part is how rewarding it intrinsically is. When you walk away from a crewing experience, you feel like your runner's accomplishments are a little bit yours too, as you had the chance to give to and directly support someone else's passionate dream and share their successes and failures. Elsewhere in running, this is either uncommon or illegal.. But ultra running celebrates it, and this is why it is one of my favorite things about the sport.
This weekend I crewed KD at Coyote Two Moons where she made 30 miles in rain, sleet, and drive snow before the race got called off. It was the most fun I've had sitting in the rain and snow in a long time.
KD driving the ridge
Sunday I headed out to San Vicente to cheer on my 10+ friends running the Los Angeles Marathon. It still was raining, and I actually broke my phone getting it a little too wet, but I had an awesome time cheering on my friends and watching most of them set personal records in the pouring rain. I ran back and forth with a good 10 people giving out caffeine cola gel blasts and getting a few extra screams out of the lulu lemon cheer sections on San Vicente.
Caswooka on her way to a 30 minute faster PR.
I only ran about 10 miles this weekend, but it worth it to be completely supportive of my friends. After KD's 30 miles ended at midnight, we hit the tent as the rain was falling hard. It was dry when we got in, but the storm flooded the field and soaked my sleeping bag while KD slept through it since I was blocking the water and she was using my pad. I only slept an hour or so, and then drove all the way back to LA to get to the marathon. After a long weekend of crewing, I was happy to have the chance to give all I could give to make everyone else's running experiences a little better.
Weekly total just 47 miles and 6400ft of climbing.. Hopefully that puts me rested and ready for Old Goats 50 mile this Saturday. We shall see what happens, it should be a muddy blastity blast.
I agree completely buddy. Crewing and helping out at races is so awesome. I remember my experience at Badwater last year and how special it was. The community aspect of these ultraendurance events definitely keeps me coming back for more.
I haven't crewed for anyone yet, but would love to so holla attcha boy if you or a friend ever needs one.
Good luck at old goats!
ditto on badwater, the ultimate selfless crewing opportunity. when your runner finishes, you definitely feel like you accomplished something.
Ben/Peter-I loved Badwater for that reason, it's not about Death Valley, or the heat, or the long climbs.. It's the love and support of eclectic crews over 135 long miles.
Chris, AC definitely! I have tentatively a few people right now, but you'd be awesome to have on my crew
I'd love to crew you for AC... but I'll be out of town for my cousin's wedding. Sorry dude, I would love to crew you to a CR, guess that will have to wait.
There is no luck to enjoy when sporting.
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