This is for my mom, who I inadvertently freaked out by listing the number of crew members coming to this race. My mom and dad are going to be crewing my brother, Jack, in two weeks for the McNoughton 150 mile race. That's right, I did not stutter... 150 miles. He also has my cousin, Sean, helping out. So he essentially has three people, compared to my "cast of thousands" as my mom put it. I think she began to wonder what she had gotten herself into when she read my post yesterday. So for my mom, and anyone else running 100 miles or more, who, thanks to my post, now thinks they are way ill-equipped when it comes to crew, this is for you!
I crewed for Jack when there were three of us. It was hard, but it worked just fine. Could I run a 100 mile race with three people as my crew? Yes, I believe I could. I would be less confident, but I could do it, as long as I had someone with me after mile 50. I wished so badly there would have been someone to take over after 7 or 8 miles when I was with Jack. I was so miserable and that was unfair to Jack, who I was supposed to be supporting. I don't want anyone suffering through 20, 30, or more miles when I can't encourage them in the throws of my own miserable existence. When I crewed, I saw all kinds of different crews. I saw 1-2 person crews and I saw 10 plus person crews, which were mostly made up of friends and family members who were intrigued by the distance and what goes down at a race like this and wanted to come along (the reason for so many of my crew). I saw those crews having a lot of fun, switching out with one another for little naps or food runs. They seemed to laugh a lot, while Maria, Marybeth and I lost our sense of humor somewhere around nightfall. The people coming to support me are ALL runners. They have all done at least one marathon and I think the thought of going beyond that is intriguing to someone who has run a marathon, because you KNOW what you feel like after that. It's true that many ultra-runners act as pacer and crew for each other... the reason? They simply LOVE the atmosphere of a race like this. They like seeing what people can get through in the throws of misery. Because they have done it. And so have marathoners.
Having a large crew will be beneficial for, well, the crew. They may not realize yet how much relieved they will be to be able to take turns and keep each other awake and uplifted... but they will. As long as I have someone with me in the dark, I'm good. I don't want to be worried that they are struggling. Because then we might both just sit down and cry. And what good is that?
My crew has to go from aid station to aid station. My mom and dad get to stay put in an RV because Jack is running a 10 mile loop 15 times and will hit the same place each time. My parents can nap, get out of the cold or heat (you never know in April) and not have to worry about which drop box needs to be at which station... it'll all be there. As long as Jack brings all he needs, they will be fine. And Jack will be fine because what is a more comforting sight than your mom and dad when you feel horrible? Nothing.
So mom.... DON'T WORRY! Worry about Sean, the poor sucker pacing him :)