Ultra Runners


Tell me what I need to know to be a good Crew for Western States (Read 64 times)

Ultra Cowboy

    Relate your stories about the trail sections, Aid station access, drop bags, runners, pacers, etc.


    Info specific to the WS100 certainly appreciated.


    I'm gonna do the Training run on Monday of Memorial day.


    With luck, and good prep, I'll pace my runner in on that stretch as well.


    Specific Question:  What is the ideal number of people in the Crew?  Should the same group hit all accessible aid stations or should they split up and leapfrog?

     What Would Jack London Do? 


    The Goofinator

      I've worked with crews of 2 and 3.  When there are 3 of us, I'm the official photographer and am able to get a lot of good pics for our runner.


      Discuss with your runner well in advance what he/she wants at each aid station.  It helps to have things separated according to aid station (if possible) so you're not dragging everything around with you.


      Have or two good comfortable backpacks to you can carry stuff on your back instead of your hands.


      Be prepared to wait . . . and wait . . . .and wait.  But also be prepared to have a great time.  Take one of those lightweight canvas camp chairs with you, or else you'll be sitting on the ground or standing A LOT.


      Make sure you take care of yourself, too.  It doesn't help your runner if the crew is passing out from hungry and dehydration.  This is especially important if you plan on pacing.


      We carry a small ice chest with us so we have ice/ice water/cold fluids for our runner.


      Depending on how fast your runner is, Foresthill is a great place to fuel up and watch the faster runners during the day, between crewing at  Robinson Flat and Michigan Bluff.


      That's all I can think of at the moment.

      Living and Running Behind the Redwood Curtain


      Trail Runner Nation


        On top of what Fat said I'd recommend that you help look after the other runners at the aid station.  Ask them what they want and need.  Chances are your runner will be in a similar state of need when she or he arrives.  When you get to the aid station ask the Volenteers what the runner will need to know about the next section.


        On top of that it helps to pass the time while you're waiting AND  good ju-ju to help others.  Everytime I race I ask my crew to offer my food, spare gear (like batteries) and medical items (bandaids, Moleskin,  glide, Vasaline, S-Caps...)  to any runner in need.

          I'll be pacing this year; I ran it last year. I had a crew of one, and a pacer. Worked for me. It depends a lot on the individual runner.


            It also depends on what your runner wants from the crew at the aide station.  I always wanted as quick of a "in/out" as possible.  So I wanted new shoes, socks shirt, shorts available if needed.  Lube, Fuel and my hydration pack filled.

            7/20/17 #247 Comeback #19 ... 10/8 - Glacial Trail 50M




              I've run once and crewed once at WS.  (I also crewed for my DD when she did Tevis, but that's another story).


              We have always just followed the "A" instructions and crewed at all those spots.  Except when I ran it in 2011 I didn't see my crew until Michigan Bluff (55 miles), because of all the snow that year Robinson Flat was closed.  There are so many aid stations at WS that crew is only needed at some of the special ones.  To me there is no need to go crazy and split up and hit all of the crew-accessible spots.  I will say that if you make the effort to get to Green Gate, your runner will be very happy.


              The crew should leave the bulk of the stuff in the car and go lite with portable stuff to the aid stations (chairs are good though).  The runner should make a list of the portable stuff to bring to each spot.  Of course all the typical stuff like gels, s-caps, drinks, and other typical treats....  but to me the most important is ice.  Have a big cooler full of ice in the car and bring a smaller portable cooler of ice to the crew spots.  Ice is great for cooling off the drinks, putting in hats and bandanas.  You can't have too much ice.  You can park the car right along the course at Forrest Hill, so that's not a problem.


              Which sections are you pacing?

              Arkansas Traveler - Oct 7