The Crew Plan

A Day in the Life13 Comments

In my continuing look into my upcoming race, the Leadville Trail 100, today we focus on the crew! The behind the scenes group that keeps the runner moving all day and night.

While the race staff provides aid stations at various checkpoints, a crew is wonderful thing to have on race day. They are not required and many runners will complete the race without them. However, having one can make the difference and will make the day more enjoyable and a shared experience for all involved.

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As previously announced, Natalee Fuller, my only sibling, will be crewing me. She is a rookie at this as I am. But that’s OK, we climbed Longs Peak together as our 1st 14er 9 years ago and didn’t have a clue what we were doing then but figured it out quickly as we went. Hopefully, that streak will continue here.

Natalee will have help throughout the day from my wife, Kim, as well as pacer JP prior to him lacing up to run with me. There are also opportunities for friends who are coming to spectate to jump in the mix and help. Let us know.

So what is the job of the crew for the day? Well, basically, keep me moving and on track. How will that go? I see a few key responsibilities.

1) Gear – Crew will have to arrive at the aid station prior to the runner. All the things the runner may need and asked for will have to be transported to the race course as parking may be further away depending on crowds at each point. We are thinking of loading a wagon to carry supplies for ease and quickness. Thoughts?

2) Fuel/Hydration – Tracking what the runner ate and drank to keep them honest and clear. Not like counting calories. But if I took 4 gels at the last aid station, did I get them down? If not, then I am behind on calories. That’s going to bite me/us later. Probably write it down after I am gone. Then if I am behind on my hourly totals, you can see the train wreck coming and keep on me about it.

3) Pace – This one could get hard. Math is involved. Only 2 real times to track….25 hour goal and 30 hour cutoff. We shouldn’t be worried about 30 hours BUT you never know. So I would have to stay in front of those of course. Not sure I will even bother printing them. The race staff will track the actual splits in and out of the aid stations so that isn’t so important. Its probably more interesting to just track the total time I am under or over that goal pace. Like if I am 20 minutes under or over. Then I know how much I can coast or make up.

4) A/V – Let’s get some pictures of this thing. Some video. I need a record.

5) Motivation – You are doing great. You look good. Keep going. Only 1 more stop.

The list could go on and on but those seem like the biggies.

I sat down with Natalee in our studios for this interview where I ask the her the questions that I have heard about her role at Leadville.

Q: Are you into this Leadville-thang too?

I caught the mountain bug in 2001 during my first visit to Colorado.  Been a runner since 1993 but the flat lands of the Midwest have expanded my athleticism and desires to triathlons, adventure races and obstacle courses.

Q: What experience does she have?

I have the same level of experience crewing for someone as Wyclef John has to running Haiti.

Q: Why would you want to crew for someone?

It’s a front row ticket to shirtless, toned, sweaty men.  Oh, and watching my brother’s dream come true is pretty cool too.

Q: What are some of the responsibilities?

I will provide all the food, drink and equipment needs for Team Shart which includes but is not exclusive to: Gu, Cliff Blocks, Salt Tabs, TP, Shoes, Socks, more TP, a 9 iron, Fiber 1 pills, Red Bull, Diet Mountain Dew, red dodgeball, pimp cane, water bottles, and 1 leather strap with belt buckle ready attachments.

Q: How often do you have to be somewhere during this race?

I will be at every accessible aid station I can find.

Q: Will you stay awake the whole time too?

If my bro has too, I has to.

Q: Will you be drunk?

No more than usual.

Q: Will you wreck my truck?

No, I already wrecked his moped when I was little.  Lesson learned.

Q: Will you be in a bikini?

Is the Pope catholic?