In preparing for JFK50, I have been going through my files. One of my files is a word document I printed up for my crew (Tristan) this past summer. He did not take any of the suggestions, but hopefully my sister Cindy (my AWESOME JFK 50 miler crew for the second year in a row) will read this and at least implement some of the suggestions. Also I think it does highlight some of the general needs of runners so please feel free to copy and send it to others:-)
List for Crewing Vermont 100:
At the start, you will go ahead on the course to the runner’s left hand side about 2-400 meters from the start. Make yourself obvious with blinky whistle, cowbell etc....go nuts! I will be glowey as well.
As you move from Handler stop to Handler stop:
1) Park car after the aid station if you are driving the same road we are running. BUT regardless of where the car is, make sure you are ahead of the aid station to meet runner before aid station to start chatting about runners needs. This can just be 50 or 100 feet ahead of aid station (just to get a little away from the crowd).
2) While waiting, you can walk backwards along course or you can sit in Camp Chair and read or chat with others.
3) You can leave drop bag unattended on camp chair near aid station, it should be relatively safe, but make sure chair is covered with stuff (towel, bag, books, etc to discourage squatters).
Each time you see your runner, you should inquire about overall health and quality of life (it probably sucks!). Here are the questions you should ask explicitly each time runner is seen:
Check waterbottle and refill with water if not completely full
How are you feeling?
Do you need anything?
Do you have snacks or need to put some in your bag?
Do you have a supply of medications or need some?
How are your feet?
Do you need to apply some glide anywhere?
Do you need to do any preventive blister care? Glide, Talcum Powder or Shoes/Socks?
Do you need to remove/give me any layers?
Do want to give me your headlamp/flashlight?
Do you want to take out your contacts and put on glasses?
Do you want to give me your CAMERA, Sunglasses, Visor/Hat?
Do you need to grab or put on any layers?
Do you need a headlamp? What about Flashlight?
In the morning, your goal is to encourage runner to get rid of stuff including
Long sleeve shirt, pants, and other layers
And check on supply of food, beverage, and medication
In the afternoon/evening your goal is to encourage runner to take layers and either put them on or carry them, as well as take some light/headlamp stuff
Long sleeve shirt, pants
Also, I should give you sunglasses, camera and hat/visor
Prep sneakers so they are ready for her to put on at mile 57 and 62, loosen laces, get out Glide and towel, pull out bag of socks and gaiters (just pull to top, don’t expose to elements at mile 57 particularly since shoe change it is likely change will occur at 62)
When runner comes in after you ask previous questions, you can think about giving a brief summary of what you did all day or what is going on in race (where people are in front of runner: 400 feet, 100 feet, etc.).
When you are waiting for runner at mile 21, 57 and 62 you can go through bag and familiarize yourself with stuff in it. Yellow bag in Boston Backpack has items listed on side.
You can suggest playing some music, especially if runner is changing socks, shoes, dirty girl gaiter etc. which is time consuming. SHOE changing involves re-gliding and putting on new pair of gaiters.
You can rub runner’s back/shoulders if she is sitting down performing tasks.
OFFER WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT!!!