One of the things I was really excited about when I signed up for AR50 was that you are allowed to have crew and pacers! Whenever I have watched movies or read books about ultras, the runners always talked about their crew and I thought it sounded so fun to be able to have a support system out there while you are running.
It took me a while to get all my plans figured out, but once it started, everything fell into place. It was kind of hard to ask for help: "hey friend, do you want to come spend an entire day of your obviously busy weekend following me around on the chance I might need something?"
Luckily I have amazing friends who volunteered to be a part of my day and have been so supportive throughout this training process, and I want you to meet them!
Crew are allowed at specific aid stations along the way in AR50, and my crew will be driving to a number of them that we planned out to bring anything and everything I might need with them. I have packed up a bunch of fuel for them to have, in addition to what will be at the aid stations, to make sure I have anything I might possibly want especially when nothing sounds good. They also will have extra clothes if I for some reason want to change and will generally be providing moral support along the way.
One day Page and I were sitting discussing something (I am sure it was politics or something sophisticated like that) over coffee and my race came up and she said “WHAT CAN I DO?!” She took charge, rounded up the troops and has been leading the pack since then. I met Page through twitter and blogging, and she has turned into one of my best friends. She has been so excited for me and so supportive this whole training cycle, I am so happy she is going to be there on Saturday.
Kristin and I go way back… back to day one of running and have spent a million miles together since. If you have been reading this blog for any amount of time you see her name and picture pop up over over the place, because we are always together! I can’t imagine running a big race without her there, so I am so excited she will be there!
Sima has turned into one of my favorite running partners this training cycle and has spent many, many miles with me over the last couple months. She put up with pouring rain, dark mornings, and slowed down for my tired legs. She has been an incredible support system and another face I will be so happy to see!
PS Sima – we need to take a picture this weekend! Apparently we are always too busy running or something and have no pictures together!
Pacers are allowed from miles 26 on in AR50 and pacers actually run with you! They are there to keep me company, remind me to eat, and to keep my spirits up.
I feel like I have been running with this girl forever even though we had technically never really ran together before this training cycle. When I found out she was training for a 50 miler the weekend after mine, we coordinated our schedules and ended up being able to spend many hours together on the trails. I don’t know how I would have gotten through this training cycle (and some of those insane runs!) without her.
She is going to be my first pacer from miles 26-40. I know those miles are going to be tough miles, but I know we have gotten through tougher together before. It doesn’t make my race so scary knowing I will have her next to me for those tough parts and I am so excited that she is going to be there.
Plus since her 50 miler is the next weekend, I promised to keep my attitude happy and make sure she thinks that is the best, most fun thing I have done in my entire life. Which of course it will be.
For the last 10 miles Chris will be pulling me along the trails. I am sure he will be making me laugh and keeping me entertained as usual, but he will also be helping me maintain my focus and stay strong.
He has pulled me through some tough moments on the run before, so has experience in that area with me and knows what he is getting into. Plus I always love when I get a chance to run with him, so knowing I have something to look forward to from miles 40-50 will be a huge boost.
I am so lucky to have such a great support system willing to come out and be there for me on Saturday. It means so much to me and I know it is going to make this day amazing. Thank you friends!