Friday, June 28, 2013

Crews and Pacers: Who the Hell Needs Them!

I told you this was a week filled with rants...

I've completed 85 marathons and ultras (69 ultras, 16 marathons), and I've never really had a crew and my only true pacers were in my last 100 miler. Who the hell needs a crew and pacers for a race? Can't you achieve your goals on your own? There are already enough people on the race course--we don't need more people driving around intercepting their runners to provide aid or pacing. Enough is enough! Do the freaking ultra on your own.

I've finished a 7-day stage race (303 miles) without any aid, crew, or pacers. It can be done and you'll feel a great sense of accomplishment doing it all on your own. You against the course. You against other runners. Not you, PLUS LOTS OF EXTRA HELPERS, against other solo runners. Mano a mano. Suck it up and have all your shit together. Crew? You can't put together a drop bad with supplies like the other runners? You need your mom to help you finish a race? Screw that! And why pacers? Don't you have enough discipline to run on your own? You need a guide on the trails? Should I buy you a toddler leash too? Screw that! Did your little helper pay the race fee? Thought not. Then they don't deserve to be on the course with the other actual racers. You pay, you run.

Got it? No one needs a crew or pacers to finish an ultramarathon. Grow up and do it on your own.

NOTE:  In my last 100 miler I had two awesome pacers (Sandra and Andrew) and they helped me run a PR race. Maybe I'll allow you one try at pacers (or crew) every 70 ultramarathons you run. That seems like a good compromise. Also, if you are running the Badwater 135, then you can have a crew and pacers. See, I'm not crazy.


Brad Williams said...

I could get on board with the other rants but not this one and here's why...

If you train for an ultra, especially a 100 miler, in a manner that I feel is appropriate for the undertaking of the event then you are pulling yourself away from friends and family for a very good chunk of time.

When I get a day off of work I have to tell my wife, "Alight, I'll see you in about 10 hours." I'm out perusing something that I love but it is very solo and one could say selfish.

I am beyond excited for August 17th, I'm running Leadville, to roll around and not have to tell my wife, "Alight, I'll see you within the next 30 hours." Instead I get to bring her along for something special. To give her a first hand account of what I've been working towards when I've spent all these hours away from her.

I'm very excited to turn my solo efforts into a team effort. Not just a team effort but a team effort made up of my closest loved ones.

In case there's any question on what I'm trying to say... I love the idea of crews and pacers.


Chris said...

I hear ya. It's tough when family is part of the equation. If they are willing crew and/or pacers, then go for it. Combining running with family is sweet. I'm more ranting about having friends/fellow runners, strangers, or professional pacers/crew. You see your friends plenty on runs already.

Anonymous said...

310XT is a form of pacer :)


Chris said...

That's true...especially if you utilize the "virtual partner" feature!

IJSEvents said...

I guess Lisa Bliss and Marshal before her proved you can even do the Badwater course with no crew, pacer or even aid stations.

Chris said...

Yes, that's true. Badwater can be done solo! No excuses.