Pacing Alex at the Vermont 100

What a fun and exciting experience I had pacing and crewing Alex from team RWB through his first 100 mile race.  This was my first 100 mile crew and pacing experience and I learned a lot.

With the help of my pestering before the race Alex was pretty conservative with his pacing and it paid off. I was amazed at how many runners came into Camp 10 Bear (at mile 47) under 24 hour pace  knowing they probably wouldn’t come in close to that time. The reinforces my favorite rule of ultra running “don’t focus on making your fastest mile faster focus on making your slowest mile less slow”.  You can’t bank miles, when you run hard early you will pay with a death march at the end.

Pacing Alex

Pacing Alex

Interesting while not running the race I felt I have learned the course quite well while spending time awaiting my runner at the aid stations.

Alex’s wife Amanda and a friend were also first timers at crewing.

I was walking out and backs from the aid stations while waiting for Alex to come in.  At Margaretville I was on my second 1 mile out and back up the very large incline when I saw Alex coming in. I decided to walk out past him a bit and figured at mile 58 I wouldn’t have much trouble catching back up to him as he came into the aid.  While most other runners at this point were pretty ragged from the 2 mile incline Alex was actually moving really well and I didn’t catch him coming into the aid.  I was cringing as I saw him greeted by his crew as they led him into the aid station and away from the food table.  Good lesson learned for first time pacers. When your runner comes in lead him or her into the station and point out food that they may want before leading them away to handle other clothing and gear issues away from the food.

I saw one team using a caddy similar to the one below to carry aid and supplies.  I will definitely look into something like this for my pit crew.