Guest Post! Matt the Crew Chief’s Riverbank One Day Classic 2017

Below is Matt’s report from Riverbank One Day Classic 2017 unlike mine he had his finished in less than an hour a few days after the race.  I think he captured something great in his report.  Thanks Matt, sorry for such a long delay getting this published…

“Similarly to Rich I don’t consider myself to be a good writer so I apologize if this is out of order ….

As we walked over to the track, Rich wanted to carry his USA team bag. I offered to carry it so he could save as much energy as possible but carrying that bag gives him a sense of pride. He is honored to represent this country.  I didn’t argue with him – I don’t want to cause him any stress before or during the race.

Rich did a good job with nutrition / hydration for most of the race. He would ask for nutrition / hydration and I rarely had to offer which made me happy.  I’m happy when he stays well hydrated.

Rich often plays air guitar and sings along. This stresses me out.  I want him to save every ounce of energy. But many spectators commented how he is “Crazy” – in a good / scary way.  I guess he is psyching out his opponents. I know if someone was rocking out next to me at hour 15 when I was the walking dead, that would crush me mentally. Still, it stresses me out.

I think up until hour 22 he thanked me for every handoff. Again – I would prefer he say nothing – save your energy buddy.

EVERY lap Rich passed by I made sure to stand up and get close to lane one.  I didn’t want him to have to shout if he needed something. Also I didn’t want him to see me sitting. I was worried if he saw me sitting, he may have thought “Matt is tired … maybe I am tired?”  Similarly with gloves.  Throughout the night it became cold. However every time Rich passed by I took my gloves off. I didn’t want him to see me wearing gloves and think about the cold.  This may all be in my head, I’m not sure if my suffering helped at all.

I was glad Rich stayed on pace and let the race come to him. I knew it was a matter of time till he would climb the ranks and eventually be in first place for the men.  

I remembered what Shannon said and I never asked him how he felt. There is no point. If he is working hard for 24 hours I know he is going to feel like poorly. And I can’t make him feel better so what is the point.  I offered nutritional items from time to time when he fell behind in nutrition and would ask him if he needed anything.  

For about the last 3 hours, when the going got tough, I kept jogging across the center so I could see Rich on both sides. I wanted him to see me and thought it would motivate him to keep going. Again, I’m not sure if he even noticed the standing, gloves, or the jogging back and forth!

At one point I did math incorrectly and told Rich he needed to maintain a 10 minute pace for the last 2.5 hours to get in 3rd place on the US team. When I realized my mistake I discussed with other spectators and thought it best not to update him as he was maintaining the pace. I think having a reachable goal motivated him.  A good crew needs to lie to motivate their runner from time to time.

With enough caffeine it was easy to stay awake. I enjoy running and helping my friends. It’s great to be part of something historic.”