A good crew can be the difference between finishing and DNF’ing a big run. And as anyone that has ever crewed for an ultra runner before can tell you, it can be a slightly stressful experience. Typically involving driving to a remote aid station location, waiting around for hours, followed by a few minutes of frantic unpacking and comforting your runner. Then repeat. And while the most important thing you can do is just being there and providing positive energy for your runner, while making it easy for them to access their nutrition and backup gear. There are more than a few things you can do to make the experience more enjoyable for yourself, other crew members, and your runner. So to help you, and more specifically my mom and girlfriend who are crewing at my next 100 mile race, I’ve put together the complete ultramarathon crew checklist. Including a PDF so you can print and check off the list as you pack.
The Complete Ultramarathon Crew Checklist
I know that not everyone will have the same needs at every race. But my goal was to make a list that should encompass most everything you would need no matter the race. So you can decide and check it off either way. But the goal is to make the crewing experience as comfortable as possible for the crew. Just because your runner is suffering, doesn’t mean you have to!
This list also does not focus on the runners gear. The runner should provide you with bags labeled for each crew access point / aid station, nutrition, and back up gear. These are included in the list to make sure they’re in the crew vehicle when you leave.
|Tarp||2||For spreading out on the ground and layout equpment, second is for covering equipment based on weather|
|Chairs||3||One for each member of the crew/ used for racers when at aid stations|
|Blanket & Pillows||3||One for each crew member / may be used for racers when at aid station if they need to recover|
|Crew Food||Based on Crew Size||Food for your crew members to eat while waiting for you.|
|Gallons of Water||3||1 for Crew, 2 for runner|
|Glove Warmers||10||Keep your crew warm|
|Umbrella||2||One foe every crew memeber. Keep Crew comfy if weather changes|
|Race Aid Station Info/Pace Chart||2||2 copies of aid stations map with estimated arrival times|
|Box of Plastic Gloves||1||For crew to wear while helping (protect them from your dirtyness|
|Sharp Scisors or Knife||1||To cut off clothing in case of emergencies or to save time|
|Pack 1ft Zip Ties||1||Emergency use (fix proken vest, shoes, clothes ect.)|
|Roll of Duct Tape||`1||For emergencies|
|Sun Tan Lotion||1||Protect your crew, and your self from the sun by keeping a bottole of sun screen on hand. Don’t be affraid to go with the strong stuff|
|Cups||5||One for every member of the crew and racers|
|Car USB adpater||1||For charging items like phones or headlamp batteries|
|Flash Lights/ Headlamps||5||One for each crew member & backup for racers|
|Batteries (size needed for headlamp)||10||Enough to replace racers head lamp batteries|
|Paper Towles||1||Just in case somehting needs to be cleaned|
|Trash Bags||3||One for every crew aid stations / for easy clean up|
|Glow Sticks – Optional||2||Hang 2 glow sticks from your crew vehical at night to make it easier to find at the aid station|
|Race Food Bags||Varries||Runner should provide crew with food bags labled for each crew access point.Make this as originazed as possible to make it easy on your crew.|
|Backup Gear||Varries||Extra lube, locks, shoes, and anything else you may want or need durring the race. Placed in clear plastic bags and in a bag labled as “backup Gear”|
|Emergnecy kit||Varries||Needle, bandaids, any other emergecy gear|
|Finishing Bag||Varries||Jacket and change of clothes for the finishing runner|
Crewing is an incredibly unique experience that will most likely place you a bit outside of your comfort zone. But that’s what makes it such an adventure. And while you may not be running the race, you are truly an integral part of it. But with so much going on leading up to and the day of the race. Making sure you have everything you and your runner need can be stressful on its own. Let alone the act of taking care of your runner. So make sure you download the complete ultramarathon crew checklist PDF so you can just check things off as you load the car.
As always I hope this helps someone out there, and if you think anything should be added to this list just let me know in the comments below!