There’s a common acronym for the word “crew” in the ultrarunning world: Cranky Runner, Endless Waiting. Well, I’m going to be doing my very best not to be cranky (it’s quite rude to the person who’s literally serving you), but the waiting can indeed be endless, especially at Badwater. So what exactly does a Badwater crew do, and how is it different from “regular” crewing? All the answers here for our Salty Readers today!
First up, some quick notes on the event itself: while Badwater and AdventureCORPS, the company that puts on the event, have a top-of-the-line medical staff, a live webcast and social media team, roving race officials, seven timing checkpoints, and photographers and videographers, there is no official aid in the form of food and water offered on the course. This is because of the immense distance of the race, the vast spread between runners, and because, quite simply, volunteers running traditional “aid stations” every few miles would keel over and die from the heat.
Therefore, all of your foods, fluids, do-it-yourself medical and special needs are YOUR responsibility. Except they’re really your crew’s responsibility, and your crew is your lifeline. As stated in one of my previous posts: without your crew, you DNF or die. Your crew – along with your stuff – travels the entire course with you in a van, leapfrogging you every two or more miles. Each Badwater entrant is required to have two crew members, and allowed up to four. Think you can just divide and conquer? Think again. Here’s what life is really like for a Badwater crew member. Read more >>