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How to be the Perfect Crew Member for a Multi-Stage Endurance Runner

by | Mar 28, 2023

This article was read 3872 times. Enjoy!

How to be the Perfect Crew Member for a Multi-Stage Endurance Runner

Insights from an Experienced Endurance Runner

Are you looking to be the perfect crew member for your favourite multi-stage endurance runner? As a seasoned endurance athlete, I have experienced the value of a dedicated and efficient crew on numerous occasions. The role of the crew is vital to the success of the runner, and the effectiveness of the crew can make or break the experience for both runner and crew member. In this comprehensive guide, I will share my insights and tips on how to be the perfect crew member for a multi-stage endurance runner.

The Importance of Communication

Clear and consistent communication is key to the success of any crew. As the crew member, you must be able to understand and execute the runner’s needs and preferences. This requires ongoing communication throughout the race, from pre-race planning to post-race recovery. Here are some tips on how to establish effective communication:

  1. Establish communication preferences with the runner before the race. Will you communicate via text message, two-way radios, or other means?
  2. Establish a schedule for communication throughout the race. How often should you check in with the runner?
  3. Use clear and concise language when communicating with the runner. Avoid using jargon or confusing language that could be misinterpreted.
  4. Be prepared to adapt your communication style to the runner’s needs. Some runners prefer detailed updates, while others may prefer more general information.
Pre-Race Planning

The pre-race planning phase is crucial for both runner and crew. This is where you will establish the runner’s needs and preferences, and develop a strategy for the race. Here are some key areas to focus on during pre-race planning:

  1. Determine the runner’s nutritional needs and preferences. What foods and drinks will they need during the race?
  2. Develop a hydration plan. How much water and/or electrolyte drinks will the runner need?
  3. Create a pacing strategy. What is the runner’s target pace for each stage?
  4. Prepare for potential challenges, such as extreme weather conditions or difficult terrain.
Additional Considerations for Pre-Race Planning:
  • Make sure you have all necessary gear and equipment, such as flashlights, extra batteries, and first aid supplies.
  • Have a backup plan in case of emergencies, such as illness or injury.
  • Consider the runner’s mental state and provide support as needed.
  • Stay organized and keep track of important information, such as the runner’s schedule and any special instructions or requests.
The Race Itself

The race is where the crew’s hard work and planning will be put to the test. Here are some tips for ensuring a smooth and successful race:

  1. Stay focused and alert throughout the race. Keep track of the runner’s progress and make adjustments as needed.
  2. Provide encouragement and motivation to the runner. A positive attitude can go a long way in helping the runner achieve their goals.
  3. Be prepared for unexpected challenges. This may include changes in weather, injuries, or equipment malfunctions.
  4. Stay organized and keep track of important information, such as the runner’s progress and any special instructions or requests.
  5. Be flexible and adaptable. Things may not always go according to plan, and you may need to adjust your strategy on the fly.
  6. Never give the runner permission to quit.
  7. Do not let your body language betray your fear, doubts and personal feelings regarding the athlete’s suffering.
Additional Considerations for the Race Itself:
  • Make sure you are well-rested and properly fueled. You will need to be alert and focused throughout the race.
  • Stay in communication with the runner and provide updates as needed.
  • Be prepared to make quick decisions and take action when necessary.
  • Stay positive and focused, even during challenging moments. Your attitude can have a big impact on the runner’s morale.
Post-Race Recovery

The post-race recovery phase is just as important as the race itself. Here are some tips for helping the runner recover and reflect on their experience:

  1. Provide the runner with plenty of fluids and nutritious foods to help them recover.
  2. Help the runner stretch and massage sore muscles.
  3. Encourage the runner to rest and take it easy for a few days after the race.
  4. Reflect on the race with the runner and discuss areas for improvement.
Additional Considerations for Post-Race Recovery:
  • Be supportive and understanding of the runner’s emotional state. The post-race period can be challenging both physically and mentally.
  • Celebrate the runner’s accomplishments and remind them of the progress they made during the race.
  • Provide feedback and suggestions for future races. Use what you learned during this race to help plan for future events.
  • Stay in touch with the runner and continue to provide support as needed.


Being the perfect crew member for a multi-stage endurance runner requires dedication, communication, and a willingness to adapt to changing circumstances. By following the tips and strategies outlined in this guide, you can help ensure a successful and memorable experience for both the runner and crew. Remember, the role of the crew is vital to the success of the runner, and with the right attitude and approach, you can make a significant contribution to the team. Good luck and happy racing!

Patrick Michel

Endurance Runner – Marketing Strategist

Patrick Michel is a Montreal-based endurance runner specializing in long-distance multi-stage charity ultra runs. For almost two decades, he has inspired many to engage in running, get fit and grow stronger physically and mentally. He has also written many articles about running.