Last week I posted about PlanetFear’s guide to the essential gear of adventure racing, and this week, the same website is back with another adventure racing themed article. This time, they take a look at the role of the support crew for an adventure racing team.
For those that don’t know, in some longer adventure races, teams are required to bring their own support crew, which is usually a bunch of their friends who have volunteered (or have been drafted!) to meet the team at designated transition areas with all of the equipment the team will need. For example, the team may roll into the Checkpoint/Transition Area and will be going from a trekking leg to a mountain biking segment. The support team will have their bikes ready, cycling shoes prepared, and gear boxes open to restock anything the racers might need. They may also have some food waiting as well, so that the team can recharge and restore some calories before heading back out onto the course.
The PlanetFear article does an excellent job of breaking down the skills that are required to be a good support crew, and have some great tips for anyone filling that role. They discuss approaches to staying organized, setting up the TA, and even some thoughts on prepping the food as well. All in all, it’s a really interesting article for adventure racing fans who have probably never thought about this aspect of the sport before.
This year’s Primal Quest Badlands is an unsupported event, meaning that the race organizers are in charge of the logistics of moving gear around, but last year, while in Montana, I had the opportunity to see the support crew role played out to perfection. The teams love and appreciate their crew, and it showed when they would wander into a CP/TA, beyond tired and ready for some relief. The support crew would take over, spoil them with attention and goodies, and raise their spirits before they hit the trail once again. It was fun to watch them interact, and it will be very different to not see that this year.