What happens on the canal stays on the canal

Written by Russ and Sandra Tullett.

Some tips and advice for crews to help you stay married or friends after crewing.

1. Always expect the unexpected. Some runners prepare well before the race some do not. Whatever type your runner is be prepared to come off plan at any point.

2. Make sure you read all the notes for runners and crew. You do not want to be the reason your runner gets disqualified.

3. Have a check list of jobs at meeting points. Give your runner their map, do they need to stretch. How are their feet (treat blisters and hotspots before they become an issue).

4. Medication…..NEVER take ibuprofen. Any other medication make sure you know what your runner is carrying. Document whenever medication is taken. Log the time and what was taken so as not to overdose.

5. Food…..Always take a variety of food to each meeting point, guaranteed they wont want what they originally planned or asked for. A significant percentage of runners will suffer with sickness and nausea at some point. This can be overcome with the right nutrition at the right time. It may be ok to let them go a short time without food but still keeping up the fluids. Ginger is good at settling stomach issues this may help or other stomach settlers. If it continues you may need to be more forceful or imaginative with food. Sometimes if you offer something they are not expecting like ice cream from a local cafe or shop, milkshake from McDonalds, perhaps some cheesey chips from the new inn at 48 miles, they maybe a little more receptive. If not you can eat it anyway.

If you need to leave the car to get down to the canal to meet your runner, make sure you carry everything you might possibly need. eg. Plasters, vaseline, hat, torch, socks, batteries, salt, gels and food. You may even need suncream! This nearly caused a divorce in 2019.

Night time……..The crew needs to rest/sleep. If the runner has a buddy runner through the night this may be a good time. If the crew are tired mistakes will be made. It is amazing how quick a race can unravel when both runner and crew are tired.
It can be difficult to find planned meeting points in the dark give yourself enough time to find them.
Always know how far your next meeting point is as your runner will often ask when will they see you next. Have an idea on recent pace what time you expect to see your runner. Get there early. Enough time to be sure you haven’t missed them.
Trackers can help crew to see where their runner is.
Track trail….
Are a couple that you can hire from.

Finally……. crew should always be positive even if you think your runner is done. If they think you have given up on them they may give up on themselves.
Sometimes all the runner needs is a little bit of time. You can give them up to 40 mins to see if they are able to continue. Perhaps encourage a slow walk first.

Above all enjoy it.

And remember what happens on the canal stays on the canal.

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