Sunday, November 7, 2010

Crewing at H2H - 100km Road Race

A few weeks ago Andy Bachmann asked Neil and I if we could crew for him again this year at H2H. Neil would not be doing the event this year because of his ankle injury. I really enjoy crewing for this 100km road race. This event is also a relay with 8 different legs. The relay runners start a few hours later so the ultra runners get a good start ahead of them. There is no aid along the way so the ultra runners rely totally on the crew for food/liquid/possible clothing change and a ride to the start line at 3:30am! Marla was keen to join us in the fun car. Our alarm went at 2am - the event starts at 4am. Andy was at our place by 3am and we transferred his box of goodies and clothes into our car. We met up with Marla at the start at 3:30am. Andy looked focused and said he was feeling good. We saw many familiar faces at the start, this event brings back many of the same runners each year. Marla whispered to me as the runners gathered for the start - do you think Andy could win this today? I hadn't given it much thought up to this point - I knew he had been training well the last 6 weeks and he mentioned he was feeling good. We both smiled and included Neil in our discussion - we concluded it was possible. We cheered the runners off and drove over to the Tim Hortons for coffee. Glenn Pace was crewing for David Crerar and he joined us for coffee. We had a few good laughs over coffee despite it being 4am - we returned to our duty of crewing and gave the runners a cheer as they ran up Dewdney Trunk. Andy asked us to meet him for the first stop after the first relay exchange. All was well and he said he was feeling good. On leg 3 we informed Andy he had moved into 2nd place. We had been enjoying Glenn's company so far but we had to part ways as Andy was flying! We drove ahead to find a place to pull off the road and discovered another runner up ahead. Now we had to inform Andy there was one more runner ahead. Marla and I voted for Neil to tell him! Andy had now passed who we thought was in first and now he really was in 2nd place. He remained in 2nd place until the start of leg 5 where he passed the runner ahead of him and now was in first place! We were one happy crew but our runner was starting to get a little grumpy! This is to be expected so we did our best to meet his needs and his directions of coke/water/S-caps to the finish! We were a bit concerned that he had not eaten much only a few bars and gels early on. But with the amount of coke he was drinking we knew he was definately getting some calories. Marilyn and Ron came out to see Andy and met us at the start of leg 7. They drove back to check where the next runner was. It was a female who was looking strong. We knew that if Andy held his focus and maintained his pace the race would be his. However, we put a wee bit if fear in him that he had to keep it up to stay ahead of her. Neil, Marla and I were amazed as Andy remained so determined and focused. He had some classic remarks throughout the journey that we wrote down. Neil plans to include them in the "movie" we will make for him as a memory of the day. We were a proud crew as we left him on the final leg to drive the car to the finish. Andy finished in first place in a time of 8hours 43 minutes. He was still looking strong at the finish. He showered up and then came back to the finish line to greet other ultra runners and relay teams as they came in. We drove back to Maple Ridge and the crew went out for something to eat but Andy went home to celebrate with Anke and their 5 children. I hear they all enjoyed some Pizza - good...he finally ate! ;-) Exceptional race Andy! We were so impressed with your focus and determination. We went for a run in Golden Ears today and I was focused and determined...thanks! - you have motivated us all!!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Princess,

    Thanks for putting such a nice write up about Saturday for me. That is a really nice finishing touch. It was a great day and I will remember it. I only lost one toe nail :) ... as skinny would say toe nails are accessories.