Thames Path 100

100 mile point to point run from Richmond to Oxford

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WiB
29/12/2012 at 19:53
Emmy - supporting runners is generally good fun. You should enjoy it. Typically it is pretty straight forward but I think a couple of useful tips are :

- Find out what the runner expects from you. For example how often they want to see you, what food and drink they like to be ready for them and any kit they want handy. Some people like to change shoes etc.
- keep in mind that they will likely be in a different mood at various points of the race. Encourage them and keep them moving along as best you can. Maybe some tough love if need be.
- concentrate on the runner. They don't need to know if you had trouble finding the meeting point, are tired or hungry. To be honest they are unlikely to care

It is fun, enjoy.
WiB
29/12/2012 at 20:20

Em

I rely on my crew (wife) for all my major events.

The single most important thing is, If you agree to be somewhere at a certain time make sure you are there.

During the night when your runner is really tired and everything is hurting the thought of seeing you or the next aid station is all they'll be thinking of. So if your not there it is a major mental set back. My crew and i will have maybe three meeting points that i would like her to be at during 100 miles. Then if she makes any others it's a bonus plus it gives her chance to have a kip as and when she needs it.

Another point that WiB has touched on is the encouragement factor. If it's your runners first 100 the urge to drop may at points be very high. It really is your job to try and stop them doing that unless they have an injury. Tiredness and fatigue is not a reason.

29/12/2012 at 22:53

Emmy

The runner that you are supporting, will undoubtedly go through some bad patches mentally, at some point.  The better check point captains are masters of persuasion, as are some of the more experienced runners.  Most people who have done a 100 miler can name somebody who helped them to finish it mentally, and people who have done more than one, have likely helped somebody else to finish one. 

When I did the TP100 last year, I woefully under prepared in terms of my kit.  A storm came down in the morning, and a number of runners were withdrawn with hypothermia.  When I reached the 95 mile checkpoint, I was shivering uncontrollably, and when I was handed a cup of hot tea, I was shaking so badly that I spilled it over everybody around me.  The checkpoint captain fashioned me a makeshift jacket out of a bin bag, and said “you have got just five more miles to do, keep running and you will stay warm”.  As the pep talk continued, he kept repeating the phrase “five more miles”.  That checkpoint captain might just have made the difference. 

A month ago I was in the Winter 100, which had challenging weather conditions, and a horrendous dropout rate.  I found myself running with a girl, who had never done anything longer than 37 miles before.  She was full of fight, but was getting phased the fact that more experienced runners were retiring in droves.  I threw every trick in the book at her:

Finishing my first 100 miler was the most amazing experience of my life (it was by the way). 

It is going to get light soon

You are obviously over the worst of it in terms of conditions 

All those people surrendered their race medal for a bacon sandwich, tomorrow you would regret not finishing, but you wont think “oh god I wish I had quit earlier and got that cup of tea”

This race has a 40/50/60% DNF rate, finishing it will be a significant scalp

Edited: 30/12/2012 at 09:24
31/12/2012 at 09:18
I have to agree Ben. Ironically so much of a 100 is in the head. Obviously your legs do pay a sort too mind! I've never had anyone crew any of my events. Possibly cos my best mate usually runs them with me and we have three small children.
I personally think the beat support a crew can give is mental. If I think back to last years thames100 in the second half the food ans nutrition seemed to take care of itself cos I only really wanted hot soup and energy bars. O knew ny dad was find to be at Abingdon and despite it being thoroughly awful weather just seeing him lifted me right up and back out of the checkpoint. The smiley face, simple words of encouragement and moral support was a massive boost!
31/12/2012 at 10:04

Thank you all for your responses. I've asked her what she expects and have copied over the advice so that she can also look at it.

 

03/01/2013 at 15:50

Any tips for pacers? This will be my first venture over 50 miles and I've been lucky enough to have four volunteers for pacers from Henley onwards. I think it will be a massive boost for me and they are keen to be a part of this. Has anyone else been through Marlow and the surrounding areas, its totally flooded? Hope all the training is going well!

WiB
03/01/2013 at 15:55

Here's a good start. Amusing too

Part 1 http://footfeathers.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/how-to-be-ultra-pacer.html

Link to part 2 and 3 are on the page.

WiB
03/01/2013 at 16:51

Cheers WiB that is awesome. I'll send it on to my pacers and let them know what they're in for.

WiB
03/01/2013 at 19:06
As well as a bit of a joke all the main points are in there. Let them know what you expect from them, make sure they are equipped for conditions and have some fun!
WiB
04/01/2013 at 14:17
Not an easy job being a pacer that's for sure. For me, doing anything like a hundred miler is such a personal thing. My mood changes throughout and only you know how you feel at a given time. mileage isn't brilliant at the minute but then again it wasn't exactly that high this time next year either! Hope you are all fit and healthy.
06/01/2013 at 22:18

Hope everyone's training going well for March? I'm envious as really enjoyed last year's race. What are conditions like on the trails - any of it still under water?

07/01/2013 at 02:04

I'm not sure about the drop bags, when i did the sdw 100 last year, they transported your drop bags to the end which meant that you could change your shoes.  in the thames path instructions, it says that the drop bags will be destroyed.  if this is right and i cant get some poor mug to meet me half way, that means no change of shoes.

08/01/2013 at 06:50
I read that as well gee bee seems harsh as people have all sorts in their drop bags. I'm very lucky in that I have a few mates wanting to crew for me. So makes life easier.
My training is way down at the mo only at 35 miles a week can't shake my Achilles problem 100% starting o panic a little bit. What mileage is everyone else doing at the moment ?
08/01/2013 at 07:52
Yeah, ive interpreted it the same. It's not just the shoes though, last year I had a .ice change of base layer at halfway and then was able to ditch a few things safe in the knowledge that they would end up at the finish when I got there. maybe is James is lurking he can confirm what we are saying?
08/01/2013 at 09:34

If they do throw the drop bags away are crew still allowed to give you a change of shoes, clothes ect? Training is going well, got two back to back 20s on the weekend and still feeling pretty sharp. Going for less mileage during the week this week and then out for a 25ish Sat and a 20ish Sunday. The wife is now in tow on a bike which seems to work for both of us and is good fun especially on hills where I can overtake her.

GKD
08/01/2013 at 10:13
Guys I seriously doubt James is planning on dumping the drop bags from the aid stations but why don't you just drop him an e mail on the centurion website, he'll get back to you quickly enough and then you'll have the definitive answer
GKD
09/01/2013 at 14:01

Is anyone else doing the Thames Trot this year? I did it last year and will be again this year as a long training run for the TP100. This will be my longest training run and is the farthest I've run to date in one go. Any one else in the same boat? Any tips for completing the 100 miles after the 50?

09/01/2013 at 14:57

Hi Lingster my mileage is down too at the moment mine's down to various problems but luckily my Achilles is holding up now. (Touch wood). I picked up a niggle in mine at the SDW and carried it into the NDW where i finished with horrendous Tendonitis. It was swollen to twice it's size. To get me fit for the W100 i had to stop running all together for about a month and just cross trained. It was hellish but had to be done.

 How bad is yours? Have you had a break from running?

 With the exercises and massage my physio gave me i managed to run the W100 with no major problem.

09/01/2013 at 21:56

I've been following this thread and wanted to drop in and say Hi. The TP100 will be my first 100 and really looking forward to it. I lost my way somewhat before xmas with motivation issues, just couldn't get myself out the door - I think becuase of over training. Took 4 weeks off with very little running (managed to get a few marathons in). Luckly I now seem to be back on track in terms of motivation.

Monkey, I'm runnning the TT50 as a training run too, would be good to say Hi face-to-face.

09/01/2013 at 22:23
Hi stefkirl, welcome aboard. My mileage is down too due many different reasons, so gonna be a case of doing as much as I can ans then a certain amount of winging it.... Just like last year!
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