Ultra-racers need support. These tips ensure you'll be the best racer/supporter team ever

Most ultra-runners require additional support during really long races, those over 50km or so. Yes, there are aid stations. And yes, they wear running backpacks or vests. But when you're running through the night, sometimes two or three nights, in all kinds of weather you going to need a little help from the outside. Here's what you and your support crew need to do. 


Before the race:

1) Research the course to understand what is going to be happening and where on the day.

2) Talk through the race with your support crew. What will you want at each stage?

3) You both need to prepare yourselves for the long day and night (or two nights). This is a huge event for both of you.


During the race:

1) Remember the plan - you made your plan with a calm and cool head, don’t let race day nerves from either of you throw you off course.

2) Your supporter needs to be able to read what you need. Is it food? Water? Or just a big hug?

3) Stay calm - no matter what is going on, you need to have a cool, calm head at all times. Even when things seem to be taking a turn for the worse. 


After the race:

1) Celebrate! You have all just achieved something utterly incredible, as a team.

2) Be understanding of each other. As an athlete you'll be physically and mentally exhausted. But your support is going to be tired, too.

3) Focus on the positives. Races don’t always go according to plan and even a successful race can have its problems. Stay positive and try to learn from your mistakes to improve subsequent races.