How to Tackle the Role of Running Domestique

How to Tackle the Role of Running Domestique

It’s grey, cold, and dumping buckets outside. I’ve been in a car for six hours listening to the strum thwack of wipers, squinting to determine if I’m staying between the striped lines, and white-knuckling the steering wheel driving to Marin, CA. The closer we get to the city the more compact everything seems to become. Gaps between cars close quickly despite visibility being a car length at best. I’m having flashbacks of swimming midpack at Ironman Canada. From a mile up we must look like one large, steel serpent slowly slithering over hillsides, across waterways and disappearing into concrete and mist.

Why am I subjecting myself to this chaos? Because this week I’m a running domestique. I’m accompanying my partner, and team leader, to Northern California for a race through the trail system around Mount Tamalpais. After a few tough years away from racing, Susan is jumping back into the trail running scene. I’m in a support role this week.

While neither as physically nor mentally challenging as the event itself, supporting and spectating at endurance events is taxing. I can recall many years watching my brothers race at the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii. I never wanted to mention to them how tough the day can be, walking, standing and photographing in that heat, but I was always crushed after those humid October days. I’d walk for miles out the Queen K to get decent photographs for Trifuel. By the end of the day my back hurt, my feet ached, and my stomach was caving in because I never fueled properly. I’d leave the island wishing I had done more specificity training for the World Championships of Spectating.

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This is a print article written for RaceCenter magazine.
Issue: 2019 Spring/Summer

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