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Mud, Miles, and Munchkins: An Unlikely Crew

lmcgarraughartMy husband has always been my crew. He feeds me, hydrates me, cleans me up and wipes away my tears. When I was chosen to run Miwok 100k back in May, Jason was excited. We had never been to Stinson Beach and it would be a great “vacation”.

Well the race didn’t go as planned and I was pulled from the course at mile 48 for missing the cutoff. Through the entire race Jason was at every aid station, gave me what I needed when I needed it and sent me on my way. It just wasn’t my day.

After I had recovered, I was determined to finish a 100k in 2014. I needed redemption and a confidence builder. My sister lives in Charlotte, North Carolina and when the Uwharrie 100k and 100 miler opened up…I signed up. It had a little less overall climbing than Miwok, but wasn’t flat. The race also offered a generous 36 hour cut-off. Since we had used our vacation pass for Miwok with Grammy and Papa, Jason couldn’t come with. So I asked my sister to crew me. She was excited to see what this craziness was and happy to have some time away from her everyday life.


Jason had talked with Leanne the week of the race and gave her the low down on my ups and downs and what I would need. She was up and ready to go with me at 4:00AM, with coffee and food in hand. The race began and she said she would see me at the first aid station which was mile 12.

I come into Kelly’s Kitchen aid station and Leanne was waiting there. As I eat, she is changing out my water bottles and covering my hot spots with Trail Toes and I didn’t even have to ask. As I was eating my PB&J, Leanne mentioned that she had made all of the sandwiches. My sister wasn’t fooling around. This went on for the next 23 ½ hours. She even made pizza deliveries to the outlying aid stations.

When I saw Leanne at the last aid station before the finish, I asked if she had napped. She said she did for an hour or so. I told her to go to the finish and take a nap (I needed her to drive home). She set her alarm for 5:00AM and I crossed the line at 5:27AM. Right on time. She got the video of the finish and finish line photos. She then sat me down next to the fire, took my shoes off and cleaned my feet and legs off. I didn’t even have to ask. We drove back to the hotel and I napped for about two hours. When I got up, my sister had packed everything up and loaded the car. All I had to do was hobble to the car.


The entire race I heard how awesome my sister was and what a great job she was doing. Even my husband is questioning his crewing abilities after hearing how well Leanne did. I asked if she enjoyed herself and she said “yes, I was able to drink a cup of coffee while it was still hot”. I have a niece who is two years old, so it was a vacation for my sister.

I always feel guilty about having someone crew me. I know they can be doing something else and worry that they will be miserable and bored. This even goes for my husband. I know crewing is not easy and I am grateful to have such a supportive family. So if anyone is doing a race in North Carolina anytime soon, my sister is for hire. You won’t regret it!

– Liz McGarraugh

Family and Crewing

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About the author

Liz McGarraugh Liz McGarraugh began her ultra running journey as a bet with Jason when Milena was four months old. Jason told her they could talk about having a third child after she completed a 50 mile race. In October of 2013, she completed Palo Duro and decided, for the moment, ultra running will be her third baby. Liz’s journey has taken her from pounding out the miles and building her base, to learning and understanding the finer points of training, health and technique. As all Mother Runners know, life does not always abide by your training schedule.

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