March 15th 2020
Today I was part of the support crew for my friend Jim as he took part in a 23-mile kayak race from Pewsey to Newbury. Being part of the support crew means that at certain stops along the way, I have to feed him flapjacks, change his catheter water bottle, and ask if he needs anything else.
There are a load of locks along the way, and so he’s got to get out of the canal and carry/run with his boat until the next point where it’s sensible to get back in the water. There was one particularly lock-y part where it made more sense to run than to paddle, so I ran along side him for about a mile and a half. And then when he got back in the water, I ran the canal path alongside him.
Me and his Mum and Dad got into a little pit crew rhythm where I’d meet him at the water as he’s getting out, ask what he needs, and then run up past the next lock to tell his parents what to prepare for him as he’s getting in.
I think we did a pretty good job as his pit crew, and Jim absolutely smashed his time so he’s basically got us to thank for that completely. I know you’ll read this, so you’re welcome buddy!
People did keep saying to me “Do you not want to have a go in the boat?” and I kind of do. I don’t think I’d be fantastic at it because I have terrible upper body strength and from what I can muster that’s most of the requirement.
Maybe I can get in a K2 boat with Jim and he can just put in all the effort whilst I sit in the back and get a tan. I think I’d like that. However, Jim puts a lot of work into the training, and I can barely motivate myself to go for a run twice a week, so I don’t think he’d let me be his partner.
Until tomorrow, maybe I’m better suited to pit crew instead.