As most of us know your support crew can make or break you in any challenge in life. Those who support and crew for another’s goals are a special type of person, and choosing the right crew can be hard. In Adam Kimble’s case, his crew is on task 24/7 and support his every need, from his sore muscles to uplifting his mood.
A few weeks ago, 46 Climbs had the great opportunity and privilege to interview Adam before he set out on his record breaking attempt for the quickest traverse across the United States of America. [For more on Adam see our post “Running Across the USA-Interview with Adam Kimble”]
After keeping tabs on Adam’s progress, we began to wonder what goes on behind the scenes allowing Adam to keep pounding out so many miles each and every day for so long. In order to figure out how they were accomplishing and pushing through each day, even despite an injury, we decided we had to reach out to Adam’s crew. Luckily, even though they have very minimal free time, his crew graciously agreed to answer a few of our questions.
Meet Adam’s Crew:
The crew is made up of seven people and three vehicles:
Vehicle 1 – “Carol” – The main support vehicle which is operated by:
Karen (Adam’s wife)
Josh (Adam’s friend and former coworker)
Clayton (Adam’s friend and former coworker)
Vehicle 2 – “Bernadette” – The main route scouting and errand running vehicle, owned by:
Adam & Lindsey Nubern (friends of Adam & Karen who they met while traveling abroad)
Vehicle 3 – “Stan Wilder” – The main hangout vehicle, operated by the film crew:
Q: Could you bring us through a day in the life of a transcontinental running crew?
A: 2:50 AM – Crew members Clayton and Josh wake up and begin making breakfast (toasted bagels with peanut butter) and start brewing fresh coffee using our portable OXX coffee box. They also prepare Adam’s early morning gear, which includes his Noxgear Tracer 360 vest and headlamp.
3:00 AM – 4:00 AM – The crew makes sure Adam gets out of bed, weighs himself, eats breakfast and gets ready for the day. The entire crew meets for prayer before sending Adam off. Adam begins walking with Clayton, who joins Adam for 5-10 miles each day. The Nubern’s drive ahead five miles to plot the first of many pit stops.
4:00 AM – 9:00 PM – The crew drives to the pit stop to prep snacks, meals, massage rollers and other miscellaneous items while waiting for Adam. Around 10:00 AM, Adam breaks for his second breakfast and around 3:00 PM Adam breaks for lunch. After lunch, Adam runs until he is done with his planned miles for the day and eats dinner in the RV around 8:30 PM. During downtime, the crew works, updates social media, plays hacky sac, and discusses ways to improve efficiencies and make each day run a bit smoother than the day before.
Q: I’m sure there was an enormous amount of research and preparation that has gone into this record attempt. Is there anything unexpected that you have learned that could only be found out through actually doing it?
A: There was a TON of prep work before we hit the road but unfortunately we’ve learned that much of crewing a transcontinental attempt must be learned on the road. Flexibility is key when running across the USA on roads you’ve never been on through places you’ve never seen! The biggest learning opportunities so far have related to:
- Route changes: Adjusting the route when we come across road construction, a private indian reservation, or a closed road!
- Nutrition: Hydration and nutrition plans must change based on the temperature and the number of miles covered.
- Recovery: We’re constantly making adjustments to Adam’s recovery plan based on his current injuries or pain points, how many hours he’s been on the route, and how many hours of sleep he needs.
Q: What are the biggest challenges that the crew faces?
A: Our biggest challenges have been keeping Adam’s spirits up when his body is screaming at him to stop or when he’s feeling discouraged, route clearing sections of road that aren’t accessible by car (which was more of an issue early on when we were utilizing power line roads), and finding places where we can fill the RV water tank so that Adam can take hot showers each night!
Q: It seems like you all must “wear a lot of hats” during this adventure. What are the roles you have all taken on? ie. masseuse, psychologist, motivational speaker
Karen: Wifeager (Wife+Manager), Sunscreen Applier and Procurer of Cravings
Josh: Nutrition Expert, Masseuse and Blister Destroyer
Clayton: Route Planner, Record Keeper, and Morning Running Buddy
Adam N: Route Planner, Hype Man, and Campsite Finder
Lindsey: Hype Woman, Master Tweeter and Errand Coordinator
Paul: Videographer, Photographer and Starbucks Finder
Charlie: Videographer, Photographer and Adam’s Spiritual Advisor
Q: What do you find most rewarding about this experience?
A: The most rewarding experience thus far is the relationship that are forming amongst the crew and with people who support us on this journey. It has been incredible to see the love and encouragement from our families, friends, people we’ve connected with on social media and in small towns along the way! We’ve grown so close as a team and spend much of our time dreaming big dreams, brainstorming new ideas, and discussing ways to make our own “impossibles” become a reality. Seeing Adam take on his own “impossible” challenge has inspired all of us.
Q: As his crew, you must see Adam at his best and at his worst. How do you get him to overcome his lows?
A: We do our best to keep Adam’s big grin on his face. It isn’t always easy, but we’re getting more creative with our techniques. We play games during pit stops, fill him in on current events, play music, eat donuts, do trivia and tell stories. Anything to help take his mind off the pain for a few seconds! We’ve also been visited by a few of Adam’s friends along the way, which is a huge blessing to Adam and crew as it brings a fresh perspective and a view of what life is like in the real world.
Q: Taking care of Adam’s every need 24/7 must take a lot of energy and probably comes with some sleepless nights! How do you fuel yourself to keep on going?
A: Well when we aren’t napping, drinking coffee or telling stories to keep our energy up, we are chowing down on nutrition bars or making tasty creations in the RV! Our favorite creations have been our breakfast hash (hash browns, eggs, black beans, green pepper, onion and soy sauce) and chef Josh’s homemade chili!
To learn more about Adam Kimble and his Crew, visit them at http://adamkimble.com/
Photo credit: Charlie K. Media