Monday, April 12, 2010

Meet The Badwater Crew

It is hard to imagine that we are a mere 3 months away from the 2010 Badwater Ultramarathon.  With the Umstead 100 Mile Endurance Run (and recovery from it) out of the way, it is time to really dig deep and focus on being 100% prepared for Badwater.  A significant part of preparation for Badwater is the assembly of a crew.  It is undeniable that a runner's success at Badwater is extremely dependant on his/her crew, and many Badwater participants have said that is is harder to crew for a runner than it is to actually run the 135 miles.  Heck, all we have to do as runners is run, while the crew handles just about everything for the runner, including nutrition, hydration, cooling, race gear, logistics, and, of course, putting up with a cranky runner, all in 120+ degree temperatures.  It has often been said that CREW is an acronym for "Cranky runner, endless waiting", and at Badwater, that can be a given.

Last year I had an absolutely fantastic crew.  Without the support, expertise, and patience of Jen and Lane Vogel, Brian Krogmann (who I now call one of my very closest ultra running friends), Wayne Bates and Jeff Tropple, a finish at Badwater in 2009 would not have been possible.  For two of my 2009 crew-members, Brian and Lane, Badwater is calling them in 2010 - they will be there as runners, and I have no doubt that they will perform very well.

Last week we finally solidified our 2010 Badwater crew.  It is an awesome group, including some very experienced, seasoned runners.  So, without delay, let's go ahead and meet the 6 amazing people that will comprise our 2010 Badwater Crew!

Eric Gelber - I first met Eric in 2009, and since meeting him he has become a great friend and training partner.  New to ultra marathons, Eric has posted some impressive results in 2009 at the North Face Endurance Challenge - Bear Mountain 50K (6:30:21), North Face Endurance Challenge - Washington 50M (9:18:18), and NYRR Knickerbocker 60k (6:15:21).  More impressive was his first shot at the 100-mile distance, a solid 23:42:37 at Umstead earlier this month.

Eric at Umstead 100
Meredith Murphy - A Badwater crewing veteran, Meredith is an ultra running pro, with several 50 and 100 mile finishes under her belt.  We were fellow crew-members for Jackie Adams-Florine's successful 2008 Badwater crossing, and have been ultra running buddies since I can remember.  I have had the privilege of pacing Meredith on multiple occasions, including the infamous puke-fest at Umstead in 2008.  She is making a come-back of sorts to ultra running since the birth of her beautiful daughter, Zoe last year, a come-back that was solidified with a solid performance at Umstead earlier this month.  It is always amazing to watch Meredith in action, and I'm excited to get to experience Badwater with her again this year.

Meredith and Zoe
Eddie Murphy (not to be confused with another Murphy of a similar name) - Another Badwater crewing veteran (Eddie was also on Jackie's 2008 Badwater crew), Eddie does it all and is sure to be our team comedian.

Eddie at Badwater in 2008
Chris Roman - Not many ultra runners can boast about an 18:24:23 100-mile performance.  Chris can!  Plus, the guy's an M.D. I tell you!  I could have used him for a bit last year.  Another great thing about Chris is his dedication and devotion to raising funds and awareness for the Challenged Athletes Foundation.

Chris Roman
Steve Tursi - Another of the "local guys", Steve is one of the most dedicated individuals that I know, not only when it comes to his running, but also when it comes to his family.  Steve is one of our regulars at Rockefeller State Park for weekend long runs.

Steve Running with Scott Jurek
Herb Carroll - Last, and certainly not least, Herb is the 3rd of the "local guys".  I often spend my weekend (and weekday) training runs trying to keep up with this 3:15 marathoner.  Herb "jogged" his first ultra in 4:21:33 at the 2010 Caumsett Park 50k.  He simply enjoyed the day and hung out with me and Peter L. for the vast majority of the 50k, before taking off.  Herb is running the Boston Marathon on Monday - best of luck!

Herb at the NYC Marathon


  1. Everyone familiar with Badwater knows the crew makes or breaks the runner, and I think this one's going to help you break your old record (provided there are no fires again!) and finish strong.

  2. I remember following you last year. Wow, just three months until you do it again. That little Zoe is SUPER cute! ;)

  3. Best of luck to you. I got to meet the Murphy's last year at Viaduct Trail 100, they should make for some solid encouragement and great pacers. Zoe's probably getting pretty fast, hope she's trained for the heat!

  4. Thanks for having confidence in me. Looking forward to sharing an amazing and fun experience. Peace from your Senior Beer Chief:)

  5. Tony,

    Two words..."Man-Dividers!" You better put your order in for more "man-dividers!" Also, Meredith needs her own bed too since someone may or may not snore :)! You have an awesoem crew! Looking forward to hanging out with everyone!

  6. You never know when celebrity guest crew members might show up... ;-)

  7. We are looking forward to going back to death valley and crewing and pacing you, dude. :) Jamie, we will have our own room at Stove Pipe, so everyone can get a good night's sleep the night before the race :)
    Thanks David, hope to see you this summer again!