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We all know that aid station personnel are the unsung heroes of ultra running. Sometimes in the toughest ultra distance events, having the right person on a given aid station can be the difference between success and failure for a participant.
The purpose of this thread is to collect stories of how aid station staff have helped you out, and perhaps even saved your race.
At the NDW 100, I mashed up my ankle pretty badly at around the 60 mile mark, with the result that it hurt whenever I put weight on it. I thought that I had a stress fracture, but it turned out to be soft tissue damage. I asked the aid station captain if he could do anything to help me, and he replied "yes we could shoot you, or you might find that lots of hard running down hill helps". On the face of it this might not sound very helpful, but it showed me very starkly that I was coming at it with the wrong mental attitude. After that it was like a switch had been flipped in my head, and I stopped feeling sorry for myself and focused on breaking down the race.
Most of you will be familiar with the events at the TP100 this year. Suffice it to say that from the 90 mile checkpoint onwards, I was in quite a bad way, shaking uncontrollably, and spilling the cups of soup that the aid station staff plied me with everywhere. By the 95 mile checkpoint, there was a significant danger that my deteriorating condition would cost me the race. The checkpoint captain saw this, and took me to one side. He fashioned me a makeshift jacket out of a bin liner, and told me that however much I wanted to walk, I needed to run as much of the remaining part of the course as I could. He repeatedly used the phrase "5 more miles" to focus my mind on covering the remaining part of the course, and promote the idea that it was easy.
I guess that the best aid station staff are good psychologists.
Any more stories?