Spartathlon Crew Report – 2021

by Jessica Marti

I don’t normally write crew reports, because, let’s face it, I’m a lazy person. But I feel that this experience needs to be written down not only for me to remember, but to possibly help others that may want to attempt this race in the future.

Nathan had applied for this race for the past 3 years and finally got in in 2020! However, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, we were both holding our excitement close to the vest. We were right to do so, as the borders to Greece were still closed in late summer and then finally a few weeks before the race, the officials canceled it. There were a few hardy souls from Europe that decided to do it on their own and deal with a 2 week quarantine, but since they allowed all the runners to defer until 2021, we went with that, hoping that our dreams of being able to go to Greece would happen.

Now it’s 2021, the Pandemic is still ongoing, but now there’s vaccines and Nathan and I got ours as soon as we could. We were all vaccinated and ready to go. There was still a small part of me that was worried it would get canceled again, but in mid May, Greece opened their borders to Americans so we got our tickets and started planning.

We arrived Sept. 18th in the AM, 1 week before the race. We wanted to do all the walking around before the race since as you know, after running over 100 miles, doesn’t always make for easy walking the days after. I have wanted to go to Greece since I was a kid, having been obsessed with mythology as a youngster. Nathan said the only way we would go is if he got into this race. I had told him that I really didn’t care if he finished this race; I was going to enjoy the hell out of this trip no matter what. I would come to regret this statement as the race progressed however…

We stayed in an Airbnb that was just amazing. Less than 10 minute walk to the Parthenon, very quiet, comfortable bed, all the things I wish for. We did a lot of walking- close to 10 miles each day, but it was easy as we enjoyed Athens and all the amazing ruins. It was worth it for the 30 Euro pass to all the sites in Athens. I will say, if you’re able to afford a guide for most of the archaeological sites, do it. The only things the signs talk about are the architecture and don’t really talk about what happened there and what the buildings were used for. I can see from the pictures what it looked like. I want to know the history about how it was used! I digress…

So Wednesday Sept. 22 we got our rental car that we would use for the race. As we were in downtown Athens, we had to try and navigate through the city to get to the highways. We wanted to visit Marathon, so we put it into Google Maps and away we went! The first challenge was navigating our street to pick up our luggage. People park on both sides of the road, and just getting a larger MINI Countryman car down there was a challenge! We found a spot and loaded up. Then navigating the streets even with Google was a challenge! Since the city is so old, there are literally like 3 streets that always intersect and trying to figure out which right turn Google wants you to take was extremely stressful! As neither of us deals well with stressful situations, a lot of yelling and screaming took place until we finally got out of that damn city!

Pro tip- do NOT get a car if you’re staying in Athens. Walking, public transportation, or taxi is the way to go. It’s not worth the stress of driving! Plus the gas prices are equivalent to around $8 a gallon. Anyhow, we made it out of Athens into the countryside, sigh; it felt more like home.

Marathon is a sleepy town just Northeast of Athens. Only 26 miles, it took over an hour to get there due to the above horrible streets and traffic that is a constant in this country. We stopped by the museum first and took a look around. The area had been inhabited from like 3000-5000 BC! Of course, there was a lot of pottery if you’re into that, but a lot of pretty intact statues which was cool to see. It’s a small museum, but had some history of the area, so it was worth it. Then we saw the burial mounds for the dudes that helped the Athenians fight the Persians. We then drove to the area where the battle took place and saw the mound that the Athenians ashes were buried and read more about the battle. It was a good in-depth history of the battle with a topographical map of the area to show what happened. Then on to the Marathon running museum. It was cool to see the different Olympics Marathon races from the beginning and who won and the course. We got to see a video about the runner that ran from Marathon to Athens to tell them of their victory.

We then made it to Glyfada, where we’d be staying before and after the race with Team USA! Nathan always talks about these amazing runners, and I think of them up as superstars, but they’re all just super cool people. We met most of the team and crew at the various meals and felt welcomed into their tribe. Since I hate running, I thought we’d have nothing in common, but all the runners and their crew were so awesome and welcoming, I really felt part of something amazing. Plus crazy people that do ultras are the same kind of crazy people veterinarians are, so we had that going for us! I was the most worried with crewing that I’d get lost in Greece and just freak out and cry for the whole race, but with making connections with the different crews, I felt we were all in this together. I made pretty good friends with M’Lee Jackson. She was in the same boat as I since were were both single crews for our husbands and they ran about the same pace, so I always had someone to commiserate with.

Friday Sept. 24th- race day. We got up early, around 4:00am to get ready to go. I didn’t sleep well of course, which I knew would only hurt me more during this race. We wanted to get to the start line early so we’d get a great parking spot and so Nathan would be able to use the restrooms before the race. We got there plenty early as with no traffic at 5am, it only took 15 minutes instead of 35. Just find the parking lot near the amphitheater and use that location to get there with Google Maps ( XP9F+Q7 Athens, Greece is the google plus code). There’s plenty of parking even if you don’t get there until after 6am.

There were NO bathrooms. The race officials were still setting up the starting area! I mean, in the US, that shit is done at LEAST the day before. There were also no port-a-potties and the restrooms were locked. Eventually, we did find a port-a-potty right next to where our car was parked, but come on, 2 stalls for like over 300 people? And we all know how many times runners need to poop before a race. Just ridiculous. So we made our way to the start and found our teammates. I hung out with M’Lee and we watched our crazy husbands and teammates start this epic race at 7am. Got back to my car and loaded up Google Maps. We did have WiFi near the Acropolis so I used that to get my route. Since the first check point where we could help was #12, I put in #11 Magara into the map before it in case I needed to get gas or supplies. I took the route with the least amount of turns even though it took over 1 hour to get there, the less turns, the better. And hey, I had almost 4 hours before Nathan was scheduled to get there anyways. My goal was just getting out of Athens, then I figured the rest would be a piece of cake. I used the GPS coordinates for all my spots and I have to say, Google never did me wrong then entire race. I was a little worried in a few spots, but I got there all the same.

I didn’t think I’d be able to follow the runners after the start anyways, so taking the tollway was much less stressful. There’s also restrooms and gas stations with plenty of food that are easy to get on/off on the way. I stopped and got some food, ice, and a gross baguette sandwich which I got like 4 times over the course of the race, and a cookie, because, hey, I deserved it! I made it out of Athens! I stopped in Megara at the My Market and stole some WiFi to find out where Nathan was and check my social media and e-mail. Then I went to #12 to wait.

Being a crew affords me plenty of time to read, which I love. I can take naps, read my books, then jump out, help Nathan, then on to the next stop. This race, however, didn’t afford much of this. Only the first 2 check points had any appreciable down time. The first stop is just over Marathon distance and the second is around 50 miles, after that, we’re stopping every 10 miles or so. We had a total of 16 check points where we could help. You could stop at all of them, but could only assist at 16 of the 75. I found M’Lee and we hung out. It was around 9:00 am at this time, and the sun was getting HOT. I swear it felt like 10 degrees cooler in the shade in Greece. So I changed into shorts. We all wore our American Spartathlon tech shirts during the race, and needed to wear lanyards identifying us as crew. It felt pretty special to have a shirt like our racers; I felt like I was also part of this amazing team. We watched as the runners started coming in cheering for them as they came into the check point. Then our guys came in.

The main thing Nathan needed during this race was an ice bandanna. I practiced while I was waiting and was able to get it on him, fill his bottle, take his trash, give him more gels, and he was on his way. Then it was on to #22, Hellas Can Factory. I followed Google and there was a detour with a cop and barricade. There were always cops at intersections where the race course was and it was very helpful to know where to go. Apparently, the road was washed out. I followed a few cars with the Spartathlon crew car stickers on it, but they pulled over where Google told me to turn. I listened to my Google guy and turned left. It took me through a very busy area with oil refineries and workers. I was a little concerned as no one followed me. But I got to where I needed- Corinth. I stopped just past the canal and turned into a strip mall like area so I could check it out. It’s such a narrow strip of dug out earth, I don’t know how container ships fit! The water was a beautiful aqua blue and was SUPER deep. I didn’t want to drop my phone, so I took 1 picture and had a death grip on it, then got out of there. It wasn’t as awesome without Nathan to appreciate it. I went to the restaurant where I parked and sat down. Took forever for someone to take my order and the club sandwich was subpar.

I drove to #22 to wait. I parked on the side of the road across from the check point. It was a little sketchy as there were times where 2 semi’s were driving past and I was worried I’d get side swiped, but they’re all pros there and no damage occurred. At this point, I found more crew and hung out with them. Jurgen, Elaine, Rachel, and Dave were all super cool people and we talked as we waited. We found out that Amy and Steve had timed out and they were waiting for the bus to bring them. It was a huge bummer that we were now 2 runners down. Nathan showed up and good thing I cart around all his stuff in a carry-on suitcase, because he had blisters and needed a shoe and sock change. He was going to cut the toe box, and wanted ME to do it! Um, no way dude, I don’t need to do it wrong and have you yell at me. So I recommended he just change his shoes. I got out his trail shoes and gators, cut off the timing chip, and put it on the other laces with zip ties and he was on his way. This was the longest time he spent in a check point, but I got him up and on his way. At the next stop, he’d give me the gators as he was too hot with them. At this check point, they had “meals” which I say in quotes, because it was literally a small bowl of spaghetti and cheese. There was literally no protein at like any of the check points, no yogurt like they said they’d have, nothing. I took one for Nathan for later, and I did eat some of it. The crew can eat at some of the check points that’s laid out in the race book. I didn’t want to take food for the runners, so it was rare that I partook.

It was on to Ancient Corinth. This is the first spot I thought Google had done me wrong. I was initially following the runners, but at an intersection, I couldn’t see anyone anymore. So I went right were Google told me. He led me under the highway 3 times, then onto a narrow road. I was getting worried that it was leading me to my death. But alas, Google got me to where I needed. There were times where Google was like “turn left” and I was like, “dude, the map clearly shows me turning right. So I’m following the map dumb ass”.

Ancient Corinth was so cute. There was a huge area of ruins I really wanted to explore, but I only had like 1 hour until Nathan was due, and knew that wouldn’t be enough time. The town was super small with the check point being down a small cobblestone street in the square. We had to drive through there to get out and on to the next check point, and it felt like I was driving on a sidewalk. I got some ice cream after Nathan went through. He was doing great and keeping up with his time on the fast side so far. I didn’t give him a head lamp at this time, and as I drove past him, he gave me crap about it. But I knew he’d make it to the next check point with plenty of daylight. Besides, he said he didn’t need it unless it was after 6pm… I’m just listening to your notes!

The next check point was in another town square. Google wanted me to go down a one way the wrong way, so I just went the correct way and parked. It was a few blocks walk, and I could’ve tried to get closer, but it was fine.

I will say, that all the parts of Greece that I drove through, I never felt unsafe. Even in Athens, I never felt like we’d get attacked, robbed, or be in danger of any kind. I still locked everything and hid my purse, but I didn’t have to worry about breaking out my Krav Maga skills at anytime. It seemed that all the Grecians were very supportive of this race and many times, the entire town seemed to come out to support us. Even in the middle of the night, there were locals milling about, cheering, and the kids were up at all hours cheering on the runners.

I stopped at one of the small groceries to get another gross sandwich (ok, they’re no that bad, but I could’ve used more mayo). I never felt like I had enough time to actually go to a restaurant. Since I’m always paranoid I’ll miss him, I didn’t want to take the chance. However, most of the places we ate in Greece were really quick serve as most of the meat is already made and just needs to be put together. If you’re not paranoid like me, you’d definitely have time to eat a real meal.

On to #32. This one was at night of course and we’re getting into the mountains. I recommend parking either before or after the check point. There’s not a lot of roads in this town. Luckily, I found a spot just past the check point on a hill. This is where it started to get chilly, so I changed into my long sleeve t-shirt, jeans, and Altras again. There was some soup here I stole for myself after Nathan went through, and it wasn’t so hot like it is at most races. He had some soup as well at this time. His time was still good and he took some time to sit and eat some real food. His stomach wasn’t feeling the best, and I think the soup maybe helped some. He wasn’t wanting much water at this point, but I didn’t push it since I didn’t want him barfing later.

Ancient Nemea. This is in a flatter area after some twists and turns. I could follow the runners at this point and could finally see the arrows on the road. I still put in my coordinates into Google, but it was nice to have another point to follow along the way. We were now in a small town and check point was in the courtyard of a small church. I parked before the check point (the check point is just after a right turn) but I parked where the other cars were parked. There were a lot of tween boys riding their bikes, doing tricks and checking people out with flashlights. It bothered me a little that they’d get in the way of the runners, but they were pretty respectful I guess. Hooligans. It was here that Amy and Steve came to support the other runners. They had gone to Sparta and checked in but decided they wanted to support the other Americans and it was great getting to know them and their crews. They were super supportive of me and Nathan during the remainder of the race and had offered many times to drive with me. Since it was getting late, I wanted to try and sleep if possible, and didn’t want someone I felt I had to stay awake and chat with, so I declined. I wasn’t getting sleepy driving, it was when I was waiting. Since there’s so little time between, it’s very hard on a single crew person during this race. Unlike Superior where I usually have a good 1.5 hour nap around 1am, there was really no time to nap at this race.

I’ll take time at this point to tell you that the port-a-potties are disgusting at this race. They are in enough places for you to use, however, there’s usually urine and sometimes feces on the seat and floor, almost never any TP around (Pro Tip- bring your own TP!). I didn’t care that much, as when you have to go, you go, so I just wiped off the seat each time and perched as I’m no good at hovering. TMI, I know. Even the check points at restaurants were gross as the runners and crew just destroyed them by the time we got there. So you may want to dig deep if you’re grossed out by this if you’re crewing and just suck it up, or get used to peeing on the side of the road like our runners!

After this stop the next 2 stops, Malandreni and Lyrkia have very narrow roads and can be pretty sketchy to park along the side. There’s a bunch of locals that will be up in Lyrkia. I followed the race course through here mostly as it was easier than listening to Google.

After Lyrkia, you’re getting close to the mountain. Putting in the coordinates for the mountain base is NOT advised. It will have you go all the way around the mountain. I put in the coordinates for the 2 stops before that we can’t assist at and that helped. I did get a little turned around at #45 as the runners went right and I went left where the brown Spartathlon sign was. I wound up down a very narrow road and then Google told me to take a very steep gravel road down. Um, no thank you. There was another car on the narrow area that I think was in the same predicament, so I followed them when they turned around, went back down where I came up, and was miraculously back on the way where the arrows were lighting my path! I continued to follow it under the highway and up the mountain. There’s a check point about half way up from the mountain base check point, so I knew I was on the right way. I loved watching all the headlamps light my way up the mountain. I’m somewhat happy I was driving this at night as I’m terrified of drop offs and there’s of course no guard rails. Why would there be?? There were cars parked on both sides of the road. Since I’ve lucked out each and every time at the check points with great spots, I tried my luck again. Success! After turning around at the barricade, a person pulled out and I was like 4th car from the barricade facing down the mountain! At this point, I could’ve napped. I wish I would’ve napped. I was worried that Nathan would be along within an hour, but it took him about 30-45 minutes longer at this point since it was such a steep uphill. I kept forgetting that he was nearly 100 miles in and this wasn’t just a hiking excursion where he can bomb uphill at 4 miles an hour. At this point, it was around 3am I think when I got there. I spent time with Chris’s crew member at the check point. I waited over 1 hour in the wind. I had put on my coat along with Nathan’s as he had a hood. It wasn’t cold per se, but the wind made it colder. Wish I would’ve brought my hat, but it was fine, if you’re from Minnesota and are used to windy and 55 degrees. Nathan took his cold gear at this time. Since he revels in the cold, he didn’t put it on, but I gave him his poncho and arm sleeves. He put them on later, just to remove them. I’m unsure how much he used them. I think he was so hot hiking up the mountain that they were unnecessary for him. Most runners were wearing longer sleeved shirts, hats, and some had coats on. The main thing for Nathan at this point was he was so darn tired. He said he felt fine, he just couldn’t stay awake. If the cutoffs weren’t so crazy, he could’ve just slept for like 20 minutes and been golden, but he was starting to lose time at this point and couldn’t make any mistakes. He started taking caffeine regularly at this point. I as well had been slamming the Pepsi Zero I had with me a few hours ago. Rachel had continued to offer me energy drinks, but they always make me feel like my heart is going to explode, so I declined.

After the mountain, you drive back down and get on the highway. There’s a cop where you’re not supposed to go, so even if you’re tired, you’ll find your way. You will have to pay the toll despite others saying that if you’re with the race, they’ll let you through free. Since it was close to sunrise, I didn’t stop at the way station as it looked closed and just continued to Nestani. Take the exit for this town and you’ll be back tracking. There’s a cop blocking the wrong way, and you’ll be going against the runners at this time. This is in front of a restaurant. I parked and realized I had over an hour. Time for a nap! I put on my sleep mask, put the sound machine app on the phone, and was out in a few minutes. Only to be woken up by some dude talking on his phone outside my car. I mean, come on! I was parked next to a truck that had obviously been there for months. You couldn’t go elsewhere?! I at least got a good 20 minutes of rest and was looking forward to the sunrise to help restart my Circadian rhythm and keep me going.

At this check point, they had gross, bland meatballs for the crew and runners. I had one because it’d been so long since I had a good amount of protein. Nathan came in just before sunrise and was still keeping to his estimated times, although getting closer to the higher end. Still plenty of time. Since the sun would be up soon and today was looking to be a bit hotter than Friday, I lubed him up with SPF 50 while he took off his gators and ate some food. I took all his warm stuff from him and head lamp, and gave him back his hat and neck protector thing and he was on his way.

After this check point, since I was so tired, I was looking at his chart with his times and check points instead of my notes I wrote out. Mistake. Before the race, they’d changed what check points crew could help at. It went from 16 down to 11. Just 2 days before the race, they decided to go back to the original 16 check points, so of course, no time to reprint and laminate the sheet. And why wouldn’t you just change stuff a few days before? I had some major beef with the way this race was set up. They never give you a confirmation that they received your payment or documents, so make sure you bring a copy of all your health stuff you need. There was supposed to be a wave start, but I assume they needed to say all these things to the government so the race would be allowed. There was also widespread cheating going on. Around this time I saw a crew member in a car driving along side a runner that gave them a new shirt. I also saw someone grab water from an unaided station and bring it to a runner on the road. I mean, I don’t really care, but if there are rules, they should be followed, otherwise, why have them?

But I digress. Lets just say I went to the wrong check point. I got to #60 and was like, “man, I have like 2 hours here! I can totally sleep!”. Then for some reason, that didn’t sit right, and I checked it again. Damn! I forgot about #57! I followed Google that lead me back on the race path going against the runners. There are a few sections of road where it’s like 1 lane and guard rails. I don’t know why there are guard rails here as it’s flat farm land, but I think I maybe scraped the car on a rail as another car was going by the opposite direction. I got to #57 with enough time thank God and was able to help Nathan. Then I went back to #60 and took a nap since I just couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore. I passed out for a good 30 minutes until my alarm went off. At this time, it was getting close to 10:30am and I changed back into my shorts again. This is where Nathan started chasing the cutoff times and shit started to get real. There was just over 8 hours left of this race and about 32 miles left. I got another baguette sandwich and some cookies just past the check point at a small bakery. No caffeine pop, however, I had to stop at the next check point at the BP for 2 cans of Pepsi Max to keep me going.

At this point, the race continues on a highway. Not a huge highway, but still very busy and I was pretty concerned about the racers as the remainder of the race is on somewhat busy roads. These racers are tired. They’re weaving all over, it’s hot, and cars are whizzing past. Most of them are super supportive honking their encouragement and with enough of us crew going slowly, hopefully helped out some.

The next stop was a restaurant on the left side of the road with a very large parking lot where I parked. Some people parked on the highway, but the restaurant had WiFi I stole to update my e-mail and check on where Nathan was at. The trackers were really amazing at this race. They showed where he was in real time and if you hit the number, told you when he passed the last check point and ETA of when he’d get to the others. It was pretty close actually. It helped me time when to get out there to him. I did use some data here and there and M’Lee was gracious enough to let me use her phone as a hot-spot since she had gotten unlimited data for this trip. I took a nap here. Pro tip- steal the pillow from the airplane. It worked perfect to sleep on in the car. I slept a good 20 minutes here and it was getting HOT. It was now around 1pm. The only downside of parking in the lot is there’s a wall separating the parking lot from the road. You have to jump the wall with all your stuff to get to the pagoda where the check point is. It was fine as the wall was only just over waist height for me, but if you’re short or unable to jump up, you may want to park on the road instead.

Nathan was getting pretty hot and dehydrated at this time and was starting to get in about 15 min before the check point cut off. I was starting to get anxious that he may not make it. I knew he had had it in him and it was only like marathon distance left, he could do that in his sleep! Got his ice bandanna for him and water and he was gone!

I didn’t bother to get more ice on the second day. I had a soft sided cooler we bought in Glyfada and had some ice left over for the second day. All the check points have ice anyways, so it’s not truly necessary to have ice with you. But it was nice to keep my beverages cool.

The next stop was down in a valley where there was no cell reception and I was starting to get nervous. Where was Nathan? Would he time out? Then I saw him! With 15 minutes left, he was coming down the hill. I got his ice bandanna ready, filled his water, and he was off!

At this point in the race, I’m tired, emotional, and I feel like I was just as part of this race as Nathan was. I can’t really describe how emotional this race is for a crew member. I don’t know if it was because I was on my own and sleep deprived, but I knew that Nathan needed me and my support and love more than anything at this stage in the race. He was also tired, sore, hot, and painful. Knowing that you have that much to do with how well your runner is doing is eye opening. I decided from this point on that I was going to all the remaining check points just to cheer him on and be there for him if he unfortunately had to drop due to time. I wasn’t going to let that happen. I didn’t stay awake for almost 40 hours crewing for him to time out! We were making it to that damn statue if it was the last thing we did!

At #69 he was looking painful. I kept my hands to myself as I couldn’t help him. The bus started showing up from here on out to collect the runners that timed out. We were all cheering for all the runners at this point. Everyone wants everyone to finish this race! There’s no winners and losers, just warriors that finish or not. After Nathan went through, I lost it and started to cry. I wanted him to finish so badly and knew that he’d be devastated if he timed out. I had Ellie help me pray for him to stick with it and finish. Only about 12 miles left!

I was able to help him again at #72, a gas station going down the hill into Sparta. Amy and her crew helped as she was helping Will who was about 10 minutes ahead of Nathan at this point. We had about 10 minutes to spare. I got him some salt tabs as he was hyponatremic at this point and still dehydrated, threw his ice bandanna at Rachel and he was out in less than 15 seconds! This portion is all downhill for the last 12-15 miles or so. I thought he had this in the bag as Nathan excels at downhills. Not true in this race! He was hurting and downhill was a slow go. He was also worried about all the cars zipping past that he’d get hit.

The last check point I stopped at was #73. He told me to just meet him at the finish as he was still about 10-15 min before the cut offs, so he thought he’d be good. I elected to go find the hotel as I knew there wouldn’t be any parking at the finish line and our hotel was just 2-3 blocks away. I found it and got a pretty good parking at the Apollon hotel. I got all 3 of our large bags into the lobby with help from a friendly Latvian runner. This hotel has a lot to be desired. The locks are straight up old school keys from the Victorian era and I couldn’t figure out how to unlock the damn door! The front desk lady helped me, but of course didn’t give me any pointers. I unloaded the bags, used the restroom and followed the music and loudspeaker to the finish line!

The finish line is simply amazing. It’s about 3 blocks before the end where there’s barricades keeping back the town people that are all there in droves cheering with music! This is like the Olympics to them I think! I walked down to try and find some American teammates as Nathan was the last American to finish. I found 2 of the Brits crewing and chatted with them for awhile. Their last runners were just ahead of Nathan by 5-10 minutes so we waited together.

It was awe inspiring to watch the runners run in with their respective country’s flags draped over them and their loved ones running to the finish with them. Then I saw my amazing warrior husband and Old Glory over his shoulders. He was fist bumping the kids on his way to the finish. I joined him at the last runway area and was able to run with him. I recorded him running to me, then of course messed it up somehow and didn’t record the running into the statue. He climbed the stairs, and kissed Leonidas’s foot. We hugged and cried that we did it!

He was immediately given an olive wreath on his head and a large medal and finisher shirt. Got a picture taken with some race officials and guided off to sit and take off his shoes. It was in a bombed out building to the side. He was waiting forever. No one seemed to care however. So we waited and waited. Finally, after about 20 minutes, I stole some slippers and a blanket and we started our long shuffle to the hotel as Nathan was shivering violently from cold and shock. The hotel at least had aircon and heat so I cranked up the heat while he took a lukewarm shower in the smallest shower stall known to man. We got changed and made our way to dinner where we chatted with some American teammates about the race and congratulated all the other finishers along the way. It was such as team atmosphere with all the countries. All of us feeling fulfilled that we finished this crazy hard race.

I felt like I accomplished something amazing with crewing this race. I know I was just the crew, but this race really tests your tenacity and emotional strength to finish this race with your runner. I’ve never felt so connected to so many other people; all of us trying to accomplish the same goal- finishing Spartathalon! I’m so blessed that I was able to do this race, and I’m so glad that I went back on my initial smart assed comment that I didn’t care if he finished. I was as invested in this race as Nathan was. It feels like I made life long connections with these other runners and crew members. We all went through this crazy experience and made it out the other side. I will never forget this experience and will be forever thankful for being able to help my husband accomplish this amazing goal.

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