Why I Choose to be a Trail Driver

dirtysocks

This is the most frequent question I get in running a support vehicle. Why would you choose to do this task because it is a lot of work and sometimes it’s a little bit miserable.

I started doing trail driving because I happened to marry a crazy idiot that loved endurance running.  My concern for him on the trail and his deep desire to not be “concerned for” made me have to have a new relationship with people who are going to test their body to limits that are medically questionable.

After you get about five endurance events under your belt you start to realize that the support that you give to athletes is sometimes the missing tool that they need to be able to reach new  limits.  Having support while you are doing a crazy stunt or a physically intolerable task will be the difference between a victory, not even trying, or a DNF ticket home.

I have never had an athlete NOT tell me that they weren’t glad to see my tires pulling past them on the trail.

My inner secret is that it is downright impressive to watch people take on physical tasks and mental challenges like this. It is inspiring and downright humbling to see humans achieve in very physical ways.

I am not an endurance athlete but I am an excellent chaos manager. And with great management, athletes can perform in ways that they themselves did not know was possible.

There is never a night that I go back to my hotel room that I am not just downright impressed with the strength of humanity.

I could live without the stink though.

Trail well.

Elevation Burns

chezbeat

When you are trail driving in areas that have high elevation and a lot of sun you’ll want to watch out for elevation burning.

It is also called sun poisoning, but it’s where you see (usually on the arms of an athlete) what looks like sunburn but has teeny white dots in it. Those white dots will be right underneath the skin and may have a little bit of topographical texture to them. Traditionally I see this in higher elevations, but it means that the athlete needs immediate complete sunblock and burn treatment.

I have a tool that I use that is in a tube form called “Rescue Remedy.” It is available at Whole Foods everywhere, or multiple places online. It is a homeopathic treatment that is especially good for burns. If you are taking notes, buy some and keep it in your medic kit at home for burns that happen on the stove. I am not kidding, this stuff is magic!

You want to slather it on that burn as soon as you see it and let it do its job. It will be the difference between blistering and not blistering.

If you have Rescue Remedy, I would apply it immediately and let it soak into that skin as many times as it can. The first application will melt into the skin. You want to apply it until it doesn’t immediately melt anymore and it’s got a white top finish. As soon as that slow sinking white top layer gets melted in (it may take about a minute) then you want to apply sunblock over that.

That should do the trick for the rest of the day, unless they are sweating off their sun block. Be very gentle when touching this area and remind them to not scratch. Scratching will make those white bumps that are actually a kind of blister pop up to the top.

Trail well.