A few things I learned while crewing for Laz for 5 days in a row…
1) Have a designated crew vehicle that carries Laz’s pack, cooler and chair. The cooler and chair we’re donated to accompany him on the Lazcon.
2) Set up the vehicle in a safe location, preferably on the left side of the road, in increments of approximately 1.5 -1.75 miles. Possibly closer on really hot/humid days. He carries no food or drink on his person and depends upon his crew to provide for him.
3) Don’t wait for Laz to come to the crew vehicle before you prepare his drink. When he’s about 50 yards away go meet him, find out what he wants/needs, and quickly go to the vehicle to get it. If it is a bottle with a screw cap or a pop top can, open it for him. Much like passing a baton in a relay, move with him, letting him drink. When he’s done, he’ll give the bottle/can back to you. He doesn’t want to have to carry anything in his hands other than his walking stick. Also, no chocolate milk, shakes or anything that might have calcium in it until noon (medication issue). Unfinished Gatorade can go back in the cooler but not unfinished Dr. Pepper. It should remain to warm to room temp. Allegedly, according to Laz, returning it to the cooler hastens it going flat…who knew!?!
4) Laz wants/needs to make the most of every minute on the road. So don’t expect him to stop at the support vehicle except for once or twice in his 14 hour walking day unless he’s really hurting. When he does, have a chair waiting along with his drink. Laz is all about efficiency.
5) Once in a while, twice in the 5 days I crewed for him, he’ll want to do a sit down meal in a restaurant. The key to make this work is to find out what he wants, a restaurant on the route that has it on the menu and then calling ahead and/or sending a crew member ahead to get a table and put in Laz’s order so it’s ready asap after he arrives at the restaurant. Don’t expect him to wait for everyone to finish eating before he returns to the road. He’s not being rude, he’s just got a lot of miles to go and that 14 hour clock in his head is always ticking.
6) Arrange to have dinner ready for him asap of when he finishes up for the day. After a long day on the road, he wants to eat quickly, clean up and get to bed. He has a firm rule of 7 hours sleep, 14 hours on the road which only leaves 3 hours for everything else. Efficiency is highly valued.