Crew Manual



Glossary of Terms"Crew"…………team
"Conductor"……..captain of the team
"Wrecking Crew"………..ultra team of 6 runners for The Fred
"Yard Crew"…………standard team of 7 to 12 runners for The Fred
"Grunt Crew"..............standard team of 4 to 6 runners for The Ed
"Cinder Crew"......... standard team of 3 runners for The Ed
“Lena Crew”……….standard team of 6 runners for The Lena
"Peanut Roaster"…………team vehicle
"Main Rail"...........running route
"Switch"………….runner transition point
"Spur"……………individual leg of run
“Beehive”….main transition points for 12 person yard crews.
“Shining time”……..starting time
“Highball”………average crew pace
“Wearing the Blue”…..stopped because predicted average pace was too fast
“Counting the ties”……….reducing speed
“Broken knuckles”… sleeping quarters for crews
“Buzzard’s Roost”….finish line
Congratulations!  You’ve taken the first step toward embarking on this great adventure by reading the Crew Manual for the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail 200 Mile Relay! Your friends may be asking, “200 miles?!? You’ve got to be kidding me!!” But, if you really think about it, it’s only about 15 miles per runner for a crew of 12!  You can do it! With friends, anything is achievable.   

SWAG: We would like to address the most important item first: Swag! All crews finishing the run will receive a finisher’s medal: big, honkin’ chunks of iron! Also, all crew (team) members will get a great race shirt and enjoy a catered meal at the after-party!  

Deadlines You Must Keep In Mind
Crew Registration Deadline: July 18, 2022 
Crew Highballin' (Pace times) Deadline: July 25, 2022
Crew Captain Team Meeting: July 26 @ 5:30pm via zoom. 

The Races: Lena, Ed and Fred:

Lena -50 Mile Relay: Don’t feel you can do the overnight relay? This is the perfect option! The Lena Relay will start in Big Rapids, MI on Saturday, Aug 13th at 6:30am and comprise of 11 legs on the way to Belmont. Participants will receive a taste of the Fred experience. The adult crews are standard 5-6 person team. The Youth Crew (Loco Crew) can have up to 11 team members. Youth crew members must ALL be 18 years old or younger and have NOT yet graduated from high school.

Ed -100 Mile Race: Ready for a challenge but not ready to take on the full 200 miles?  Start with the Ed. Choose between Cinder Crew (3 runners) or Grunt Crew (4 to 6 runners). Start times estimate crews leaving Cadillac between 9pm on Friday, August 12th and 1am Saturday August 13th.  See maps on website for start locations.

FRED - 200 Mile Race: Choose between Wrecking Crew (6 runners) and Yard Crew (7 to 12 runners) for The Fred. Race begins (between 6am and 1pm on Friday) and ends back in Belmont on Saturday.

Regardless of which race you choose, you need a Team Captain (Conductor) and register your crew on RunSignup. You don’t need your entire crew to register, but crews need to be finalized by July 18, 2022.

Recommended Crew Rotation

Yard Crews: Each member of the crew will complete three legs of the relay. Runners may run any leg that they wish, but we recommend runners run in the same sequence throughout the run to help facilitate which runners go in which peanut roaster. For example, if a runner runs spur 1, he should also run spur 13 and 25. If this method is followed, runners in peanut roaster #1 will run spurs 1-6, 13-18, and 25-30. The runners in peanut roasters #2 will then be responsible for spurs, 7-12, 19-24, and 31-36.

Wrecking Crew: Each member of the crew will complete six spurs of the course. Because your whole crew will be in one peanut roaster, we really don’t want to know what goes on in there!! Also, limit your Facebook posts as not to scare your younger friends.

Crew Support: This is a self-sufficient race. We do not provide food or water. Crews are responsible for all nutrition for themselves and the runners along the course. There will be opportunities to stop at convenience stores and restaurants (for Yard crews) along the way. But if you want something special, bring it with you. We are trying to make arrangements at different locations for extended stays (rolling out sleeping bags and showers) for the crews to rest. Watch the website and your e-mails for details as we get close to the event. Some crews have spectators traveling with them in separate vehicles. These vehicles cannot park at the trailheads except at the Scout Building.

Shining times (starting time): Crews will have different Shining times based on your crew’s average highball (see table below how to calculate Average Crew Highball). Shining times are based on accurate highball predictions. These predictions are critical to a successful event and will allow us to place crews in starting slots that produce the least amount of confusion on the course for both participants and organizers. It is extremely important that the highball submitted for each crew be accurate.

Peanut Roasters (crew vehicle): We recommend 12 – 15 passenger peanut roasters whenever possible. Runners will have a lot more room to relax. We do not allow any vehicle longer than 20'. Motor homes, RV’s, campers, trailers, buses, or limos are not allowed on the course. Please notify on how many parking passes you will need.)
Yard Crew -- 2 vehicles max
Wrecking Crew -- 2 vehicle max
Grunt – 2 vehicles max 
Cinder -- 1 vehicle max.
Lena Crew – 1 vehicle max.
Crews provide their own vehicles. We recommend that Grunt crews in The ED should have a separate driver and we require that a Cinder Crew in The Ed have a separate driver. Peanut roaster drivers DO NOT need to be members of the crew.
Wearing the Blue: We open and close our Beehives based on your average pace predictions. If you are running faster than you predicted, we may not have our volunteers at the Beehives to record your time. If your team is running at least 1 min/per/mile faster than predicted, your team could possibly finish 3 hours faster than predicted. If this happens at any point in the event, you will “Wear the Blue” which means we will hold back your team to make sure we have our volunteers in place at the next Beehive. This time will be subtracted from your overall time, so it’s not a penalty -consider it an extra, bonus rest period.

We will do everything to make sure that we have calculated our Beehive times to help reduce the risk of this happening.

How to Calculate Average Crew Highball (Average pace)
Please email Pete (at your crew's estimated pace time as soon as possible.  The deadline is July 25th (you can submit early!). To accurately project a crew’s highball: Take each runner's 1/2 marathon** PACE, add them up and divide the total by the number of runners on the team."

**If individuals have not participated in a competitive half-marathon recently, we strongly encourage them to run one before submitting a crew highball

Volunteers: Our volunteers are the backbone of this race and they are giving up their valuable time to support your race!! Let’s keep that in mind!! Be sure to thank them for their time!! And please, always be polite...

Most long-distance relays require crews to supply a volunteer for the event, we are waiving that requirement. However, please encourage any extra friends, spouses, etc. to sign up as a volunteer  We appreciate any help crews can supply.

Substitutions: If crew members need to be changed, the crew conductor can make those changes by contacting Jennifer: or at time of check-in. If your crew Highball time is going to change dramatically, you need to let us know ASAP so we can adjust your shining time!

Refund Policy: All entry fees are non-refundable, even if a crew is no longer able to participate in the relay. If entry is to be deferred, the crew must make request and deferment may be granted at the judgment of the event directors. The deadline for transfers is July 25th, 2022.

The Run: Main Rail Switches: The run consists of 36 switches along the main rail with 6 of the switches denoted as a "Beehives” where ALL peanut roasters are allowed to park. Beehive switches are: Shining Time at Rouge River Park in Belmont & Pierson.

Reed City
North Cadillac Middle School
Reed City
Buzzard's Roost in Belmont
At the Reed City and Pierson (Saturday Only) Beehives, we have facilities set up for crews to set out sleeping gear. Sleeping gear cannot be in these facilities if the crew van & runners are not present. In other words, if your van is heading towards Cadillac, you cannot “reserve” space for when you return. NO AIR MATTRESSES!

The Scout Building in Reed City and the Pierson Township Hall will again be places for crews to bed down. The Reed City Scout Building in Reed City has a closing time of 8:00am. If your crew need more sleep time, head to the Pierson Building. In Reed City you may NOT park in the Yoplait parking lot just south of the trailhead.  Employees need to use the lot all three shifts.  Instead, we will use the Boy Scout Parking – please follow driving instructions to that lot. FOR 2020 - please plan to tent at either Reed City or Pierson in order to better ensure the safety of all involved!

Spurs: We have limited parking at some runner switches, so please park only one peanut roaster at these switches. Peanut roaster numbers will be assigned at check-in. These numbers need to be visible in the front and rear windows.

Crews using just one vehicle should post both peanut roaster numbers in their window so that they are allowed at each exchange point. Two peanut roasters are allowed at Beehives where the runner rotation requires it. Most crews will have 12 runners, so Beehives locations are:

·       Shining Time Rouge River Bank in Belmont

·       Pierson

Reed City
North Cadillac Middle School
Reed City
Buzzard's Roost in Belmont

Your safety is our number one priority.  Any violations that endanger the safety of your crew or another crew will result in immediate disqualification. You will be asked to leave the event immediately. 

The runner that starts a leg must finish that leg unless injured. If you feel a team is not following this rule, you must tell the Race Director at the time of the violation, not the end of the race.  We will need physical evidence... "spur number, team names, runner numbers, maybe even photos"...just because you said you saw the violation will not be enough.

We are committed to maintaining our good relationship with the communities along the FMWPT.  They generously agreed to let us use their facilities during our event and we assure them that the participants will be on their best behavior.  Consequently, if at any time during the event the Race Director determines that any member of your crew has comprised the integrity of the event and/or endangered other participants, we reserve the right to disqualify your entire crew.  A decision such as this is left entirely to the discretion of the Head Hobos and is not subject to review.  No refunds will be given. 

Please no profanity/inappropriate visuals when you decorate your Peanut Roasters

Race Day Check-In: Crew conductors must have the entire crew sign race waivers and present the following items to a race official/ staff at the time of check-in: Only one team member will check-in the entire team.

At least two (2) LED runner lights each peanut roaster.
At least one (1) running headlamp or handheld flashlight.
Each runner must have a reflective vest.
Runners should carry cell phones while running at all times even during the day.
Upon check-in, crews will receive runner numbers and peanut roaster signage. The signage needs to be visible to anyone outside of the peanut roaster.
Driving instructions and last-minute details will be relayed to crews. Lena crews do not need any lights but may need a reflective vest for the first runner on Saturday morning.
Main Rail: Direction will be found at www.  for individual maps of each spur.

Dropping out of the Event: If you are going to drop out of the event for whatever reason, you need to contact the Race Director immediately. If the race director is not available, you need to contact Pete. We need to know that you are no longer on the course and we aren't holding volunteers at a checkpoint waiting for you.

Visible Race Number: Crew race numbers must be worn and visible on the front of each runner at all times while running. Bib numbers must be pinned to the outermost layer of clothing, including jackets, shorts, and reflective vests. At night, please attach the bib in a manner that does not obscure reflective material.

Cell Phones: Runners should carry cell phones at all times even during the day. Because runners will be away from the road during parts of the run, it will be very helpful if they carry a cell phone in case of injuries or other issues.

Driving: Written driving instructions are being developed and will be posted on-line as soon as they are finalized. An email will be sent to the conductors as changes are made. GPS navigations systems are strongly recommended for all crew, one for each peanut roaster. We have tried to capture the actual address location as close as possible to all runners’ switches. Written driving instructions and maps will be provided to the crews. We ask that all drivers be alert and drive at or below posted speed limits. Be sure to leave adequate time to arrive at exchange points so that there is no temptation to speed. Please be courteous all others on the road. Do not honk in residential areas.

Respect Local Residents & Communities
While traveling through the local communities, please remember we are guests and you should treat all residents with courtesy and respect. Going out of your way to thank locals will go a long way in securing our ability to return each year.

Nighttime running requirements: Runner MUST wear two (2) led runner lights, one in front, one in back
A runner MUST wear one (1) running headlamp
A runner MUST wear a Fred Approved Reflective Vest or Harness.
Runners should carry cell phones at all times even during the day.
A chaperone for nighttime runners will be allowed either as another runner or as a biker. But that extra runner/biker must have the safety lights and approved vests just as the runner is required to have.

Reflective Vest Requirements for Nighttime Running and Crew Members Outside of Peanut Roasters
Nighttime reflective gear and lighting will be required from dusk to dawn. Every crew member outside the support vehicle MUST wear a reflective vest at dusk (this time to be determined).

After sunset on Friday and until sunrise on Saturday morning, these safety measures must be followed. SAFETY INFRACTIONS CAN DISQUALIFY A TEAM FROM THE EVENT. Bring extra batteries for your lamps.

Peanut roasters are not allowed to follow the runner while runners are on roads. Please do not stop or slow down in places that will impede traffic. Runners are to run on the left shoulder of all roads (against traffic), using sidewalks when available, unless signs or race officials direct otherwise.

Injured Runners during Race: In the event of an injury, any of the remaining runners can replace the injured runner. With the exception of the leg in which the runner was injured, legs cannot be split into sections. Once a runner drops out of the race, he or she cannot re-enter back into the race. Once an IV is administered, the injured runner is no longer eligible to run. Crews can substitute the injured runner's legs in any fashion they see fit.

Littering & Property Damage: Any runners who are reported to have damaged private or public property or to have littered, urinated or defecated on private or public property will be disqualified and will not be invited back. Toilets and trash bins are available at all exchange points.

Follow Race Officials Instructions: Race officials include staff and volunteers. Course volunteers will be stationed at strategic switches along the trail, but not all.

Weather: The train is rolling whether it’s rain or shine. However, under certain severe weather conditions wherein significant damage or alterations to the racecourse may occur, we reserve the right to cancel the event. There will be no refunds given if the race is canceled due to severe weather conditions. The race may be canceled or delayed due to, but not limited to, the following: severe electrical storms/ thunderstorms, typhoons, earthquakes, severe raining, flooding, fog, landslides, mudslides, volcanos, etc. Every effort will be made to hold the event!!

Lightning: If there is lightning at the start of the race, we reserve the right to delay starts until the lightning clears. If you see lightning on the course, after the race has started, get your runner off the road and into the support vehicle. Make a note of the time and the location where you exited the course. If lightning clears within 1 hour put your runner back on the road where they left and make a note of the time. If lightning persists longer than an hour, Race Officials will give your crew instructions on how and where to proceed

In the event of an Emergency Dial 911: We will have no medical staff on hand. First aid will be stationed at all major exchanges. They will be equipped to handle only minor sports injuries. Please be aware of this and plan ahead on how you will handle any emergencies. It is the responsibility of each crew to be aware of the location of hospitals and other medical facilities and their hours of operation. If there is a medical emergency, dial 911 then notify the nearest race official, as they will be able to communicate with medical personnel or call for an ambulance if the emergency is severe.

Buzzard’s Roost: Comstock Park Celebration: Join us at Rouge River Park for the Fred/Ed Buzzard Roost after the race!!!  More details to follow!

Awards: The Fred trophy will go to the overall winning team, whether yard or wrecking crew. A permanent plaque will be affixed before we let the winning team take the trophy. Details will be worked out between the event and the winning team.

Awards will also be given to the overall yard crew and wrecking crew (minus the overall winner). We will also be giving away prizes for best crew design, best crew name, most crew spirit, and anything else we can come up with!

Results: Start and finish times will be tracked and results will be posted on the web site following the event. Team times will be recorded at all Beehives. 

Team Captain Meeting: There will be a Captain meeting at the end of July via Zoom.  All Team Captains will receive an email regarding the details.  Only team captain (and one other team member) may attend due to limited space.


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