There are few ultra-marathon racers of any kind who can do it alone. We all depend on our ground crews. These are the folks who’ve helped (and are helping) the effort.
- Sharon Flottman – None of this would have been possible without Sharon’s support. When I had the dream of paddling in the 2010 MR340 she was there to encourage me. She was on the ground crew of my first race and spent a lot of time waiting around deserted boat ramps waiting for me, and worrying about my safety. She’s my nutritional expert and the head medical officer of the navy.
- Elisabeth Flottman – My daughter handled the communications for me during my first race. She was in California but the rest of the crew would call her with progress updates, and she’d post my progress on the blog.
- Tim Murray – Tim’s one of my oldest friends and, just as he’s always been there for me he immediately jumped on board when I asked him to take a week out of his life to help in 2010. His reaction, when I brought the idea up was something along the lines of “Wait, you mean I get to sit around the river relaxing and playing the guiter until you show up, feed you, then throw you back in the river? I’m IN!”
- David Kreighbaum – I first met David the night before the 2010 race. He’s a friend of Tim’s who joined up for an adventure. He was tireless in taking care of me on that race. My only complaint was the morning when he woke me up before dawn to tell me to go back to sleep because the river was fogged in.
- Carol Snow – This is my sister-in-law. She made the drive from Lincoln, NE. to join us in 2010 and kept Sharon company. She became our unofficial photographer and took some great pictures.
- Janie the Little Dog – Janie is actually the team mascot. I don’t know why we have a dog that hates water as part of this team, but she had a good time in 2010 and, from what I hear, was a big hit with all the kids at the checkpoints!
- Christian Flottman – My son decided he’d join the navy and bought himself a racing canoe in 2011. This made 2 boats in the navy. He and I headed for southern Louisiana for the Tour du Teche. Of course, he was in another time zone on that race – way ahead of me. But, even though I didn’t see much of him it was great to know he was out on the bayou somewhere.
- Kristy Woodard – Kristy joined my son and me in 2011 to ground for both of us at the same time. I don’t know how she did it but she seemed to be everywhere at once. I’d pull into a check point to find her waiting. She’d hand me whatever I needed, jump in her car, and run off down the bayou to find Christian.
- Katie Calandro – Katie’s the newest member of the WRN, having signed up to ground crew on the 2013 MR340. She is a graphic artist by profession and persuasion and we did not want to ask her to design our 2013 T-shirt but were thrilled when she offered. We got a sneak preview and liked what we saw. Welcome to the navy!
- Ashleigh Weaver – is our newest communications officer. She’ll handle the blog updates and facebook posts for the 2013 MR340. Let’s hope she can handle her phone going off in the middle of the night as the messages come in.
- YOU! If you’ve subscribed to the blog, and especially if you’ve re-posted the blog or spread the word in any other way, you’re a member of the navy. In 2010 we raised $5,000 to aid the people of Haiti. For 2013 the cause is for education and will fund scholarships for training nurses to do sonograms for a crisis pregnancy center in Dallas. The center depends mostly on donations for operating costs. If it looks like we will exceed our goal we have a really cool idea for the excess (we can only hope to have such a problem!)