My wife runs. A lot. As I type this she is running a race in Royston, Georgia in preparation for a marathon this January. She puts in countless hours each week, making gains in her speed and her distance as she pushes her body to the limit.
I do not run. I ran as a teenager but I never really liked it so I stopped, opting instead for skateboarding (throughout my late teens/early twenties), and now weight lifting. I do light cardio, but I run nothing like what my wife does.
So as my wife pushes her body further and further, striving for the excellence, I just hold stuff.
Yup, Designated Stuff Holder.
Part joke, but part necessity, as a Designated Stuff Holder (DSH) I get to see a different side of racing.
If you are a runner (especially a long distance runner) without a DSH then you probably wish you had one. For those of you who don’t run, allow me to explain.
Running takes very little equipment, essentially clothes and shoes. However, as runners strive for more and more distance the need for more stuff accumulates. First- hydration. How much water can you carry on your person, while running, for 15 miles? Not enough.
Second- energy. Every long distance runner uses something like a goo or a Shot-Bloc, but again most running clothes are made sans pockets (or at least those pockets are small).
Third-everything else. Jackets, car keys, camera (essentially, a DSH can also become a personal photographer during the race).
Finally, a DSH is like a coach- you probably know your partner’s pace time, you probably learn about running along with your partner, you witness your partner’s strengths/weaknesses, etc. Therefore a DSH is in a great position to encourage a runner when they are down, inspire confidence in their abilities, and congratulate them in their success.
Or you can just shut up and hold stuff 🙂