There have certainly been those who have run across the United States with support teams -- with some team members' roles being to protect the runner. Usually, these are high-profile crossings aiming to break a record or being done by a well known ultra-endurance athlete. My mega-mileage border-to-border and ocean-to-ocean runs all alone were not for records and were not highly publicized. I never used my pepper spray and actually only used my hickory axe handle once, and that was during my 500-mile run through Alaska when a wild, highly-aggressive, large dog seemed determine to have one of my legs for lunch. I never 'hit' the dog with the handle, but did have to push him away with it as his sharp teeth kept lunging at me.
Keep Reaching For Life's Mileposts,