A portion of our house sits on unfinished 36" crawl space. I need to run some electrical cable (NM/Romex, 14/2) through the middle of the crawl space, perpendicular to the joists. I could drill holes through all 14 joists, or... can I just staple the cable to the 6x6 beam that runs down the center of the crawl space, perpendicular to the joists, right where I want the cable to go? This seems like the 1) easiest and 2) most secure way of doing things. I know the code allows me to use a running board instead of holes in the joists, but it would be great if I can just use the center beam as a pre-installed (and very, very secure) running board.
You may secure wiring to framing in an exposed manner when it's not subject to damage. If this isn't a high-traffic location, it'll be just fine to do as you describe. Just do yourself and others the service of keeping it nice and neat. Plan ahead for parallel, flat rows of cable.