So, you’re going to run a Ragnar Relay. It might be your first time, but it might not. But someone has convinced you that you should be the captain. Or maybe you were crazy enough to want that responsibility. Whatever. The end result is that you are now the Captain of a team that will be running Ragnar soon. Go read the Bible. Now. OK, by Bible, I mean Race Bible. This is a document put out by Ragnar that has most of what you need to know. Then check out Blognar and the Ragnar website for all sorts of useful information about being a captain and about your particular Ragnar Relay.
Now you’re ready for my tips. I’m sharing 5 things that will make your experience a better one.
- Don’t put yourself on the financial hook. Registering a team is not cheap, nor is renting the vans. Don’t register until you have money in hand from at least half of your team. Get more if your afraid your team is flakey or you can’t afford to float the rest. Ideally, you’ll have money from everyone before you sign up, but you don’t want to miss the cheapest price. At most, put one van on your credit card, but if you can get others to take the burden, even better. I’ve been lucky and had very responsible teammates for the most part, but you don’t want to be sitting with ALL the expenses while you wait for payment.
- Ask someone else to be in charge of the other van. There are things you will want to coordinate as a whole team, but many things like food, drivers, who pays for what, etc. can be decided on a van by van basis. Get someone in the other van to handle those decisions and (this is important!) don’t second guess them.
- Delegate. There are a lot of moving pieces that go into a successful Ragnar. There are some things (payment, hitting deadlines, inviting runners, etc) that have to fall to the captain. But not everything has to. Ask someone to handle decorations. Have someone else put together a first aid kit. Ask for help.
- Be prepared to make the hard decisions. Someone has to decide when you are leaving for the race. Vans and runner legs need to be assigned. The overall pace needs to be 11 minutes. Sometimes people want the same leg or you need to be strategic about where you put your faster runners. Listen to input but there will be times when you just have to make the decisions and own them.
- Roll with it. Things aren’t going to go as planned. There will be unexpected injuries, late arrivals, lost runners. It’s ok. It will all work out. And if the problems are too big for you to solve, Ragnar has measures in place to help you.