Ragnar Relays are about much more than just running. Sure, you’ll put in the miles, but the most memorable moments will be the conversations you have with van mates in the middle of night, random dance move turned inside joke and the bond you build with your team while going on the road-trip of a lifetime. Here are simple tips to take with you so you can be the best Ragnar Relay teammate ever:
DON’T: Take Yourself Too Seriously
Maybe this means showing up in a tutu, bringing along your favorite top hat or simply drawing a stick figure version of yourself on the van. Keep in mind that running a Ragnar should be fun, even if your goal may be to keep a constant sub-seven pace and cross the finish line with your team in first. Embrace the Ragnar Spirit and join in on the fun.
DO: Offer to Help the Captain
Whether you realize it or not, the captain’s job is hard. Offer help in any way you can, whether that is helping book hotels, finding teammates, driving vans, bringing decorations, picking people up from the airport, shopping for food, etc. Plus, if you’re on the Captain’s good side, you may get benefits like your top choice of legs or the best couch in the hotel room.
Everyone knows you are tired, hungry and sore, because they are too. Keep the van vibes positive by tapping into your delusional sleep deprived state and coming up with some inside jokes that probably won’t be funny after a nap. If you feel like you might complain about something, grab a snack or catch a quick nap to recharge. Everyone realizes hanger is a real thing.
DO: Keep the Van Clean (ish)
For two days and one night, the van is your (and five other people’s) home. With six people’s things, it’s bound to get a bit cluttered. But, just like dishes in the sink, the cleanliness of the van can be a point of contention. So, take some time to keep your things organized, recycle bottles and throw away trash to keep your van looking like an HGTV special. The most important thing? Always remember where you put your running shoes.
DON’T: Go Rogue
As a team, you should all be moving in one direction (towards the finish). Make sure you are helping your team by working with them. This means, checking with your teammates before you buy a $1500 van decoration and venmo requesting the whole group, letting people know where you are going at exchanges so they can gather you up when it’s time to move on and occasionally replying to the group text.
DO: Bring Team Spirit
You don’t have to show up looking like you are in the movie Bring It On: Ragnar Edition, complete with the pom-poms, but you should be ready to cheer for your teammates. Sometimes, this means jumping out of the van to spray them with water on a hot leg, doing the best 5-person wave anyone has ever seen as they pass or chanting their name as they come into the exchange. Team Spirit can also be designing and ordering your team shirts, bringing window markers or simply supporting everyone. Your team will thank you for spreading good vibes.
At your next Ragnar, be the best teammate ever. Then, after 24+ hours in a van, you may have someone to be your best man/ maid of honor, a running buddy for life and a new best friend.