How to Create a Budget for Ragnar Road

So, you’ve decided you’re tough enough to conquer a Reebok Ragnar Relay… no, tough enough to CAPTAIN a Ragnar team! Now what? Well, now you have to plan, find eleven crazy friends (or strangers), rent vans, find volunteers, get supplies and prepare for the best weekend ever. Here is a breakdown of how to create a budget so you can focus on more important things like matching your van Christmas lights, with your tutu.

There are 9 things you’ll need to consider when creating a budget for your Ragnar Relay:

  1. Registration
  2. Two Ragnar Vehicles – vans, suburbans, mini-vans or SUVs
  3. Fuel
  4. Food
  5. Safety Gear
  6. Costumes & Fun Stuff
  7. Volunteers
  8. Lodging
  9. Travel

Registration ($1,380-$1,980/ team ,$115- $165/runner)
The earlier you sign up, the more money you save. Plus if you’re a repeat runner you get in at VIP pricing, about $120 less than what non-returning runners will pay. So pay attention to when registration prices increase and sign up early to save yourself and your team money! As the team captain, you are responsible for the upfront cost. Then you can collect money from your team members through Venmo, PayPal, Square Cash, check, cash or any other app that lets you pay money to friends.
happy ragnar runners
Van Rental ($250+/ van for 3 days)
A decorated van is an iconic symbol of any Ragnar Relay. If you don’t own – or have a friend who owns – a van big enough for 6 sweaty runners, you can rent one from Enterprise, our official rental partner. For a 12-person team, Ragnar Relays require two vans, suburbans, min-vans or SUVs . For a 6-person ultra team only one race vehicle is required. Although we’ve seen teams of 12 stuff all their runners in a 15 passenger van, it’s not recommended. Here is a cost saving pro tip: mini-vans work just fine and are cheaper than 12 or 15 passenger vans if you don’t mind getting extra close to your teammates.
Ragnar Van Life
Fuel ($100+/ van, $16+/ person)
Depending on your relay, where you live, where you will pick off and drop-off your van, etc. your fuel cost will vary. Your best bet is to use a fuel calculator.

Food ($30-$70/ person)
One of the best things about a Ragnar Relay is getting to taste the local flavor a long the way. Some teams like to stock up on food, while others make stops to try the local fare along the course (barbecue in Texas, gourmet sandwiches in Napa Valley, fruit stands in the Northwest Passage, food from local craft beer pubs in Colorado, etc.). Many of our local charity partners will host pancake breakfasts, pasta dinners or bake sales at the major Exchange Points, and how can you say no to a delicious homemade cookie baked by a local middle school soccer girl? Check out the “Sweet Happenings,” for the race you will run. You and your team will receive free samples and other snacks during the race. It’s never a bad idea to pack a backup loaf of bread, peanut butter, and jelly for late night runner munchies.

Safety Gear ($0- $60/person)
It’s required at a Ragnar Race, but yellow reflective vests, blinking red tail lights and bright head lamps are a great look for any runner. At the race, you’ll need six vests, two headlights and two tail lights per van. Nathan’s new headlamps, the Nebula Fire and Halo Fire, are designed just for runners. They sense oncoming traffic and begin blinking to warn drivers you’re there. Visit to get deals on safety gear for your whole van. If you already have gear from past Ragnars, or camping trips then you’re all set!
Nathan reflective vests for Ragnar
Costumes and Van Decorations ($0-$100/ person)
If you’ve ever wanted to unleash your super powers, now is the time. Visit your local costume shop or Halloween store, a nearby thrift shop or your own closet to see what hodge-podge outfit you can put together. Or if a full pirate costume isn’t really your thing, visit Custom Ink to get matching t-shirts with your team to show off your team spirit. As for the van, there’s nothing quite like this sight of a 15 passenger van driving down an road at 3 a.m. lit up with Christmas lights. So, grab some props and some rope and take your van to the next level. Don’t forget window markers to count the legs you’ve completed!
Ragnar Costumes
Volunteer ($0 – $360)
Volunteers are the heart and soul of Ragnar, and without them the race wouldn’t be possible. So it’s time to ask that friend, cousin, co-workers or sweetheart that owes you a favor to come out and volunteer. It’s a great way for friends and relatives to feel connected to the race without running, and many volunteers come back year after year because of all the high-fives and hugs they receive from runners. If finding volunteers isn’t something you want to worry about, have no fear –  a $120 fee per volunteer will directly benefit local charity and community partners who volunteer to make the race happen.
Lodging (optional)
Depending on your Ragnar Relay and where you live, you might want to consider a hotel room close to the start line on Thursday night before the race, or Saturday night near the finish line. Your teammates are the perfect van pillows, but some teams like a mid-point hotel room for Friday night. Visit the “Plan Your Trip” page to see hotels near the start line, mid-point and finish line from our hotel partner, OnPeak.

Travel (varies)
We’ve got several bucket list races that are worth traveling to. Whether you’re flying or planning an epic road trip, make sure to account for the price of gas, flights and rental cars.

While the price typically varies, you can assure your teammates that every cent you put towards your Ragnar weekend will be worth it! Here is what you can tell your teammates to expect:

  1. Registration – Around $120/person – Sign up early to save!
  2. Ragnar Vehicle – (If you can’t borrow one expect to pay around $50/ person)
  3. Fuel – Around $20/ person
  4. Food – Around $30/ person
  5. Safety Gear –  $25 for a saftey vest (assuming your team can drum up 4 headlamps and taillights)
  6. Costumes & Fun Stuff – Around $20 / person
  7. Volunteers (optional pay for volunteers is $30/person)
  8. Lodging (optional)
  9. Travel (optional)

On average local team members can expect to pay around $265/ person for two days of travel, food and pure running bliss (blisters optional). What are your tips for creating an ultimate Ragnar budget?
Ragnar Team
costumes at Ragnar Relay

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