Captain’s Corner: Team Biofuel

Captain Bob is back with some more info for newbie Ragnar Captains. We asked him for some advice on how to captain a Ragnar Relay team, specifically, expnses and filling the team. Didn’t read his last post? Here it is:

What about expenses, how is that handled?  

I am very transparent with this aspect of our team – I keep a google document that I let everyone see how the money was spent and how the cost per runner was calculated.  I have never had a problem with this.  My first race was $318.00 per runner, the second race was $328.00 per runner and the third race was $324.00 per runner.  This cost is registration, late change fees, van rentals, gas, tolls, van decorations, team tech running shirts (two per runner – one for each volunteer), pre-race dinner party at the start, and food and drinks for the van.  Everything that made sense as a TEAM EXPENSE, we shared.  After the first race I captained, I required my team to send to me ‘payments’ of $100-$115 to keep their spot.  I used to use PayPal (designated at PERSONAL or else fees are assessed) or they can send me a check (my PayPal account has since been flagged and frozen for too many personal payments).  I then ask for a second payment a few months before the race and finally, the third payment the month before the race.  

What about people dropping out?  

People dropping out is a HUGE ISSUE.  Injuries, work commitments, money issues, FEAR, change of heart are all reasons that your team will suddenly need to find two runners in the two weeks prior to the start of the race.  I always remind my runners to take the time off work well in advance. Because I understand procrastination, I understand how it is EASY to put off requesting time off work until the last minute.  If the payments are taken before the race, it is easier for your teammates to budget for this. too.  And FEAR is a big one.  For someone that took convincing to join the team, they probably have reservations that you overcame.  Pay extra attention to them to insure that they are having their needs met – some people need a little ‘motivational assistance’ when doing what their friends consider ‘insane’.

Being a captain of a Ragnar Relay team is a lot of work – and you may not get a total ‘return’ on your efforts at first. But, hang in there because you are the glue that keeps everything together.  You are the one thing that everyone on the team has in common and it is a huge responsibility.  Your team has trusted you with their money and at least two full days of their time to put on a good show – you need to respect that.


9 Responses to Captain’s Corner: Team Biofuel

  1. Liz says:

    Good Evening any captain,

    I am open to join any ultra team. Please count on me if any of your member do this- last minute drop – This year I did my 1st ragnar and I think is super amazing. It’s fun, motivation and awesome…I did not know any of the team members; but I can say about me is that I’m people person, very easy going and I love to have fun with much responsibility:) I look forward for your response! Keep my energy in consideration!

    warm regards,

  2. Althea Smith says:

    Hello any prior team captain,

    I will be a new team captain. How do I calculate up front fuel cost for my team? They are asking me to give a total cost for the race, van rental, and fuel coast up front prior to committing to signing up on the team. Where do you suggest I rent the van? We will do the SF to Napa race?

    Thanks in advance

    • Sarah says:

      I read, when I registered our team for a Ragnar, to use Marathon Travel for the van. 1-800-608-1140. This is my first time but I wrote that down right away. 🙂 Good luck!

    • Jenny Church says:

      Hey there just a quick note on how I do it with the van expenses… this will be my 4th year as captain for kw and in the beginning before we leave.. everyone puts in 50.00 in a( kitty) Envelope that the Captain and co Captain are responsible for in each Van, and this is ONLY for all gas, tolls, water. car wash ect.. and receipts kept and if any monies left over after all that gets split back between us all in the end..has always worked I have collected 40.00 we end up paying in the end .. so it just seems 50.00 works perfectly. and everyone is happy 🙂 hope this helps

  3. Cynthia says:

    Hello Captains!
    I am looking for any and all advice I can get on being a team captain. I have just registerted a team for the New York ADK run. I am very excited to take this on but would love to hear some Do’s and Don’ts Tips from everyone. And if someone can provide an est of what it cost each of their teammates to run the ADK race that would be awesome. I’d like to give my team a more accurate number of what to expect. Thanks so much in advance for any info you guys can provide to me.
    Rock On,

  4. Leslie says:

    What fuel costs? Don’t see anything about a van at the Hill Country race?
    Thx for any info.

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