Captaining a Team Gone Easy: Introducing the Captain’s Spreadsheet

The first thing you need to know about being a Ragnar Relay Captain is it is what you make of it. Ragnar Captains are in charge of getting the crew together to run from point A to point B with support vans, finding a place to sleep pre and post-race, training for their runs, assigning legs, and getting volunteers (or delegating work, hint, hint). And despite sometimes feeling like you’re trying juggle twelve bowling pins in front of a crowded room, being a Captain doesn’t need to be a sh*% show. The Captain’s Spreadsheet is everything you need to run a Ragnar in one place.


See it here. (Then, copy and download to edit your own version)

Tools in the Spreadsheet:

  • Basic Info: Get your team to write down their basic info for a team introduction including name, email, pace and a bit about yourself. This way, you can get to know your team that’s most likely a modge-podge of friends, friends of friends and a few randoms.
  • Budget: This nifty tool is coded to balance out your costs at the end of the race. Type in how much you spent during the process and it will tell how much you owe.
  • Travel Info: Whether you’re traveling to the race by car, plane, boat or foot, let your teammates know your ETA so you can plan airport carpools, etc.
  • Important Addresses: Know where you’re going from the start to finish of race weekend with these important addresses for your team.
  • Friendly Reminders: There’s a lot of things you need to remember as a captain. Take some time to familiarize yourself with these tips before race day.
  • Pace Calculator: The pace calculator is a magical document that takes into account runner pace, runner distance and fatigue and spits out an estimated time of when your teammates should be arriving at their exchanges. Race Directors post the pace calculator 3-4 weeks ahead of race date. Insert it into your Captain’s Spreadsheet and update it as you run the race.


Other Captain’s Tools:

  • The Captain’s Checklist: Use the Captain’s Checklist to organize your to-do list from registration to race day.
  • The Race Bible: The race bible can be found on the race specific page on the website. It briefs you on rules, important dates and what to expect.
  • The Packing List: Half the battle is packing right. Make sure you have everything you could possibly need for race day by using the Packing List.
  • The Ragnar App: Once the race starts, get from point A to point B seamlessly. Download apps, interact with photos and check out more races on the app.


Advice from Captains:

“Take everything in stride. Don’t let it affect your experience or anyone else’s. Roll with the punches, prepare for the hiccups and eat a lot of peanut butter.” – Vicky Mathisen

“Communicate! Know how to delegate. Be organized with logistics leading up to the race. Be fun! If you’re having fun, your team will have fun. Also, be flexible. Issues come up during races. Roll with the punches.” – Ashley Brown

“Be the captain. Meaning politely tell the other van what to do if something arises. Don’t give them a choice.” –
Becky L Podolsky

“Communication, flexibility, being organized, availability and be open for changes.” – Karly Anna Wilson

“I require all people pay their registration fee before I let them register on the site and once their fee is paid if they bail on the team – they are responsible for finding an alternate runner.” – Nicole Andergard

“Good, clear communication and boundaries are key. The ability to be organized, delegate, and be ok with making a final decision in a polite way and then staying firm in or those decisions.” – Kara Bolton

“Must be organized and have a great, reliable person to head up the other van.” – Sharon Sha-Run Butler

“Be willing to jump in and run extra legs, whether it is replacing or running with your team to help them finish!” – Becky L Podolsky

“Explain to runners how important it is to enter a true pace on the website – no padding so that you look fast or slow compared to your projection as that doesn’t help anyone.” – Nicole Andergard

“I always give packing advice to minimize extra stuff in our van.” – Sheena Caines

“It’s a team effort, make it a team project and leverage people’s strengths. Assign a planner, a room reserved, a vehicle person, etc. Don’t try to shoulder it all yourself!” – Ragbear

“My best piece of advice is: it is ok NOT to be SUPER CAPTAIN. Now while there is a lot of things to do it is ok to assign jobs and ask for help. You have a team for a reason and there is always one or two or more that is willing and capable of helping out.” – Mandi Wirtala

“Get the whole team together for a planning meeting before the race. Answer all questions and start the team theme hype. Mostly, let everyone get to know each other as teammates. Good vibes.” – Scott Applegate

Learn more and sign up for your next Ragnar here.

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