A Ragnar Van is not just a van. It’s a combination of a hotel on wheels, locker room, cafeteria and most importantly, a support vehicle. And with the attentiveness of a Tour de France team car, the skill of a NASCAR pit crew, and the cheerleading of any of the five Bring It On movies, you can rock your job as best van ever. Here’s what to keep in mind as you support your teammates over 200-ish miles at your next Ragnar Relay.
Teams aren’t just for Ball Sports
Sure, running tends to be an individual sport. But, since most people can’t do the 200-ish miles in 40 hours on their own, Ragnar is done with a team. And that means being a good teammate. So, pay attention to what your teammate’s need. This may mean helping them take advantage of a night time pacer or the buddy pass. Or, check in with them along their leg. Read the Dos and Don’ts of Being a Good Teammate to be the best teammate you can be.
Handoffs aren’t just for Slap Bracelets
Despite popular belief, there are more than 36 handoffs during a Ragnar race. There is also the handoff of water bottles, GU packets, extra layers, cell phones, headlamps, and safety vests throughout the course. On van support legs, teammates are in charge of getting their runner what they need, whether that be sips of water or food. So, before your runner takes off, have “the talk.” Meaning, find out what they want during their run. Take into account temperature, the length of the run, whether they run with a water bottle and which leg they’re on. Think of yourself as a moving water station that is helping your teammate have the best run of their life.
Cheering isn’t just for Cheerleaders
Bring along pompoms, a bullhorn and create a synchronized routine, or sometimes even a simple high-five will suffice. As part of a Ragnar Team, your non-running role is to cheer on your teammates (and the occasional stranger) between exchanges. This means pulling over your van (legally, please), hopping out and giving your runner a show worthy of the NBA final’s halftime show. Then, hopping back in the van and driving to meet them at the exchange.
Tips to Keep in Mind
- Pull over completely off the road
- #LoveTheLocals and respect quiet hours
- Don’t pull over into people’s lawns or driveways
- Only pull over on “Van Support” legs
- Don’t stop or stall traffic
- Cheer for everyone
- Keep it positive (and appropriate)
- Use orange crossing flags
The best Ragnar Vans are also decorated. Read How to Decorate a Ragnar Van for tips on how to make your van the sexiest one on the course.