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Ragnar 101- Captaining a race

Being the captain of a Ragnar Team can be a fun and/or stressful endeavor. Captaining a trail Ragnar is much easier than a road race.

Requirements for both road and trail:

Organizing the team. Obviously you have to recruit a team for the race. For road races this means 11 people, for a trail it is 7 people. (Not including yourself). Once you have the team members you must register the team. This is done through the Ragnar website and requires payment. Some Captains require runners to pay upfront so they can cover the fees while other captains allow the runners to pay them back after they have purchased the team. Once you have paid for the team you can add runners through the Ragnar website to your team through email. While registering the team you have to have a team name. I’m not going to go into how to make a name (there are other sites for that), my recommendation is to think about something fun for decorations and team shirts, that also encompasses your teams spirit!

The easiest way we have found to keep a team organized is through making a Facebook group. Obviously this depends on if people are on Facebook and use it easily. This allows the team communicate with each other and make sure everyone is on the same page.

Team shirts, decorations, or other fun things are another great thing for captains to organize. Most teams for Ragnar Relays have team shirts or things that set them apart from others. One year we did silicon bracelets to pass out to other teams. Some teams for road races do magnets for the vans and trails do decorations for their camp sites. I use Customink for shirt creation.

Another thing needed for all Ragnar Races are volunteers! For Road races teams must provide or pay for 3 volunteers. For Trails teams need 1 volunteer. The captain needs to make sure volunteers are assigned or paid for.

Trail Captains:

Trail relays mean a lot more organization of who brings what. Unless you are paying for glamping, you need to bring all your own camping supplies for a trail race. This includes tent, sleeping bags, ice chest, chairs, etc. (I will do a future post on preparing and packing for a Ragnar Trail). Since space is limited it is easier if only certain people bring certain things. This needs to be organized ahead of time.

Road Captains:

Road relays means a lot more organization and reservation ahead of time. A Captain needs to decide if the team will be staying at hotels, and what cars will be used. Most teams rent vans for the race. A captain will need to do this well ahead of time and make sure the van is reserved and paid for.

The captain will also need to organize who is paying for gas and such and how tea members will be paying for these things in the end.


All captains should make sure the team is organized and training before the race. If the team is all local it could be fun to get together for a few group training runs, or team meetings. It is always fun to meet in person.


As a captain I put together spread sheets of everyone’s information. Ragnar provides some spread sheets or you can make your own. Make sure to include runner order, money (who paid, who owes etc), contact information, who is bringing what, and dates and times of important information.

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