Sunday, January 1, 2012

Thoughts on RAGNAR 2012

Happy New Year!

I am getting set to run the RAGNAR race to the Florida Keys again this year. This year, I am captaining a team of current and former Floridians. Reflecting on last year's experience, we are going to do a few things differently this year.

First, accurate pacing. Last year, I think our team got a little excited about the event as a "race" and put down best possible performance times to estimate our finish time and as a result, our team had to start our last 6 leg stretch early. Had we not, we would have finished well after the finish line party wrapped up. This year, more realistic times have gotten us a more realistic projected finish (hopefully!)

Second, minivans. We had ample space last year in the 15 passenger vans we rented. That and I received advice from someone else that minivans were adequate, especially if people were willing to nap outside on the grass at major exchanges. Sounds fine to me, I would rather rest on the ground than in a van anyway.

Third, bring your own food. I partook in the fundraiser spaghetti dinner at the major exchange at a local high school last year. Money went to the local cross country team. No one else in my van had the same experience that I did, but let's just say that I only got to enjoy my meal for a few hours. This year I plan to bring enough of my own food to sustain without depending on others. Although, we may stop at a restaurant somewhere along the way.

Fourth, don't get our cars towed.

Fifth, my team is all-filled up now, but a note to eager future captains, to fill a 12 person team, I had to have at least 24 interested people before I could find enough that could take the time off work, spend the cash, etc.


  1. Great lessons learned! FYI, as a frequent participant in the Texas Independence Relay (similar in many ways to RAGNAR) our big innovation this last year was a successful deployment of an iPhone App to provide communication between the vans, and to eliminate paperwork. While we used a competitor's product (which supports TIR and not RAGNAR) the tool which looks equivalent in functionality, and which supports your relay is at

  2. Thanks Mark, Happy New Year! Great tip, that looks awesome. I have an Android, but I'll have to get my team members with iPhones to check it out.

  3. Happy New Year to you too. Maybe this would be better (same company that produces the TIR tool that we used):

    There may be better products for the Android, so I'd contact other relay team leaders and ask what others are using. Regardless of your selection I'd recommend keeping the old clipboard and stopwatch, just in case