For those that are not aware what a Ragnar relay race is, it is 12 runners, 2 vans and about 200 miles of running from point to point.
I have participated in the last three Central Florida Ragnar races. The first time was as bike support for a team and the last two were as captain of my own team. It goes without saying that the Central Florida teams I was captain of were memorable and will never be duplicated. It's like when Coke tried to fool us with New Coke. The original was the original for a reason.
I enjoy being the Captain. It gives me a little more control of who is on the team and what legs my runners run. I have a few demands though. I will be runner 12 and I ask that everyone show up to have fun and run the best they can without me looking at a watch. Yes we do have a spreadsheet but it is just so the vans have an idea of when they need to be at the next exchange.
In 2011, Ragnar decided to cancel the Central Florida race. That left the Keys race as the only Florida one. There were four of us from my last team that wanted to do another Ragnar together and figured we might as well sign up for this one. Time to get a new team.
Picking a team for Ragnar is kind of tricky and sometimes controversial. When I form a team, I am not trying to stack the deck for a possible award. I have plenty of medals and it is not always about the hardware but the journey itself. I try to get 12 people of similar pace who can also get along for a day and a half. Well, at least 5 people that can get along with me in Van 2.
Although Brandon Running Association does not sponsor my teams, I do offer the open spots to members of BRA first with the up front condition that the person can run a 9 minute mile, or faster, 10k. It didn't take long to fill my team.
When I registered, I had to create a team name. I did not want to use the previous team name because it just wouldn't be right. Kind of like those bands that change members but keep the same name. C'mon, Queen adding Paul Rodgers was no longer Queen. It was more like Bad Queen or Queen Company. Because once you lost Freddy, you lost Queen. I chose Uncle Walt's Band. Simple and tame.
As with any running event that is planned well in advance, there is some likelihood that one of your teammates is going to get injured and have to withdraw from the race. It is always good to have some runners on stand-by because that is exactly what happened. We lost two runners about a month out and a third with two days til the start. With some bargaining, arm twisting and out right lying, we were able to
Some of my runners did have the Disney Marathon scheduled for the following Sunday after Ragnar. This meant I needed to give them the least amount of miles and they were also told not to push it unless they wanted to. Again, my teammates are told they run at their own pace and I do not pressure them if they don't. I rely on the inner runner in all of us that finds a way to show up come game time.
Van 1 roster is Jason, Tom, Lana, Jeff, Casey and Dave.
Van 2 roster is Dorcas, Jan, Holly, CSteve, Robin and Uncle Walt.