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How to Recruit for a Ragnar Relay

 How to find 11 other people to run the relay race with you.

If you’re reading this website, there’s a good chance you are excited to participate in  an upcoming running relay race, hosted by Ragnar or someone else.  These unique races allow you to participate in a typically individualistic sport and turn it into a team event.  You’re excited about getting to spend a full day with your friends doing  a sport you love.  You’re excited to see the scenery and participate in an adventure that you’ll remember for the rest of your life.  But, running a relay event has its own set of quirks too.  You’re going to get little to no sleep for a day.  You’re access to showers is going to be limited.  You’re going to run a long distance, sometimes in the middle of the night.  The van is going to smell like a locker room.  While these things may seem trivial to an excited participant, your friends and coworkers may not be as excited about the prospect of a baby wipe bath.  Yet, you still need them to be excited about the race enough so that you can form a team.  How do you get your friends excited about running a Ragnar relay and recruit them to join your team?  The humorous video below demonstrates an incorrect approach.

So, how could this situation have gone better?  In this situation, the runner seemed like he was more interested in bragging about how tough he his for participating in an ultra relay, where he is going to run twice the distance of everyone else.  While this may work if you’re trying to recruit the super athlete into your team who wants to find a new physical challenge, it’s not going to work on most people.  Most of the people you know probably aren’t this type of person. So, what can you tell them in order to participate in a relay race like this.  The key is, sell the fun.  The guy in the video above tried this, but he was talking about aspects of the race that wouldn’t be fun for your average person.  What are some of the fun things you can talk about with a relay race?


Good Recruiting Techniques

Team Names

Memorize some of your favorite team names.  Some of the ones I remember are “RunningMFAO”, “Seemed like a good idea at the time”, and “Team Nevernudes”.  You can show them some of the van decorations that other teams have done. Pictures of costumes are great too.

Nothing says fun like a bunch of crazy costumes.

Finishers Medal

The finishers medal is the most unique out there; it’s a bottle opener.  Nothing says fun like a race that gives you a bottle opener at the end of it.  What’s better than having a race medal that actually has some use to it and isn’t just going to sit in a drawer somewhere.

Use the unique Ragnar medal as a recruiting tool.

Other Teams Videos

There’s quite a few videos out there that showcase their teams endeavors.  Some of the best ones are found on our About the Race page.  There’s a great team video that came out of Florida recently.  These guys look like they are having a ton of fun and keeping things casual.  What’s more fun then running in the sun in Florida?


Make the race about something bigger

We had very little trouble recruiting people to join our Ragnar team.  We actually had to expand and create two teams, and we still had to put people on the alternate list because we filled up.  Part of this is because we are based in Utah and the Ragnar is really popular here.  The race sells out in less than a month and most people you talk to, non-runners included, know what a Ragnar is, or at least have heard mention of it.  However, I think what made our team more unique and attracted even more people in is that we made it about running for cancer.  We mixed two groups that don’t always get to see each other, Myriad Genetics employees and patients.  This gave the team additional meaning and made it more than simply running a long ways.  You have the opportunity in a race like this to mix two groups of people.  Make a team that’s composed of your business and it’s clients or suppliers.  Since it’s an election year, you could make a team of republicans and democrats.  Go for a world peace approach and make a team composed of Christians, Jews, and Muslims.  There’s all kinds of possibilities.


Do you have any other tips on recruiting people on to a Ragnar team?  Leave them in the comments below.


Keep up with the team and follow us on twitter @myriadragnar
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2 Responses to “How to Recruit for a Ragnar Relay”

  1. Great article. We recruit total strangers to build our teams, but we let coming up with the team name/theme as part of the bonding.

    Posted by Raffi | February 7, 2012, 6:10 PM

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