Captain’s Blog: Get Your Act Together

The next few weeks are far from glorious for team captains. Gone (hopefully) are the days of talking your friends into joining your teams, but we’re not yet to the giddy final pre-race days. I wish I could put a rosier spin on this, but over the next couple of weeks you need to focus on simply getting your act together.

  1. Do you have vehicles lined up? If not, good luck finding a 15-passenger van in the Boston area.
  2. Do you have travel plans lined up for your team? Make sure everyone everyone knows when they need to be where. And while you’re at it, make sure they’ve all registered for your team—the folks at RTB headquarters can’t figure out your starting time without that information.
  3. Do you have your finances lined up? I find it much easier to collect money from the team before the race than after, even though it means estimating what each person’s share will be.
  4. Start drafting a covering-all-the-bases email for the team. It’s good to keep everyone in the loop all along, but sometime soon you’ll want to get all the important details into one big email so everyone’s on the same page. What will you be packing? What are they responsible for?
  5. Set your lineup. I discussed this in depth last week. Technically, you don’t need to finalize your lineup until race day, however I think everyone is eager to know what legs they’ll be running. Some people like to study up on the nooks and crannies of their legs, others want to figure out what time of day they’ll be racing. Whatever a person’s quirks, the sooner they know what they’re responsible for, the better.
  6. Get your team out on the roads. Specifically, into a road race. Getting in a few hard efforts before RTB is critical to being able to push the pace when you’re out there on the roads alone. (Now that I think about it, this really shouldn’t be buried down at #6. It’s pretty important.)
  7. Start packing. There are a lot of little things you need to pull together for race weekend. Lights, reflective vests, Advil, TP, maps, first aid kits, and the list goes on. Assume the final week before the race will be chaotic, and try to get everything ready before then. Start a checklist. Start filling boxes with gear. Assemble binders with copies of the race manual and maps. Begin shopping for non-perishable items. Each thing you take care of now is something you can’t forget later.
  8. Get your team to read the race manual. As I wrote in my post about safety, you want everyone to be vigilant during the race. Once you’re in the van is not the best time to get people to review the rules.

Before we know it, we’ll be in the midst of race week. The fewer things we have to worry about then, the less anxious we’ll be heading into the race.

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