Captain’s Blog: Time to Vote

A few weeks ago I asked you all for your best tips for  managing an RTB team, and you came up big. I whittled the list down to a few of my favorites. Now it’s time for you to vote. Enter the number of your favorite tip in the comments section below and encourage your teammates, friends, and family to do the same. Polls close at 9 a.m. EST on Friday morning and we’ll be giving out a New Balance technical training T-shirt (shown) to the person with the most votes. Get sharing…


  1. Pack clothing in Ziploc bags for each leg. (Elaine)
  2. Design a running/sleeping/cheering rotation for the team. (Lisa C.)
  3. Designate a co-pilot to help navigate. (Danielle S.)
  4. Have everyone pack their own head lamp, vest, and lights. (Genevieve F.)
  5. Remove some seats from your van for extra space. (George L.)
  6. Find a way to make your team recognizable (decorations, costumes). (Joni)
  7. Baby wipes! (Laura D.)
  8. Designate a primary cell phone for each van. (Alison)
  9. Enjoy the day, before the fatigue sets in. (Clinton R.)
  10. Wear distinctive lights at night for easy ID. (Rob O.)
  11. Hold team training runs. (Jennifer W.)
  12. Create a time-predictor spreadsheet for entire race. (Jackie)
  13. Body Glide, blister protection, nip guards. (Kelly)
  14. Plan your gas stops. (Stephanie)
  15. Eat a hot meal mid-race. (Elizabeth)

All of your ideas got me thinking about some of the unique things my teams have done over the years. Perhaps one of the best ideas we’ve had has nothing to do with actual race logistics. We’re spread all over the country and rarely get to train together. After running RTB for more than half a decade, we even drifted away from the race for a couple years. Then, back in late 2009, the idea arose again and we quickly got pretty fired up about returning. I’d just finished reading “Nudge,” a book about about ways that we make choices, and how small nudges can help us make better decisions. So I wondered how that might apply to our training.

We ended up creating a training log on Google Docs, and sharing it with the team. It worked. Cooper ran 4 miles this morning? Stephon ran 5? Well, damn—I’d better get out there and run 6. Two and a half years later several of us are still tracking our mileage with the log. It’s a helpful way to stay connected to teammates you don’t see regularly. And, at least for me, simply being competitive with my friends is often the only nudge I need to get out the door.

Still, there’s no replacing a nice group run. So when eight of us ended up in New York City last weekend, we had to get in a few miles together. It’s probably the last chance we’ll have to run together before the race, but hopefully it will inspire us all to run a few extra miles between now and then.

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11 Responses to Captain’s Blog: Time to Vote

  1. #!…cause if you start wet it’s really ugly :)

  2. Laura Dempsey says:


  3. Kristina says:

    voting for #7

  4. Tom Kelly says:

    We have consistently done numbers 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, 13 and 15 and although they are all great tips two stand out as the best, number 1 and number 5. If I was hard pressed to choose only one I would have to go with number 1. Our first year, one van had done this and the other van didn’t and it made the difference between an enjoyable adventure and a miserable one.

  5. Eric says:

    Number 2,3,11 and 15 are at the top of the list for my Captains meeting. Cheering in shifts allows runners to rest, if you don’t the energy from the race atmosphere can burn you out. Gotts ta have a navigator for the vandalizer!!!Team runns follow by a beerbq is a must. Its May but a warm meal feels great granola bars WONT CUT IT NEWBIES!!

  6. Running Lights says:

    #1 or #7 – Our team will be doing both and maybe even #5. Thanks for the great tips!!!!!

  7. John G says:

    Definitely number 7 have to get the smell off when you get back in the van after running your leg.

  8. Michael Joyce says:

    Seven is my lucky number!

  9. marathonmikey says:

    Not sure how teams can function without a planned rotation (#2), so I consider that more of a mandate than a tip.

    With that said, #7 is an excellent tip. A clean fresh feeling does wonders for one’s psyche!

  10. Elaine says:

    Have to vote for #1, but will be doing many of the others as well. If your’re gonna try something new, try it during training, not during the race.

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