Why am I team captain?

“Assisting a group of people to develop into a team, then supportive friendships during and after a challenging adventure.”

When I learned of the OTO, I really wanted to run in the race.  I told a friend at work that we should put together a team.  He said he would do most of the recruiting if I organized it.  I smiled and said, “You find the runners and I’ll do all the work.”   It hasn’t been much work…and running last year and the thanks for the team for putting things together…it was great!!!   And I am doing it again, times two!!

What have I learned about being a captain?

Well, I approached pulling together an OTO team in the same way I managed projects for work; I asked what would I want the captain/manager/organizer to do?

  1. Communicate – I sent out an email of introduction and then four or five others throughout the months. We started pulling things together in June.  The team may say I was a little too communicative (smile), but I would rather error on the “too much information” side.  I tried to speak to most everyone on the phone and welcome them.  I apologize to those I missed.
  2. Set up text string using GroupMe. We found this app to be best with large number of members (this year we have 24, two teams).
  3. Encourage each van to set up it’s own text stream…communication and comradery
  4. Team Cookout/Meeting – We put together a team cookout in August (this year’s cookout is this weekend…for two teams) for runners and their families. This was so everyone could get to know each other and we had a short meeting discussing the following:
  5. How the race is structured
  6. Introduced the van mates
  7. Briefly covered logistics
  8. Tried to answer questions

We also had individual van meetings to coordinate and get to know each other a little more.

Assigning Runner Positions – This is probably the most difficult part of the job. First, I looked at who would want to be in the same vans; we have several couples racing.  I then assessed each runners experience, pace times and asked distance/difficulty preference

Binder for each van – I put together a binder for each van that includes

  1. Emergency contact info for each runner
  2. Safety and Medical emergency contacts and procedures
  3. Exchange Zones – information
  4. Leap frog description of the Vans when on and off course
  5. Race Time Calculator for the Team
  6. Leg Maps with descriptions of each runners leg
  7. Critical points from the Race Guide