RACE RECAP: RnR 10k | My Brother’s Return to Racing

After a successful Avengers Half Marathon, a quick stretch out in the DL parking lot, replenish some nutrition, we were on the road by 8:15am.  Not knowing how the parking and getting to the start line would be for RnR 10k, we were zooming home as fast as we could.

Kirk was the driver and I sat in the passengers seat to self-massage, replenish and rest.  Before we got in the car, I put on my full-leg compression pants.  On the ride home, we chatted about a mirage of things, but the upcoming 10k was foremost in both of our thoughts.  His plan was to run/walk a 3:1 interval at a moderate pace of 9:00.  That is a nice easy pace for him, for sure.

Slippers were a priority on the drive home!

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Leg drain and stretch time in Barstow (while the Bro takes a selfie)

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We arrived back in Las Vegas very early. We would soon learn, it was too early and we should of taken the time to stop more and stretch out (for both of us).

We changed clothes.  I knew the weather would be getting a lot cooler and windy, so I put on capri’s, my 2012 RnRLV shirt and a grey tank underneath.  To cover my ears, I wore a neon green headband.  We found a nice place to warm up and stretch out inside the SLS Hotel & Casino.  (The 10k Start Line).

10k outfit

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As we were leaving the SLS, I saw Becky (she & I were members of the same running club, when I first started running in 2010.  I love seeing this girl!)

We had a quick run, warm up and then headed into our corrals.  The Producer from ESPNRun found me (pre-scheduled) and we had another quick interview shoot.

Here we are, waiting for the gun. This is our tradition, a #RunningSiblings pre-race selfie at the Start Line.

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Bro REALLY wanted me to run full board and try for another AG award.  My heart was not into it.  This was my brother’s first race, I couldn’t miss that moment!  I made the mental decision that I would take off at the start, but I would start walking about half mile in, and wait for him to catch up with me.  I was running with my brother, no matter what he wanted!

The gun went off and I took off.  Legs felt fine, not super, but fine.  I could of kept running but this one time, I was listening to my head.  I was going to slow down and find my brother.  I had my morning.  I had my glory. This 10k was all about him, not me.

And there he was.  I quickly met up with him, by his side and informed him I am running/walking with him.  My heart felt at peace, again.  I have spent months waiting for him at the finish line as he finished his walk.  This time, we were going to finish together, running.

(The other issue was safety.  I felt better knowing I was right by his side. If something happened, I could run to get medical aid.)

We settled into our run/walk and kept going.  It was around Mile 3, I started to wish I had taken more time to self-massage and stretch out on the drive.  I was tightening up, like a drum.  By Mile 4, my left quad started twitching.  Twitching?  Not sure what that was all about!

By 4.5 – the awful winds kicked in.  We were tossed about on the course and ate a lot of dirt.  I knew the Half Marathoners had started and our minds were on Devin.  He worked so hard to PR on this course and I feared if these winds kept up, it would be out of his reach.

On the final mile – we ran (not a sprint).  I was smiling from ear to ear, each step.  We crossed the Finish Line in a respectable 57:32.  Not bad for a man who was on crutches 2 months ago.

Crossing the Finish Line was the turning point in the weather.  The wind and rain got worse (can we say “2011!”).  The temperatures dropped rather quickly.  After his icing session at medical, the ESPN Run Producer met up with me for my final interview.

We started walking towards the UPS to pick up our bags and the weather kept getting worse.  Both of us were getting uncomfortable.  RnRLV did an outstanding job at communicating the bad weather situation to all the athletes.   To say this was an improvement is an understatement. Good job, RnR!

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Kirk and I went into the Bellagio to get warm before we walked to our car (at the Venetian).  That was a welcome relief from the winds and cold.

As we returned outside, the weather was worse.  My instincts went into panic mode and I worried about all the runners on the course.  With over 45K runners, they were still running the first left of the race.  Crowds were controlled, they looked safe, I saw RnR staff on the side of the road looking out of the racers and so many more safety features.   We left the Strip knowing all was well (except for the weather).

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I am grateful for the RnR welcoming me back to my home race and being a part of my #EpicWeekend and #EpicDay

Onward to the next race on Thanksgiving Day (which happens to be my birthday!).

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
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