RACE RECAP: Resolution & Revolution 5k | Back2Back 5k’s

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My brother and I decided to run the TripleDareRuns.com Resolution Run (New Year’s Eve) and Revolution Run (New Year’s Day).  The NYE race started at 4pm at Kellogg-Zaher park.  I was curious to know what direction they were going as there are many options, but very few good options.

Day and half prior to NYE, I was in my closet tidying up and I fell off my step ladder. To keep myself from hitting my head I fell in such a way that the ladder sandwiched (smashed) my left ankle in between the two parts.  Nice bruise huh?

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After a day and half of epsom salt soaks, essential oils and the wonderful KT Tape recovery patch, I tried out my ankle the morning of NYE with a short dog job.  It felt okay, so I decided to give the NYE 5k a whirl.  Not a race, but at least give it good effort.

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When we arrived at Kellogg Zaher park, it was good to see some familiar races from years gone by!

 

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After a solid warm-up, we were ready to go.  Bro started his 10k about 3-4 minutes before the 5k.  The course went the opposite direction of most races out there, which I love.  I will certainly look at this option for New Day Racing.

The first part of the 5k is an up and down while climbing to the underpass.  Not overtly hilly but enough to take some wind and overt energy to get there.  Once to the Durango overpass, we made a right to continue onto the paved trail to the turn around.  After the turn around it’s basically all downhill or a good decline to the finish. All felt okay, I was sitting around 10th place female Overall at the turn around.  Once I could settle into my downhill pace and relax my breathing, I was hoping to move up a few paces. Eventually, I passed two more ladies and finished 8th Female Overall.

This race certainly was going better than the brainless one I had a Hoover Dam on 12/10!

I finished the race at 25:32.  Meh.  I wasn’t too happy with that, but whatever.

Not too much longer after that my brother finished and he was first male Overall in the 10k. Score!  I earned 1st place in my AG.  I am always grateful to be on the podium, especially in the top spot. Received a champagne glass as my AG award.

After a few pictures, I headed hope to settle in for the night to be with my doggies.  Las Vegas is firework Capital and I was ready to buckle in for the night.

It was great to finally meet Heidi Dove, the Race Director!

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Next Day:  Revolution Run 5k – New Year’s Day

Same location, starting at 12noon.

10k started a few minutes before the 5k.  I was tired this time around.  I was up and down most of the night with all the booming going on around our home.  I decided to push and keep my pace at a steady sub9 up the hill.  I had no idea what I did the night before, but inclines are just not my friend and I need to be more aggressive.  I have lost way too many races and PR’s because of inclines.

After the turn around, I settled in but the sleepiness was getting to me.  I felt it was more important to just hold onto what I had.  I was in 5th Female OV at that point. At less than 1/2 mile to go a female racer zoomed by me and I could tell she had to be in my AG or older.  Not sure where she came from!  lol

So, I ended up with 2nd AG this time.  No AG awards, this time.

My brother won the 10k again.  That’s a double!

(how do you like my ladybug socks?)

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It was a good racing weekend and I am grateful to be upright before, during and after the race.  A little winded, but what do you expect when you are sprinting a 5k?  All good, right?

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Race Shirt

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My finisher medals and NYE AG award. No AG awards presented to the AG winners on NYD

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Happy 2017 from the Running Siblings!

 

My thanks to Triple Dare Runs for their hospitality and nice race.  I am sure we will be back for another event.  Of course, the weekend could not of happened without the endless support of my husband, my teenage boys, my furkids, Daisy Mae and Jack and my brother.

I would also like to thank Glukos Energy, Run Gum and KT Tape for getting me through these two races. Keeping me upright is a big task these days.

My Race Essentials:

NYE:  Running Skirts Compression

NYD: Vimvigr Compression

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Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
*Sponsored by RobKellerMD.com and KT Tape
*Ambassador for RunGum

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RACE RECAP: Hoover Dam 5k | Celebrating a Friend & My Favorite Place to Race

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Brings back memories of my first sub 2 Half Marathon (2011)

My first, 1st Place Overall Win (2012 – same course, different event)

My last 1st Place Overall Win (2015 – same course, different event)

The 6 Tunnels/Lake Mead/Hoover Dam area is my sentimental place to run and especially race.  This is the place I ran a 5k the day after Ladybug passed away in 2011. While this isn’t the same course, it is the same area and I love being there.

I registered for the race primarily to be with good friend, Jeff Liu as he completed his 50th State with a Marathon.  He actually finished in September, but because of the lack of concern or foresight of that RD, he did not have a qualifying race and had to do Nevada again.  I knew he would be happy with the BBSC events and it would surely qualify for a 50th State Qualifying run.

My brother registered to run the 10k and I opted for the 5k.  Since I have run several 5k’s out there, my mind was on a specific course and never entertained the idea it would be a different course than what I have run in previous years.  Error #1, study the course map before you run.  If I had, I would of not been so confused during the race.  More on that later.

We arrived to Boulder Beach to a very chilly morning.  Jeff, Kirk and I were ready to go.  Kirk and I sent off Jeff onto his quest and got ready for our start. 10k’ers started 5 minutes before us.

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At the 5k gun, I headed towards the familiar hill to take us onto the course, what I didn’t know – we would turn left not right.  I really don’t like the left direction, it’s a pain in the butt steady climb. Not something I want to do within the first 1/10 of a race, when I have not even gotten into my groove.

So, we head into the climb, and I am sitting around 4th of 5th overall. I knew if I could hang onto 4th, I had an AG win for sure.  As I was coming up on the turn around I was closing in on 3rd place racer.  At the turn around I made the decision to gun it.  My strength is in the downhill and the 3rd place would keep up or fall behind.  I passed 3rd place and held onto that for a bit.  She came back and zoomed by me but she didn’t hold onto it. I passed her again and closed in on 2nd place.  I passed 2nd place and this is where it gets weird, very weird.  I know this course and I know the turn to go back to Boulder Beach.  Even though the runners ahead of me kept going, I turned down the wrong road.  Once I discovered that, I had to turn back and onto the course.  My mind went south after that.  Okay, the next turn was Boulder Beach, but when I looked at my Garmin the course was way short.   That was confusing me and I was using way too much energy and brain power to try to figure this out.  Came up on the turn off to Boulder Beach and I was instructed to keep going straight.  Okay, that is when my brain truly checked out, that made no sense!  Where was the turn around?  Was the course long not short?

I started to run and I could feel my brain melt down. At the Mile 2 mile marker….I stopped. I stopped on the course, yes I did.  I said, “this isn’t adding up, we have to be going the wrong way!”  A gal whizzed by me and took 2nd place.  At that moment, I saw the turn around up ahead and ran towards it.  Whoever said that running is all mental is true.  I lost this race because of my brain, not my legs.  In fact, on the decline, I was between a 6:27-7:12 pace.  That shows you how much I screwed up if my overall pace was 8:37 for the race. (see that drop after Mile 2?  That is when I stopped)

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I held onto 3rd OV place for the Women’s 5k.  I didn’t deserve it, I ran a horrible race.  Not my proudest moment and not because my time sucked, but I zoned out and couldn’t regroup.  That is inexcusable for an experienced runner.  Despite my mental disaster of a race, coming into the Finish at Boulder Beach is always a treat for me.  I am taken back to my first sub2 Half Marathon and my two other OV win’s.  With Lake Mead ahead of me, there is something special about this finish location.  

As soon as I crossed the finish line and the announcer said my name, a few people came up to say “hi” and a “congrats” but the one I was most excited about was seeing my previous teammate, Chris Clark.  It was so good to see him, again!

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Shortly after, I received a text from my brother he had finished the 10k and he earned 2nd OV.  The 10ker’s ran to the Hoover Dam parking lot and were shuttled back.  So, all in all it was a good race for the Running Siblings.

The Awards ceremony was fun!  All the podium finishers were happy and the crowd was very celebratory.  I have had many podium finishes, but it is always a treat when all the winners are on the podium. Lately, there is only 1 or 2 of us on that podium.

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My brother and I went up to the Hoover Dam hotel to have a quick meal and then back to the race Finish to wait for Jeff. While I was waiting, I was able to walk around with Ruby, she is owned by the staff at BBSC.  Cuddling with a dog at a race is always a good thing.

Soon enough, here came Jeff into the Finish!  He was an official 50 stater.  What a relief and we could celebrate his quest is finally over with.  Congrats, Jeff!!!

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Despite my mentally horrible race, I am so glad I went.  I find it so peaceful to run out there.  Before, I felt Ladybug.  Now, I feel Ladybug & Honeybear and that is pure heaven to me.

Cheers to all the racers and BBSC!

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Race Day essentials:

Shirt:  Glukos Energy 

Headband:  Boni Bands

Arm sleeves:  Nike

Shorts:  Brooks

Socks:  Running Skirts Compression Socks

Fueling:  No electrolyte replacement needed for my 5k

 

Next up:  Triple Dare Resolution & Revolution runs on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.  It will be my first time to meet these RD’s and I am very excited to get to know them.

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Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
*Sponsored by RobKellerMD.com and KT Tape
*Ambassador for RunGum

~Why My Blog Comments Are Closed – Click Here
~Blog Disclaimer – Click Here

 

 


RACE RECAP: Avengers Half Marathon | Legacy Streak Continues

Brother and I arrived to the Superhero Avenger Half Marathon weekend on Thursday and headed straight to the expo.  Immediately, we saw some good differences.  More Marvel characters on the banners and an overall better vibe.

After the lackluster Dumbo weekend, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Dumbo was suppose to be the crown jewel of the Disneyland races and they fell short in so many ways.  The first two years of Avengers (this being the third) were managed wonderfully but a lot of details were missing.  It was evident that Avengers has the lowest production budget but it did not hinder the experience.

We quickly got our packet and headed upstairs to the expo.  While the Disney expo’s are always well organized, the main problem is they are identical every year.  Nothing different, same old, same old.  While I love structure, it would be nice to have a different look to it or even different set up. Their expo speaker was downright annoying.  It was like fingernails on a chalkboard.  Disney may want to consider pre-recording with a voice actor and pipe in the feed in the future. When we arrived to pick up our shirts the volunteers were already going nuts with the expo announcers voice and “announcing”. That was the only real downer about the expo, that I saw.

We headed over to the merchandise area so I could buy my traditional pin and I found one of my cast member friends, Robyn!  I love that gal and real bummed I accidentally deleted our picture from my phone.  Ugh!

After all said and done, we headed to the hotel to unpack and get ready for the big weekend.  Brother was running the Infinity Gauntlet Challenge (10k and Half) and I was running the Half.  I plan to keep my Avenger Legacy going as long as I am able.

Friday –

Just like Dumbo, I set out for my AM shake out run while the 5k was happening.  It’s always so much fun to see all the runners walking around Downtown Disney with their medals.  I try my best to congratulate as many as possible.  I remember when a 5k seemed like an impossible dream to me.

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After a quick shower, I headed back to the Expo for my runDisney Volunteer shift. I have never volunteered with rD before, so I was excited.  Historically, I go to the park on Friday but this year, I opted out so I could volunteer.

I volunteered at the 10k booth and met so many first-time runners!  It was so much fun and I hope to do it again.  Maybe work the actual race sometime.

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RunDisney feeds their volunteers very well! A catered meal form the Disneyland Hotel.

 

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At the expo with my first rD volunteer shirt!

 

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My volunteers buddies!

Saturday –

Up at 3am so we could be walking towards DL for my brother’s 10k.  I decided I wanted to do another shake out while they were running.  My foot and toe was not feeling so good, and I needed to see how it was feeling.  Once my brother and friends started towards the corrals, I started my run. First, through DTD and then onto the DL/DCA courtyard.  That was so surreal!  No one around but the Cast Members.  Lights were on and Superhero music was playing.  I could of run in circles all day like that.  I took a quick photo at the DL gates.  I started to feel regrets about not going into the park this weekend when I saw the gates.  #HeavySigh.  Headed back through DTD to the Finish Line and wait for Kirk and a few friends.

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At the DL gates pre sunrise. I loved this run!

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“Goofy Joe”

After the Male OV runner broke the tape, my dear friend, Joe Spatafore came through in his hand cycle.  Let me tell you about this man.  He is injured and instead of sitting on the sidelines and pouting he found a way to compete.  He is using a hand cycle.  I have never seen this man happier than when he is on the course.  I love him and his family dearly, they are family to us! (see picture below).

Not too much longer after that, bro came through.  He was 11th OV, won his AG and the Military.  Mission accomplished!  He has earned an award at every Disney race he has run in. 

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#RunningBro flying into the finish (of course)

Sunday –

Half Marathon Day!  After hearing from the runners how much they enjoyed the 10k and the improvements (vs last year and Dumbo) I was eager to see what the Half Marathon would bring.  First, I knew the course was different.  I had zero issues with the previous courses, but I know many hated the part by the River near the Anaheim Stadium. This year’s course was avoiding that area entirely.

Brother and I were dressed as Quick Silver and Scarlet Witch.  They are siblings in the Marvel comic books and movies.  I spent a long time searching out exact replicas of some of her accessories like the jewelry and arm bracers.  I was excited, but also feeling “oh geez” I felt completely out of shape and wondered what would happen.  My foot was not feeling so hot and overall, I knew I was not in the racing form I needed to be.

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Race began and we quickly ran into the park.  During that hour it is PITCH BLACK. Disney really needed more lightening, a few of us almost tripped and fell.

First, we were in the DCA area and the regret of not going into the park was sinking in.  Then, we ran into DL.  I looked up to see Walt’s apartment and then it hit me as we turned the corner on Main Street.  The castle.  Yep, I had officially regretted not going to the park.  I loved volunteering but no park time did throw me out of my zone.  I couldn’t stay focused while running in the park, not at all. The worst?  Seeing It’s a Small World with the Christmas lights.  I could of easily just stopped the race at that moment and sat there for hours.

Made our way outside of the park and I did my best to regroup, but never quite got there.  Foot was aching, but not hindering me.  As we climbed the freeway overpass to get into the Stadium area, I felt the toe “pop”.  That did not feel good at all.  I didn’t tell my brother as I know he would of made me stop.  Until I was limping, I felt there was no reason to stop.  This was around Mile 7.  I wanted to finish and get as many pictures as I could with my brother on the course.

Coming out of the Stadium, we were met with a long line of performers in Marvel outfits.  I saw the comic book version of Scarlet Witch, but not the movie version (what I was wearing).  I did get a few shout outs, too. That was fun. 

The last few miles is identical to the Disneyland Half Marathon and I was ready to get back into the park (Mile 12) and be done.  My foot was hurting and I couldn’t get the vision of the park out of my head.

We finished in 2:08:02.  (Last year, I finished in 1:53 and an AG award)  Funny, the course was the same distance and my race time was much longer but this year’s course went by much quicker.  If I had to choose, I would say this year’s course was the best of the 3.  I hope they keep this one!

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We immediately headed to the medic area so we could ice.  My brother is having ongoing achilles issues and of course my foot needed ice.  It was there, when I told him about my foot.  Yeah, he wasn’t happy I hid that from him, but oh well.  I think having compression socks on was a godsend to me.  Kept my foot stabilized until I could get off it.

After icing and a few quick photos we needed to get on the road so my brother could run the RnRLV Half marathon that night.

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Overall, this event was the best of the 3 years (and I enjoyed them all) and MUCH better managed than Dumbo.  What a relief!  I knew RunDisney could pull it off for us.

GRADES:

Medal:  B – I love Disney medals but they do need to change them every year.  Unfortunately, they took away our spinner medal from the previous years.

Shirt:   A – Always love their shirts.  They are the only shirts I keep.  Long sleeve, to!

Course: A – Loved this course layout. Please keep it!  I heard many other runners rave about it too. It’s a winner, folks!

Mile Markers:  C – way off.  Some were off as much as 1/10th of a mile.  Not good.

RunDisney Cast Members:  A – Kind, smiling and always helpful.

Characters on the course:  A – (At Dumbo, they put the Characters behind fences, railing and completely out of reach.  huh?)  At Avengers, they had the Characters with great backdrops.  BTW, bring Black Widow a bit closer to the course not stuck back in a nook.  She was easily missed at DCA.

Post race food:  A – bravo!  (Dumbo post race food boxes were AWFUL.  Greasy cheese, recycled boxes from Princess and Tinkerbell.)  Avengers – much better (see photo)

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Post race photos:  A – (Another Dumbo fail.) We had generic RunDisney backdrops, nothing race specific.  Avengers – love the backdrops! Bonus – they created a special photo area with the Disney photographers were you could bring your family for photos.  What a fantastic idea!

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Announcers:  B – (That was a BIG Dumbo fail.  It was like watching a WWE (wrestling) match on that stage.)  Avengers, they had the ladies (Carissa and Andrea) on the stage and Quami “on the Street”.  Quami was on point and found his place vs being on the stage.  Carissa and Andrea on the main stage are okay. Andrea stepped up her game and seemed more confident.  Carissa did fine on the 5k and 10k (as I am told) but once she got to the Finish Line for both races and during the Half Marathon pre-race she was her typical screaming in the mic person.  She really needs to take a chill pill and let the mic do the work.  I still think a male/female combo is best for this venue, not a fan of the two female announcing team (even though Andrea is one of my good friends).  Surely, RunDisney can find a male to compliment a female (and yes, my vote is on Andrea because she did a great job, not because she is my friend).  Keep Quami on the street, it was a lot of fun to watch him! BTW, grateful beyond words that RunDisney did not have the announcers dance on the small stage.  That was a total embarrassment at Dumbo.  Let them announce, don’t make them dance.  Please.

Race Vibe: A – I give it an A because I saw so many happy and smiling faces during the weekend. (Unlike Dumbo where everyone was walking around disappointed and unmotivated).

OVERALL grade: B+/A-:  Fix the announcing team line-up, the mile markers and repetitive medal design, they will have an A race.  I hope that rD realizes the importance of the Start & Finish Line announcers.  It’s not just a bunch of people on mic’s, they set the tone for our event.

Despite my lackluster race performance and I didn’t go into the park, I love this race weekend.  Why? It’s a different demographic.  Not about Princesses or sparkles.  It’s about Superhero’s.  It was a lot of fun to watch all the CosPlay and see runners become their favorite Superhero.  I will be keeping my Half Marathon Legacy going for sure.

Dear RunDisney:  if you happen to read this.  Request for Dumbo weekend: Be sure to recognize the 5 year Legacy runners of the Dumbo Challenge.  Even a special bib would be great, but please do something.

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  • My thanks to RunDisney for upping their game and making the necessary improvements since the Dumbo weekend.  It was wonderful to walk away from a Disney race with good feelings vs “what just happened?”. See you at Tinkerbell!

 

  • My utmost thanks to my husband, kids and dogs who continually see me out the door and welcome me home with hugs, smiles and licks (the dogs, not the husband and kids).

 

  • My brother who convinced me to wear Scarlet Witch and run along side of me despite your weird jokes.  I am now emotionally attached to this character.

 

  • To Joe and MJ – seeing you was a highlight and I am so glad we can share our Disney experiences

 

  • To Emil – Dude!  You wore a cotton shirt.  J/k – I always love seeing you at races.

 

  • To Andrea – thank you for your enthusiasm and lunch!  It was great to see you again!

My Race Day Essentials

Fueling:  Glukos Energy Tablets – Fruit Punch

Extra Kick:  RunGum – Cinnamon

Support:  KT Tape – Pro Extreme

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
*Sponsored by RobKellerMD.com and KT Tape
*Ambassador for RunGum

~Why My Blog Comments Are Closed – Click Here
~Blog Disclaimer – Click Here

 

 

 


RACE RECAP: Big Game – Downtown Las Vegas

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It has been a few weeks since Bro and I had participated in a race, so we were both anxious and excited to get back on the course.

Unfortunately, the week leading up to the Big Game race, I was experiencing some achilles tendon issues and by Thursday, I realized that I would not be able to race the event.  I was hopeful I could run a strong race.  Most importantly, I was excited that Bro was going to drop the hammer on the 10k. While his fitness and speed is not up to where he was pre-surgery, he certainly was doing very well.

I woke up with a headache and horrible stomach distress.  I seriously thought about DNSing the race, but I knew I could manage a 5k, somehow.  Had it been a half marathon, I knew I could not do it.  I spent a great deal of time in the bathroom in the night so I was tired and probably somewhat dehydrated.

The starting line was in Downtown Las Vegas.  After all these years of racing, I was finally able to race in DTLV.  I had participated in the Santa Run, but nothing else. 

At the race expo we were given the option of a black and white shirt, to choose a “Superbowl team”.  That just seemed odd.  Why black and white?  That concept didn’t seem to go over too well on race day.

The morning of the race, was a beautiful sunny morning.  (Originally, I planned to wear my capri’s but opted to wear my shorts after all.)

I fueled up with Glukos Energy tables and RunGum

At 8am was the 5k start and 8:30am was the 10k start.  This way, I could see my brother finish his 10k.  YAY!

5K Started and we immediately took a left on Las Vegas Blvd (not the Strip, but in the DT area).  Making our way through 1-2 hair pin turns, we turned left onto 10th and the Finish line was in sight.  I tried so hard to pick up my pace, but my ankle had other plans.  Every time I tried to speed it up, the ankle protested and I had to pull back.  While my finish was strong, I was very disappointed in my time of 26:##.  (A few weeks ago I ran a 23:59 in AZ)

The Finish Line was uneventful, to put it bluntly.   They only provided water and electrolyte drinks.  No banana’s, no food.  Major oversight and many runners were unhappy.  We are not asking for a full meal, but fruit would of been nice.

The positive is the Finish Line had cheerleaders and live bands. I love their energy! The downside, they kept crowding the course and runners had to weave around them to get to the Finisher chute.

I waited for my brother and was able to see him with a strong 42:## finish.  The best part was seeing him smile when he turned the corner and saw me standing there.  Seeing his finish was the highlight of my morning!  He will get back to his 35 or 36:## in no time!  By the time the 10k finisher cams in, the finish line was almost empty.

We made our way to the Gold Spike for the Awards Ceremony.  While it is a nice idea, it is not runner friendly. I have seen way too many races have their awards ceremony at a different location (other than the finish line) and it doesn’t work.  It didn’t work this time, as a very small percentage of the runners showed up.

At the Gold Spike we were warmly greeted by a gentleman, who we believe was the owner of the race and Martha Watson (4 time Olympian in the Long Jump).  There was a wonderful photo backdrop for the awards celebration.  Certainly, they made great effort to make this special for the runners, no doubt.

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Another big snafu was the awards. They had to wait for the awards from the RD, Tim Kelley.  They arrive 30 minutes late and they were in boxes.  Have you tried to sort through hundreds of AG and Overall medals?  It was a nightmare!!!  Bro and I jumped in to try to help and it was beyond frustrating.  Bro said the same mess happened last year.  My question would be, why aren’t these medals unpacked and sorted hours before the awards ceremony?  This was a very frustrating element for the racers.  75% of the medals were not picked up and thus, proves that runners will not walk to another location for their awards.  I hope they reconsider this idea for future years, my brother said they had the same mess in 2015.  That’s 2 years in a row with the same problem.  Easily fixed.

Brother earned 2nd in his AG and I earned 1st.  After the Awards Ceremony we headed home to watch the game and rest.  I fought off a headache for the rest of the night and went to bed shortly after the game was over. 

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The aspects I liked about this race event:

  • The course.  Fast and easy to run.
  • Course markings.  There was no way a runner could make a wrong turn.
  • Aid stations.  Even for a 5k, there was plenty of aid.
  • The Award presenter at the Gold Spike was wonderful and very inviting to the runners.
  • Results were posted immediately.  That deserves a double thumbs up!

Aspects of the race I did not like:

  • Emcee and Announcer at the Start Line, but nothing at the Finish.  Yes, the marching band was nice, but nothing beats an emcee at the Finish Line.  If you have one at the Start, please have one at the Finish. All major races, follow this pattern.
  • What was the purpose of the long tables, with black table clothes and chairs at the finish?  It was rather confusing to know what they were for.
  • Expo was outside on Friday.  I think you can have one day expo, inside. This is Vegas and the evenings get chilly.
  • The Black and White shirt concept.  In addition, the shirts should not be unisex.  Please offer unisex and women’s fit.
  • No food at the Finish Line. That’s just a no-no for a race, like this.  If someone told you otherwise, you were advised incorrectly.  It is expected by all racers.  Even bananas would of been great.
  • We expected more racers & runners.  You had well over 600 participants in 2015 and less than 500 the second year.  With as much TV coverage you had, I thought there would be more runners. A drop in your second year is not good.  Please examine the details to improve the race experience for the next year.
  • As I said previously, the organization of the Awards Ceremony (or lack thereof) was not pleasant.  It can easily be overcome by sorting the medals hours before the race starts.  Martha (the 4 time Olympian) was there all morning, she said she would of sorted through the medals, while we were racing.  I have sorted through enough medals to know this has to be done way before the race, not unpack that morning.  The medals arrive from the manufacturer in a mess, please do not expect this to be an easy sort.

While this was not a bad race, it was mediocre at best.  It can be a great race, Las Vegas has hosted several local events in the DTLV area to huge crowds.  We may or may not run this race next year, we will be waiting to see if there is another race scheduled on the same weekend.

Thank you to those who volunteered and those who the owners of the race.  It’s evident you want this to be a great race, and we believe it can be.  However, the many organizational missteps and lack of attention to details will be the tipping point for many runners if they return or not.  Wishing you nothing but success in your future events! 

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
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RACE RECAP: Last Race of 2015 & First Race of 2016

A few weeks ago, my friend Ruth told me about the “double 5k” on NYE.  My first thought, “okay, that’s a 10k, not 2 5k’s”.

I soon learned what a double 5k would be.

A 5k before midnight + watch the fireworks + a 5k after midnight.

That makes sense and sure sounded like fun!

My brother and I signed up, immediately.  The more opportunities he can race, the better.  And it’s a 5k!  You know how I love my 5k’s.

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The race was sponsored and managed by Cadence Nevada Master Planned Community in Henderson, NV.  I had no clue where it was, but it promised to have a spectacular view and course.

Doesn’t everyone color-coordinate their race fueling with their outfits?!?!?

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Ruth met at my house around 9pm and the 3 of us were off to Cadence.  My vehicle was packed with warm clothes and blankets.  In typical NYE Las Vegas fashion it would be cold.  I wasn’t worried about the races, but the time in between the races, concerned me.  I was overly concerned with my brother’s leg muscles tightening up in the cold.  The temperatures were to dip into the high 20’s at midnight.

We were met with this spectacular view upon our arrival.  Yep, we were going to have a great view of the fireworks!

 

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The Las Vegas Valley with The Strip, in the horizon.

Waiting for the race #1 to begin (I didn’t wear the puffy coat during the race)

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Ruth, Kirk and myself

The first 5k started at 10:30pm.  Bro and I decided to run together.  This was the first time my brother would attempt to run a mile without any walk breaks.  A big test.  Unfortunately, the day before, I started to have stomach problems, so I wasn’t feeling my best.

We started off at a moderate 9min pace and picked up the pace to 8:15 rather quickly.  At the mile 1.25, I had to take a walk break as my stomach was revolting again.  My brother and I celebrated he ran a full mile without having to walk.  Yay for Bro!  After a few minutes we started back up and came flying into the finish. The course was great.  All residential streets were closed to vehicular traffic and we had the beautiful calm of the winter night as our back drop.

In between the two races, I walked around with my puffy coat and blanket around my legs.  Cadence did an outstanding job at making us feel welcomed!  Tables, chairs, heaters, hot beverages, water and more.  In addition, we had our awards ceremony.  I earned 1st place in the Masters Division and Bro earned a 1st in his AG. 

At midnight, we were able to see the fireworks throughout the valley, not only on the Strip.  It was time for another leg warm up and then we were off on the 2nd 5k, but in the opposite direction.  My stomach was still acting up, so I brought down the pace to 8:30ishy.  Bro decided to kick it up a notch to see what he could do.  He and my friend, Ryan were in the front of the pack for the race.  It was so good to see him way out in front of me, again.

Temps took a big drop and I was running with my neck gaiter covering the lower part of my face.  I almost wished I had a second layer of a headband to cover my eyes.  I cannot remember the last time I was this cold during a race.

Around Mile 1ish, the lovely lady who earned 2nd in the Masters was coming up on my shoulders.  I could see she was really hustling (I love it!).  Sadly, she couldn’t pass me but she was an excellent competitor and I am proud to have shared the course with her!

At Mile 2, on a short out and back part of the course, my brother comes from BEHIND me and passes me.  WHOOOOOAAAA!  How is he behind me?  Well, he took a wrong turn, so he was in catch up mode.    A few more feet and my friend Ryan passes me, I almost freaked out!  Both ended up taking the wrong turn.  (The course was not very well marked and very difficult to see the cones, so I am not surprised a few took wrong turns.)

I passed a few more ladies on the last mile, so I knew I was near the front.  My guess I was 4th Overall.  As I was coming into the finish, my brother was standing there screaming “2016! 2016! 2016!”  It felt so great to be in a new year and moving onward to a better year!

It seemed like the Awards Ceremony took forever and I was honored to have earned the 1st place in Masters, again but BEST part is my brother earned 3rd Overall!  Welcome back to running, Bro. Ryan earned 1st in his AG. Both averaged a 7 minute pace.  Sweet!

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Kirk, myself, Ryan and Ruth (sadly, the Finisher Medals did not arrive in time. How many times I have heard that excuse and Ruth was empty handed.)

This was a great event for their first time, despite the cold, several race management glitches and my stomach acting up. There are some things that need to be changed for future years, but I am sure we will be back.

Thank you, Cadence!

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
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RACE RECAP: Las Vegas Great Santa Run 5k | My Team Triumph Debut

A few months ago, I saw a great group of people at a local 5k.  They were pairing up to push a wheelchair through the race course.  That chair had a disabled child, who would of not had the chance to participate.  I watched them and liked their “vibe” and presence at the race.  That was in early October.

A few weeks later, a FB friend (Ryan) told me he was coming to town to participate in a local Halloween run and he was going to be part of that group.  That got my attention! I have known Ryan for years and when I see him that excited about something, I take notes.  In addition, I have another FB friend (Teri) who is involved.

For years, I wanted to be a part of a charity group.  I didn’t want to fundraise (not my thing) I wanted to participate in an event, where I could give back, on the spot.  I applied and was accepted into the group.  Ryan invited me to run an upcoming Half Marathon with him in April and I thought that would be my first race with TT.  Well, TT was in dire need of “Angels”, so I opted to register (despite my dislike of the Santa Run event, on a whole).

Bro and I arrived Saturday morning in Downtown Las Vegas (Fremont area).  Roads were closed off everywhere, so it was not very easy to get to our parking or meet up place, but we got there.

As a new “Angel” – we were given an orientation on the safety features of the chair. I met my Angel Partner, Kim and we waited for our Captain (the person who was in the chair).  Christopher arrived with him family, including his adorable brother, Mickey, who would be running with us.  Kim is an Angel Veteran so I was grateful for her expertise!  We opted to run a run/walk interval. This was all about Christopher (and his Brother) we could of walked the entire event.

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We had a very short walk to the Finish Line. Were instructed to start in the front and the RD would start us about 5 minutes before the official gun time.  Note: This was not a timed race.

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As soon as we started, I realized this was not going to be easy!  With my recent back pains, I hoped I wouldn’t let Kim down by not doing my share of the pushing.  Having Christophers brother with us was special!

This is my favorite picture of the morning.  Go #TeamChristopher!

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When Kim was pushing and I was keeping an eye on Christopher, his brother told me they wanted to go FAST.  So, I offered to Kim to sprint the last half mile to give Christopher a chance to go “fast”.

As we reached the 2.60 mark, I took over for the last time and turned the corner. What I saw ahead of me was a wall of Santa Suits.  The 1 mile walk was merging with us.  I knew at that point, I couldn’t sprint, but I could go as fast as I could.

Once, a gal cut in front of me and stopped in her tracks!  I almost ran into her and she would of landed in Christopher’s lap.  Luckily, that didn’t happen!

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Right behind me was Kim and Mickey.  We all received our medals, hugged and parted ways.  Now, I was waiting for Kirk to finish his 1mile walk. Yeah, you read that right – a WALK.  He has had a setback since RnRLV 10k, so he was gauging his hip and knee to see how it would feel.  He said it felt great!  YAY!

We walked back to the car and met up with Ryan and we headed our separate ways.

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I enjoyed being a part of this team and appreciate their warm welcome.  Hope to see everyone again in 2016!

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
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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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RobKellerMD.com, KT Tape and HoneyStinger
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Race Report: RnRAZ Marathon | Many Surprises

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As I sit here to develop my race report, my mind is in different directions.  First and foremost, I ran a RnR race.  My first involvement with RnR since 2012 pacing gig at RnRLV and of course, my first RnR “race” since the RnRLV 2011 disaster.

In the aftermath of that fateful night in 2011, I never thought I would be sitting down to write a RnR race report.  Ever.  And as the ole saying goes, “never say, never“.

The decision to race in RnRAZ was out of need.  I needed a January Marathon to match my training plans for my BQ quest. I needed a marathon to start off my 2015 and RnRAZ was the closest in vicinity and most viable option.  I kept my plans very low-key and most runner friends had no idea I was not going to be at the Disney Star Wars and racing elsewhere.  I needed a low profile and I got it.  I needed to focus on the job at hand, and I am glad I handled it the way I did.

You see, I have spent the last 3 years running a disaster of a marathon, again and again.  Not once, did I have a finish, I was content nor proud of.  This was my last chance to see if I was going to keep pursuing my BQ dreams.  I came to AZ with no expectations and but I had hopes I would be upright, strong and not headed to the nearest ER.  As my people says, “you race well in all other distances, but you do awful, awful in the marathon.”  No amount of training seems to get me through the physical and emotional meltdown that has plagued me for the last 3 years.  I had reached the do or give-up point.

#RunningMama, #RunningBro and I set out on our travels on Friday AM. That AM I woke up with a really bad ingrown toe nail, so I immediately texted Bro to tell him I might back out of the marathon, but considering the Half.  In my previous experiences with ingrown toenails, it typically takes several days for me to recover.  As I went to the nearest pedicure place, I realized my toenail was not as bad as I thought, but glad I had it taken care of.

As we reached the expo, I realized my foot felt wonderful. Wow!  Both Mom and Bro wanted me to do the 5k, as a shake out run and I felt it would do me some good to do so.  I registered for the 5k and had the chance to have some nice conversations with RnR people during the expo.  I noticed how cordial the staff was to everyone, not only to me.  I had not seen that in previous years and this made me very happy.

After checking into our hotel we had a quick bit to eat in the hotel room.  We packed all our meals, so we were able to save a ton of money and not have to deal with restaurant crowds.

We woke the next morning to a very brisk cool air and ready to shake out on a 5k.  Met up with Dan Cruz, PR for Competitor Group and of course, he snapped a selfie of us.  One would find it hard to believe we would be in the same picture, huh?  Well, history is history and we are on good terms, now.

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The 3 of us went into our corrals and I purposefully left my watch in the hotel room. I knew if I had my watch on, I would race, not shake out.  Our pacers were pro Elites, including Olympians Ryan Hall and Amy Hasting.  I had no idea where I wanted to be so I tucked myself behind the 8min pacer and just hung out there.

Here is a picture of Bro running with Pro Elite, Ryan Hall

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The course continued along the river and I really enjoyed it.  Coming into the last 100 yards I could see I could be a sub25, so I plunked it down.  A few feet would not kill me to push, it.  I finished in 24:47 and good enough for 4th in my Division, only missing 3rd place by a few seconds.  Oh well!

I can tell you, it has been a LONG time that I felt that happy crossing a finish line at a 5k.  The race energy was fun and yet, competitive.  I met up with a fellow Seattle-ite (there were MANY) and I had to get a picture with his 12th Man flag.  He lived in Auburn, WA and I grew up in Redmond, WA.

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Here is our family picture.  Great morning, I couldn’t of asked for a better feeling 5k.  I am glad I registered.

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A picture of Ryan Hall and I post 5k

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We headed back to the hotel for relaxing and eating.  Boy, it sure makes a difference to get away from all the crowds and just chill out for a day.

After a solid night sleep, we were headed out the next morning for our marathon.  Mom was scheduled to volunteer at the finish line, handing out medals (see picture below).  Big morning for all of us.

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Bro and I headed to the start via the Tram and it was a breeze to get there.  I had heard it was a pain in the butt to ride the tram to the start, but I didn’t see any problems. Straight shot for us.  We huddled in the nearest Starbucks to keep warm and use the toilets (of course).

We separated into our Corrals, he was in 1 and I was in 3.  I was about 2-3 minutes behind the gun.  As I stood there, all I could do was ask God to honor Kirk’s commitment to his training.  He deserved to reach his goals and I would give up my race, if it meant it would be successful.  I wanted his success more than I wanted mine.

As I started the race, I felt good.  No pressure, no stress and I was going along for the ride.  A very long ride!  As I passed Mile 1, I noticed something was funky with my Garmin.  As I entered into Mile 2, I realized it was on Lap setting and resetting the accumulated time and mile, at every mile.  Groovy.  Oh well, I had a ballpark idea of my pace and I needed to just run by feel.  Finish strong, finish upright. Don’t go to the ER.  That was my goal.

It was an absolutely stunning AM, truly a racers dream.  I made only one pit stop at Mile 14.  So…those who want to know if I had any poopy problems at an RnR race.  None.

At each aid station I sipped on water or drank Gatorade.  Check.  The water was fine, folks!

I did not fuel until Mile 12ish, as I didn’t feel the drag until then.  I continued to take my electrolye capsules every few miles and drink Gatorade.

At Mile 13, I had an idea I was at a sub2 pace, but I was not sure.  I missed seeing the clock, so I could not gauge, 100%.

Around Mile 17-18, I felt a rush of heat.  The sun came blaring down and I had layers.  I was wearing a singlet underneath Sheri’s memorial shirt for shirt. I knew I needed to shred the layers, but I was not tossing Sheri’s shirt and my bib was on the outer layer.  So, I stopped.  I had to take off my bib, take off my memorial shirt and put the bib on my singlet.  I lost at least 6 minutes doing this, I was not going to stress about it.  I was at Mile 18 and I was feeling pretty good, which is more than I have ever felt at Mile 18.

I also took some time to stretch out my hips, as a preventive measure.

Back on the course…I was still holding my own and my mind was still in place.  I continually told myself to stay mentally focused and know this is what I have trained my body to do.  Trust my training.

At Mile 22, my knees started to get overly stiff, so I stopped at a lightpole to stretch out.  I quickly texted the Bro and my hubby to let them know where I was and I was doing fine.  I vaguely remember looking at the clock on my phone, but nothing registered to me how I was doing.

Back on the course and I knew I was going to finish and finish feeling good.  Yes!

Coming up on Mile 24, I saw someone sitting in the middle of the course.  My heart skipped a beat.  It was a down runner.  I saw runners running by her and no one stopped, I had to stop.  If it had not been for the kind runners at BCW, I would of never been able to get up.

The downed runner (female) was complaining she had a calf cramp. I asked her if she needed help to get up and she declined.  So, I gave her a mustard pack and told her to swallow it with water, it will help out tremendously.  She assured me she was okay to get up and I was free to go.  I hope she made it, I should of gotten her bib number to check on her. Darn.

Coming over the last bridge, the emotions started to creep up my chest

“Keep your head, keep your head.  You have trained for this moment, for the last 3 years.  Don’t lose your head”

As I turned the corner, I took Sheri’s shirt from my belt and held it behind me like a flag.  I wanted everyone to see that shirt, especially Sheri.  As I drew closer, I saw the clock.  I saw that I had a huge PR and that was far more than I every expected of myself that day.

The moment I crossed the finish line, my mom put the medal on my neck and I needed medical attention, badly.  My knees and upper back were killing me.  My finish time?  4:13:02, which gave me a 19 minute PR and I am staring at a BQ.   A runner friend stated if I had not stopped to take off my layers, reposition my bib and stop to help the downed runner, I would of had my BQ.  While that is true, I have no regrets running the race the way I did.  I achieved my goal and then some!

A kind Medic got me immediate attention and I received medical care.  Bro found me and we both received a much needed massage.  Bro was pretty quiet, so I had no idea if he made his goal and when he finally told me what his Garmin said, I couldn’t contain my excitement.  When he finally checked his results…I cried.  He achieved his sub3 marathon!  My bro is a sub3 marathoner!  I sit here, with a big grin on my face, just thinking about his success.  He has gone from a Couch-to-5k’er to becoming a sub3 marathoner in less than 3 years.

After Medical, I was able to meet Kevin Gonzalez.  A true RnR Superstar and glad we finally met face to face.  What a nice man! 

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Bro and I picked up our Remix (running the 5k + Half or Full) and our Marathon Finisher jackets.  Beginning in 2015, RnR is giving away jackets to all Marathon finisher.  Yes, giving away.  What a perk, huh?

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As we headed back to the car, we passed the Finish Line and I looked back at the entire event and thought to myself, “this is how it should be, always”

RnR made some horrible mistakes in 2011 and they know it.  They now, have a new company owner, new management and new focus.  I began my running career with them in 2010 and I am thrilled beyond words that they are working hard to be the race company they should be.

So, never say never, folks.  Companies evolve and change.  I am proud to say I ran the RnRAZ 2015 and you betcha I am looking forward to coming back and even running another RnR, in the future. They have regained my trust.

  • Thank you RnR for welcoming me back with open hearts and honest words!  I see you are trying and I would be a fool to not acknowledge it.  Thank you for listening to me and countless others and providing a race experience we deserve.  Please keep going in the direction you are going!

 

  • Thank you to my Bro and Mom.  I could not of imagined that weekend without you.

 

  • Thank you to my husband.  I know you didn’t want me to run another RnR, but now you see why I needed to.

 

  • Thank you to Teri Mahaney of Train Your Brain for Runners.  You have given me the mental training & cleansing I needed to keep my head clear, when the legs were rather achey.

RnRAZ

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My race shoes:  Altra One2’s (purple) – both races

My fueling:  Gummy Bears, Hammer Electrolyte Capsules, Honey Stinger Strawberry Kiwi and course sports drink/water

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Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
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RACE RECAP: Disneyland Inaugural Avengers Half Marathon | Part 2 and LOTS of wind!

In case you missed my Part 1, CLICK HERE

After an exciting day at Disneyland park, celebrating an (early) birthday, I was ready to give the Half Marathon shot.  I felt very rested (thank you foam roller) and I felt I could have a strong performance at the Half.

Bro, mom and I left the hotel around 3:45am as Bro had a special meet-up (details, coming soon).

It was chilly and I absolutely needed a jacket. I was wearing my Team Super Hero singlet, shorts and arm warmers.  I put my hair in pigtails and wore a sparkly head band (for my mom), instead of a visor. This move, would prove to be the smartest thing I could of done for my race.

We made our way to the corrals and my brother was escorted to behind the announcer platform.  During a special Veterans moment, he was representing the Air Force, with Captain America (character).  I was giddy at that thought of him being up on the stage.

Disney had representatives from Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, Army and Navy.  I couldn’t be more proud to see him up there.  My bro is the one in the Team Red, White & Blue (red) shirt.

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Photo courtesy of Emil Cheng

Afterwards, he made his way back to Corral A and we had our traditional pre-race selfie. I am cheesing it here,don’t ya think?

Sis and Bro

We started the race at 5:30am and I was anxious to get it done and well, be done. I love Disney races, but I wanted to go home. As you know, I am cutting back on my traveling and I couldn’t be happier.

The course was slightly different vs the Dumbo Double Half.  Different direction throughout the park and then we made our way into different sections of Anaheim.

As I made it to Mile 3, I was at a 8:12 pace and holding it without much effort.  Then…right at the Mile Marker sign there was a huge gust of wind. So much so, that people’s bibs were ripping off their shirts.  One runner ran right into me and I was able to catch him from falling to the ground.

Palm tree leaves were flying everywhere and the DUST!  Ugh!  I put on my sunglasses, even though it was still dark.  I needed to protect my eyes from the dust and debris.  In my mind, I thought “okay – this won’t last long”  I was so wrong.  So, very wrong.

Mile Marker 4 was DOWN.  If you have run Disney, you know how huge those signs and clocks are, it was down.

I don’t remember seeing a Mile Marker for 5 or 6 or 7. They must of all been down, too

Coming into the parking lot of the Crystal Cathedral, I saw aid stations tables down and one was tumbling across the pavement.  Tumbling!  Runners were tossed and pushed aside from the famous Santa Ana winds.  This was bad and I wondered if they were going to Black Flag the event.

We all kept going and I felt like I was running through mud.  Dirt in my mouth, leaves hitting our faces and I began to think about mama being at the Finish and how cold she must be.

Around Mile 6, I knew my race was out the door, as was everyone else’s.  It was a matter of staying upright and trying to stay safe.  I felt I was running at a 13 minute pace, I couldn’t imagine being at a sub2 pace (9min miles).

We made our way to a bike path leading into Anaheim stadium. The wind got worse and worse.  I stumbled a few times, but stayed upright.  Several runners were tossed to the ground.

Along the bike path – there was a long line of Avenger characters.  I would say every character there ever was.  I felt so bad for them and the volunteers braving the elements to help us out.

Making our way into the Stadium, the photographer got this picture of me.  This is a screenshot of MarathonFoto.com – you can see the dust & haze.

Stadium

 

Ran through the Stadium and coming out on the other side, we had a bit of rest from the wind, I decided to surge to possibly gain some time, so I can finish sooner vs later.  That didn’t last long. Back came the winds and flying Aid Station tables.

I saw the Mile 10 marker ahead. I knew I needed a 1:30 to hit my sub2 and even though I felt I wasn’t on track, I could have an idea of when I could finish.

I passed Mile 10 at 1:27:##

I gasped. There was no possible way I was running an sub2 pace in this wind, there was no way.

I passed Mile 11 and I was still on a sub2 pace.  The winds were still just as strong and I was more determined to finish.

The self talk had to kick in and I remember thinking, “oh come on now…you trained all summer for moments like this.  You trained your legs to run when it hurts”

As we continued, I felt if I could just hold my pace, I could squeak in a sub2.  That would make me really happy in this race.

Finally, into the park and running by Paradise Pier. I knew the Finish Line was just around the corner.

Once again, Rudy Novotny cheered me and always has a knack for making all the racers feel loved and welcomed.

I crossed at 1:54:33.  I have never hurt so much after a Half Marathon. I felt like I had run for 48 hours straight and used every ounce of my energy.  I couldn’t get to mom nor Kirk (the barracades), so I picked up my medal and food and met them at gear check.

Here is my exhaustion picture – I am pointing at mom and Kirk at the Finish Line.

Finish

Ladybugs Ball

 

Medal

My legs were thrashed.  From Miles 3-10, it was the more exhausting thing I have ever done.  I really should of slowed it down, but I ran by feel and what I could manage.  My right leg started hurting again (like my old injury) but since I didn’t feel a pop, I think I twisted it from the windy gusts.

I liked the course, I just wish I could of enjoyed it more.  I will certainly be back in years to come. 

We had a chance meeting with Jose, who is an Island Boost Ambassador. Always great to meet new people, as the opportunity arises.

Jose

All of us were freezing cold, dirty and tired.  We headed back to the hotel within 30 minutes of my finish.  I couldn’t wait to get into a warm room and out of that wind.

Packed up the car and started the long journey home.  YES!

At some point during the drive home, I decided to see the results.  I knew Kirk did well, as always.  I pulled up my results and let out a scream.  At that moment, I was 3rd in my Age Division which means I placed at a Disney race.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever be able to say I placed in my AG, during a Disney race.  I cried, mom cried and Kirk was beaming.  What is more amazing to me, I kept a fairly consistent pace, after the winds kicked in.  Based on my Garmin, I was on a 8:12 pace at Mile 3 and by 3.1 it had already dropped to an 8:42.  That boggles my mind!

My results

I checked Kirk’s results and he won his AG…and the Military Division.  That’s my Bro!

When all was said and done, Mom had a 5k PR, Kirk won two awards and I won my first Disney award.  In addition, we had wonderful family time and made more memories.

I can say, this was one of the best birthday’s, I have ever had.

I want to thank…

  • my husband, my brother and my mother for making sure I came this weekend.  You knew, I needed to be there and you were right.

 

  • The volunteers, cheering squads, RunDisney staff and everyone who braved those wicked winds to ensure our safety.  I wish I knew every single one of your names so I could tell you THANK YOU, personally.
  • Island Boost.  I was toast at Mile 8 and you brought me back to life.

 

  • Altra Shoes.  While runners were falling around me, somehow you kept me upright and my legs stable. I swayed and staggered, but never came close to a fall.  I know your shoe design kept my feet planted and my legs strong.

Onward to the remainder of 2014 and resting my still, very painful and sore legs.

Have you raced or run in brutal winds?

How have you trained for windy races?


My #RWHalf Thank You’s

As my last blog post for the Runner’s World Half Marathon & Festival, I would like to focus on who made this event what is is for me and countless others.

Laura Beachy & David Tratner –  The incredible PR team of Runner’s World. They pull out all the stops to make this event and exceptional one for the bloggers and any other person in attendance.  Through their constant exhaustion and I am sure stress, they were kind, gracious and most importantly, professional.

To my fellow bloggers –  I joined a team of 15+ other bloggers (mostly from the East or MidWest, I believe).  I enjoyed hearing about your blogging and athletic stories. I hope our paths cross, again soon.

Katie Foster – my hotel roommate.  It takes a special person to room with ole me. And she did. 

Bart Yasso – The Mayor of Running. What can I say about you, that has not been said before?  We are blessed to have you in our lives.

To the sponsors –  Your generosity was overwhelming. Thank you for all you gave and offered us.  I look forward to working with you in the near future.

To Runner’s World staff and Editors – what an amazing group of people you are!  Thank you for your hospitality and always going above and beyond to make each and every person feel special.

Finally, my brother, Kirk Buckley – you sacrificed so much to be with me this weekend, just so you could experience a little of my work/blogging world.  I am so proud of you and I am glad we had this weekend together. 

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