My Yearly Memorial Run To Honor Ladybug | Benefiting Heaven Can Wait

Every year at the St Patrick’s Day Run (formerly owned by Mountain Man Events, now owned by BBSC) I run to honor Ladybug.  You may recall, this is the event I ran the day after she died and was nicknamed “The Ladybug Runner”.

This year, I wanted to do something extra special, since it was the 5th anniversary of her death.  I contacted Heaven Can Wait Animal Society of Las Vegas to see if I could do a fund raiser for them. They provide no-cost to low-cost spay and neuters to pets in need.  As you know, that is my animal advocacy platform = spay and neuter!

From their website, “Heaven Can Wait Animal Society, a non-profit 501 (c)(3) animal humane organization, was formed in 2000 by a group of 5 concerned citizens with the idea of building a beautiful 20 acre sanctuary to house all of the unwanted animals in our community.  In the meantime, though, animals were and still are dying at rate of around “30,000 per year in our local shelters with even more just dying in the streets.  Therefore, we decided to refocus our efforts slightly away from rescue and more toward promoting spay/neuter as the solution to the tragic pet overpopulation problem here in Las Vegas.”

About 2 weeks before race day, we launched the fund raiser with their social media following and I held my breathe.  I wanted this to be a success for them, I hoped for $500!

Days leading up to the race, we went over $500 and then, something happened.  The night before the race, we reached $1,397!!!  It took my breathe away because I saw the irony in that number

Ladybug died when she was 13 and she was born in ’97

I woke up on race morning so excited and so proud of the race community.  I had one job to do and that was run a strong 5k in her honor and for all my animal loving friends.  For the first time, I was wearing a Ladybug Runner shirt.  A design from my brother.  Okay, I know – 5 years later I finally get a shirt.  Don’t laugh too much!

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My brother and my son drove to the race day. I asked my son to come with us because he started the yellow tennis ball tradition and I felt he needed to see this special moment.

After a warm-up, Renna and Alex from HCWS met us there and brought poster boards to cheer me on!  How sweet. They said they had 2 more, and I had to wait to see them.

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The weather was perfect and we were ready.  My brother was running the 12k and I, of course was doing the 5k.

The race was set at 6 Tunnels and I couldn’t wait to get started!  Unfortunately, some inconsiderate runners hindered the start for me and many others.  They decided as soon as they crossed the finish line to STOP and take selfies.  Really, people?  In front of all the runners.  Despite being told to move they stood there, GIGGLED and took their dang pictures.

Once I got around the inconsiderate runners (I hope they have some wonderful pictures of people getting angry with them and tell them to move, seriously) I started moving.  I wasn’t looking to PR, but I did want a good time.

Right away, I could feel my feel not grabbing the dirt trail. That was very unusual for this course, it’s not hard, it’s loose gravel and dirt.  But, I felt slippery.

That never changed, but I was having a blast and I kept going!After the turn around, tried to push but my feet couldn’t get underneath me.  Good grief.

As I turned the corner into the finish, I could hear tons of people screaming and of course, I saw the poster boards from HCWS, well kinda. (I saw the posters, but I didn’t actually see what they said.)

After I retrieved my medal, Alex (from HCWS started walking towards me with a big poster board).  On the board was a big red heart and Ladybug’s picture!  OH….I cried!  What a sweet gift!

Here is my post race photo with their sweet signs.

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We waited around for the awards.  My brother was first in his AG and I was the traditional 2nd in my AG.  The day was perfect and I couldn’t imagine having it any other way.

 

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BUT WAIT!  By the time the fund raiser ended, we had raised close to $1,500 in less than 2 weeks!

Thank you HCWS for allowing me to race to benefit your charity.  I look forward to doing this again and again.  If you are an animal lover, please consider making a donation to this great organization at www.hcws.org

For a great race experience, every time – please check out BBSCRun.com!  You will be glad you did.

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
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RACE REPORT: 6 Tunnels Turkey Trot | It Was a Family Affair

Last year, I was on the sidelines watching my friends & family run this race.  I am glad I was healed and well enough to participate.  It is my favorite course, so any chance I get to race in 6 Tunnels, I want to be there.

Earlier in the week, I battled a fierce head cold, so I came to the race with some stuffiness and very low expectations.  You may recall, my last 5k was in PA, when I felt wonderful and failed miserably at my 5k, for no apparent reason.

Arriving at 6 Tunnels, bro and I met up with mom and his Canadian friends, Andy and Rachel. We know it’s Thanksgiving when Andy arrives, for his yearly trek.  This year, he brought his sweet girlfriend to experience Las Vegas.

Bro was scheduled to race the 12k, but a glute issue was keeping him from racing his best, so he decided to drop down to the 5k and run with me.  Since I suffer from Exercise Induced Asthma (EIA) and I had chest congestion, this was not prime conditions.  I didn’t care, I was out there to push as hard as I could and enjoy being at 6 Tunnels with my friends and family.

Andy (Bro’s friend) was scheduled to run the 12k and Rachel (the friend’s, girlfriend) was participating in the 1 mile.

  • 12k started at 8:00am
  • 5k started at 8:05am

That was the first problem.  With the size of this race (over 1000), the 5k’ers were bottle necked at mile 1/2, since we had reached the 12ker’s walkers.  I have finally come to the decision, that walkers will not move over.  I respect they also paid for this race, but please move over when others are trying to run around you.  They really should start the 5k at 8:00am or even 8:30am.  The first half of this race was nothing more than weaving and running into other people.  That can be completely avoided with a different start time.  I have been to plenty of races where there is at least 30 minutes between each distance start.

Coming into the first tunnel, the dust was the worst and I have run this course a lot.  I even had to put my hand over my mouth to keep from breathing the dust through my mouth.

Out of the first tunnel, I tried to surge a bit, but I was at the 8:23 mile mark.  That is my half marathon pace, not my 5k pace, even on that trail/dirt course.  Then, into the second tunnel and that was dust was even worse.  Ugh.

Turn around and back through the tunnels, at least I was mentally prepared for the dust.  Coming out of the second tunnel, I went into my surge…well, I tried.  Once we hit the 1 mile turn around – we were met with 4 and 5 people across (walking) and blocking the course.  Bro tried to plow a way but people were not listening to us “runners coming through, please move aside”.

I felt good and I felt strong, but I knew a PR was out of my reach, I was held up way too long on bottlenecks and moving around others.  I was NOT that far back, I was in the top group and these crowds made us feel like we were in the middle or back of the pack.

Came in a 25:20.  Respectable on a trail course and missed my course PR by a few seconds.  I was very pleased and much happier than my race in PA, that was for sure.

Once I crossed the finish line, the sneezing and wheezing started.  Oh mercy, that kept coming for at least 10 minutes.  Rachel met up with Kirk and I.  Next, we had to wait for mom on her 5k and then Andy on his 12k.

While I was in my sneezing attack, Kirk ran out to find mom.  I was quite concerned she was on this dirt/gravel course. I didn’t want her to do it, as he is so prone to tripping and falling.

Mom and Bro come in and sure enough, she fell.  Allegedly, someone tripped her on the course.  Oh, Mom. 

We checked results and I was 2nd in my AG (again).  This is a pattern, I always get 2nd in my AG at the Turkey Trot and this was my 3rd 2nd place AG for this Turkey Trot. I finished 88th overall (including men) out of 723 racers.  No complaints from me!  

Here I am with my AG award and Ladybug’s ball (the course, where Ladybug’s ball tradition began in 2011)

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Mama got 2nd in her AG.  And even though Kirk was tagging along with me, he got 3rd in his AG. We both giggled, at this one!

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Andy came in strong on his 12k finish and we had a great time chatting about the race. Here is our group photo with medals and AG awards.

 

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I am so happy I could run this race, again. I missed it!  Once again, beautiful day and great temps.  This course never, ever disappoints me.  The only disappointment was the overt crowding and bottle necks.  That can be completely avoided, hope the RD makes those changes for next year. 

My race gear:

Shoes:  Altra One2’s (purple)

Socks:  DryMax

Headband:  (Black) Bondi Band

Shorts: Brooks

Shirt:  TSH singlet with a black tech shirt underneath

 

Another Turkey Trot is done and I am so glad I went.

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
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