Saturday, June 18, 2011

RACE REPORT: Ambulance Chasers 10k (new PR) & my kid gets 1st Place

About 300 racers today can say they have RAN on the NASCAR sanctioned, Las Vegas Speedway. Not only can I say that, but my family came with me and once again, The Ladybug Brigade was back on it’s feet!

We ran The Ambulance Chasers Race today.

After a few weeks of training my youngest son – I was curious to see how he would run the 1.5 Racetrack Oval. My oldest and husband also ran the oval.

I was ready to run the 10K which included around the oval, through tunnels – UP the Drag Strip and underneath the grandstands back to the oval infield.  Course Map, below

I spent the last 3 races – with sleepless nights. This was my first race, that I actually slept the night before a race. Felt odd to sleep the night before a race. I had hoped it wasn't a bad sign. 

Yesterday, my Garmin had stopped charging – so, that was interesting to deal with the day before. I bought a inexpensive Timex watch to show me splits. Frustrating to say the least, I have only had my 305 for 4 months. I am sure I can work it out with Garmin.

We arrived at the speedway at 6am. I love arriving about an hour early to race locations. Gives me time to warm-up, meet other runners and get a lay of the land, so to speak.

After my husband stopped drooling about being in the oval infield of the speedway – we all got ready. I warmed up and met up with Diane Stokes. We have run several races together, but never actually met (picture later).

Also met up with Rob Eerkson and his family. I ran with all of them about a week or so ago, during a long run. Stood around the start line and waited for the gun to go off. By then, my back was already dripping of sweat – and I wasn’t even moving. My European blood boils very easily.

Pre-Race - chatting with Rob and Ryan

First Mile was around the Oval. My favorite sight? Watching a fellow runner, run with her dog. Made me smile and I look forward to the day I can take Honeybear to a race. That dog was having a blast! (and the dog rec’d a Finisher Medal, too)

Then, we curved off to the tunnels (which goes directly underneath the race track) and then into the cloverleaf which lead us into the Drag Strip. I am at the bottom of the Drag Strip and the first words come out of my mouth, “I missed the memo that we were encounter a hill”. Who would of thought the Drag Strip had an incline. I was still running right next to Rob and Ryan. As we did the turn around – Ryan took off (as we expected) and Rob and I ran along side of each other. Then there was sticky on the pavement. Oh yes, let’s be sticky so it takes more energy to run! WOOHOO! I moved to the side to be a whimp and Rob championed through it. By the time we got to the bottom of the hill (decline) – Rob took off and we were heading into Mile 5.

Almost done and I was already pouring water down my back. I stopped twice to do that. I was not running for a PR – I figured it was not within my reach – HOT WEATHER!

Ran underneath the grandstands. I like this part! Reminded me of all those nights of working backstage in the music business.

Came through the cloverleaf and through the tunnel again – heading to the oval.
Feeling very HOT and tired, I just kept at my sub-9 pace. No need for me to push it any farther.

Came around the corner and my husband snapped this picture of me. I like this picture – it shows me with CORRECT form (bending at the knee and mid-foot strike). Much better than previous race day photos where I am heal striking.

I finished at 55:04 – beating my previous PR by 28 seconds. How I PR'd, is beyond me. Yes, if I had not stopped twice to pour water down my back, I would of broke 55:00. But, you know – it really didn’t matter. I am happy with my finish time.

When I cross the finish line and I have three focuses at the end of my 5K and 10k races:

1) Medal
2) Water
and 3) Sit down

Received my medal, youngest son handed me the water and I immediately planted myself next to a building (in the shade) to cool down. Within minutes – the “After Sweat” came. I don’t sweat A LOT during runs – but when I stop running. The Sweat Glands have a Water Worksfest on my body. I just have to let it happen and it allows me to cool down, obviously.

As I was sitting there, my youngest informed me he was First, my husband was Fourth and my oldest was Fifth. My youngest gave me play by play of his entire race and I could see his pace training was teaching him to hold back at the beginning and then sprint it home. So proud of him and his running maturity.

Had a few snacks and met up with some other runners (that I mentioned before) Diane and I also met up with Tara (from but I didn’t have my phone with me to get a picture with her.

Me with Diane Stokes.  Great Online Runner friend and Winner of my recent Blog Giveaway from "Allied Medal"

Me with Rob Eerkson's Family - "The Posse"

The more I race, the more people I get to know – and it’s great to share this experiences with others. As we all know – when you are a runner. Your non-runner friends often out number your running friends and you are “one of those”.

We waited around for the Awards. When my kids realized I did not win an Overall nor Age Division Award, they were so disappointed as they knew I PR’d.

Even though at each race this year, I have won an Overall or an Age Division – I kept telling them that it would not happen in EVERY race. This was one of those times and it didn’t bother me AT ALL! I used this opportunity to finally prove to my kids, that even with a PR – you won’t get a trophy/award. The point is to run and enjoy the experience. Racing isn’t always about the Awards – it’s suppose to be fun!

My overall opinion of the event? It is one of my favorites, for sure. Great runners, INCREDIBLE course support. Volunteers, Signage, Aid Stations = I was impressed. The food spread after the race was great (which is I am always nit-picky about): Watermelon, Orange, Pretzels, etc.

The Medals are always appreciated – and giving them to the 1 milers is such a nice touch, too.

Great drawing prizes and my oldest son won a water bottle and an REI Gift Card. He keeps the bottle, I am using the Gift Card. (I think he was more excited about that Water Bottle than the Finisher Medal)

This was a good race to prep for Running With the Devil next week from Calico Racing. Maybe by next week, I will be more acclimated to the heat.

Thanks, Ambulance ChasersThe Ladybug Brigade (aka The Ragsdale Family) enjoyed ourselves – if you have it at the Speedway again – we will be there!

(c) C. Ragsdale 2011
Celebrate Your Finish,
Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV  
Certified Sports Nutritionist, Athlete and Public Speaker  
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  1. Congrats on the PR, and congrats to your son! As a big NASCAR fan, I'd love to run on a track. While I've been able to walk on a few on race weekend, I haven't had the opportunity to do a race that runs on one or finishes.

  2. Hi David, thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. This was a great thrill for many NASCAR fans (including my family). Hope you will join us next year.


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