So, when you have a bad race experience, where do we go from here?
It's different for everyone. Everyone processes life situations differently. Some rant, some stay quiet, but we all have to respect each other to allow one to process and move on in their own way.
For me, I am planning to get back out on the training mode on Monday, as I hope the 7 days of rest will have done my body well. This will be the first time in over a year; I have gone more than 3 days without any workout or running. I am less than 100 days from the LA Full. One Half race in January and another in February. I have a very fun and full race schedule for 2012.
Unless you are under a rock, you have seen my very vocal opposition to RnRLV. You might have even seen the media reports. It was not a fleeting moment, although it may not be so visible today or tomorrow. Please know I will not stop the protest because all the athletes deserve better than what they received in Vegas. I will not stop the fight. For every person who tells me to stop, there are 10 who tell me to keep going.
My passion to ensure that ALL races for ALL athletes are safe, relatively organized and fun, will not go away. While others might turn away or even hurdle insults to me, I am fine with that. We all have a right to their opinions, but it will not detour me from my goals.
I am very happy I have a few friends who did great on their Vegas race. After all, my husband finished his first Half Marathon (and we even bought one of the race pictures). He loves to tease me that he beat me - lol. I have my memories of that race weekend - whether or not, I like all the memories - I have them.
Are there any perfect races? No, there is not. But lines were crossed and human life (not only mine) was put in serious jeopardy. In addition, Olympic dreams were dashed by those trusting RnR to provide them a course to be able to qualify for the Olympic Trials. These are the stories that need to be heard, and I will keep sharing their stories.
I have been asked many, many, many times how in the world I was able to keep walking when I was so ill and cold. Your guess is as good as mine. Yet, a good friend emailed me this, and using it with her permission
"since you were denied medical care twice on the street, I can see you getting so hot and heavy mad - you kept going to find help. I am not sure what else you could have done to get help, but I do know that you are a very stubborn lady and sometimes it works for the good. This is one of those times, sweetie"
The human spirit is an amazing thing. I think all of the RnRLV racers have amazing spirit. I think all of them showed their true colors by pushing through elements that most would have not done. Our fitness levels came in handy, now didn't it?
I said all year, I was training for RnRLV - and I was right. All those miles, all those races helped my body prepare for what would happen that night. I am grateful I raced like a maniac this past year.
To me, the RnRLV are Warriors. And those Warriors deserve to have the best race experience and not worry about if there is water, green bananas, will they be kept warm or other safety crowd issues.
I am grateful that the media has shed light on the shenanigans of a dishonest company and I believe with all my heart - that this event will be used for the greater good and demand for racing industry reformation.
For me, I am now revamping my racing. For any long distances, I will carry my own water, for my own peace of mind, even on Full Marathons. I will never qualify for the big races like NY or Boston, but I would rather be alive than qualify for those races.
I want to enjoy the sport for as long as I can. I run and race because it's fun, not because I get a pretty medal at the end. I want to keep enjoying the sport and the wonderful athletes that come with it.
One horrific experience might have put us down for a bit, but the RnRLV Warriors move onto our respective races. As we put our toes up to the Start Line - we will think back to that night, determined to never let it happen again, to anyone.
Take the road back, Warriors - you deserve it.
If you were in RnRLV - how has this changed you? Your training? Your racing?
Good, bad, ugly or everything in between - please feel free to share.
(c) C. Ragsdale 2011
Celebrate Your Finish,
Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
Certified Sports Nutritionist, Running Coach & Public Speaker
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