Saturday, December 10, 2011

What Happens Next?

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
~My Facebook Fan Page ~Follow Me on Twitter


  1. RNRLV was my first ever race. In the last two years I have made dramatic lifestyle changes and lost in excess of 285 lbs. yes you read that right. I did not get sick at all at the marathon and not having experience anything else has fun. My goal was just to finish within the 4hpur limit. To my surprise I finished in 2:59:01. I am very proud to have set my first PR and that I actually finished. I am so sorry that you got sick. There were a couple of times when I stopped an water tasted horrible. I tossed it and luckily had my own on my side and drank part of it. I personally wanted to thank you for all the ore race tips. You helped me get started for my first race. Could you do a post sometime on post race hints. Heading bck through Mandlay bay in the crowd , I did have a fainting spell which I have come to learn that I did not eat and bananas or yogurts after the race. Luckily for me two police officers from San Diego, who were running the race, stopped and gave me yogurts and pretzels and power drinks and helped me out. Thanks for all the hints and posts and how to's. I am still just learning but I will get there. I am already planning my next race and I am looking forward to it.

  2. Bob, it is lifestyle stories like yours, that inspire so many, including me.

    Thank you for sharing it. I won't forget it.

    As far as the tips, I am glad you found them helpful. I will work on a post race tips blog, thanks for the recommend. It's a good topic, that we all often ignore.

    I am sorry you got caught in that mob. I was not in it, but I heard it was pretty bad.

    When is your next race? Keep me posted and EXCELLENT work!

  3. Charlene, I'm glad you're going to continue your protest, but I'm also glad that you'll be doing so less publicly. Your blog, and your "FAB" motto has positively impacted my running and I hope you'll continue to provide insights that help me with not only the physical aspect of training, but the mental aspect of running... that positive attitude that's so important.

    Yes, RnR was not what I wanted or expected, but that's behind me and I'm looking forward. I hope you're able to make a positive impact to the safety and enjoyment of runners in future events. And I look forward to you resuming your training and conquering that marathon in a few months!

  4. Hi Dan, hope all is well with you!

    Thanks for the kind words and sharing this past week's journey with me. Not been the prettiest trail, I admit.

    I just posted an article about the history of F.A.B. running - hope it is helpful to you.

    I am working on a post-race article, too.

    Thanks again for being such a faithful follower to my blog.


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