I decided to run the Costume Party Run because I am a SuperHero Events Ambassador. For months, pressure was mounting for me to wear a costume, at this races.
For 79 races, I had not worn a costume, nor had I planned to wear one (except for the Disneyland 10k with my husband, this September).
A few weeks before the race, our Honeybear (dog) became very ill. I immediately said, I am cancelling my CPR trip. Vet told me she would be fine and not in any danger. Chatting with my husband a lightbulb went off. Wear a Ladybug costume. It would be the perfect match and maybe it would help me deal with the costume aspect.
So, I began working on the design of my Ladybug costume. I had to make it runner friendly. I would start with a red singlet and black shorts. Soon, after I realized that it would be better if I wore...wait for it....my black running skirt from RnRLV 2012.
I found the type of antenna I wanted and all I had to do was attach dots and make wings. I tried the store bought wings but they annoyed me.
Yes, I tested them out on my treadmill (and the antenna).
The day before I was to leave for CPR and after two design attempts, I had my costume ready. I posted this photo on FB. I had no idea, until that moment how important this costume would be to so many. So many been a part of my journey since Ladybug passed away in 2011. Many were thrilled to see the tribute of the costume and the bib on my back.
I flew (on a plane, not ladybug wings lol) into San Diego Saturday night and got my clothes ready. After my luggage was delayed in SF, I decided to go with the carry-on. So much easier!
I tried to find a dinner place, but couldn't find any place near by that served GF. Luckily, I brought extra fruit and Bonk Breaker bars with me. Got up at stupid o'clock and got ready & packed so fast, it felt weird. Typically, I have luggage to tote around.
Arriving at the Start, which was at Qualcomm - I immediately ran into my buddy, Terri Perez and her son, Anthony. She gave me a sweet gift, a Ladybug stuffy (you will see it in another picture). My other good friend, Stephanie Bradshet. dressed up as a guitar and wore her ladybug socks for me.
At the Start - here is the Super Hero Events Ambassador team. At this time, I didn't feel so out of place. I think I would of felt out of place, had I chose not to wear a costume. Many fellow runners were recognizing me from my costume and they were sharing in my celebration to honor our Ladybug.
Here is our Trooper photo:
And...Anthony, Stephanie and Terri
Standing at the Start...Trooper Tiffany was standing next to me. She looked adorable in her pirate outfit! The gun went off and we had our first two miles around Qualcomm. Road was uneven (but it's a parking lot, what do you expect). By the time we made it out of Qualcomm and onto the streets, I was drenched with sweat. The humidity was very high (for this desert dweller).
First incline was a little tough, but nothing earth shattering. I wasn't going for a PR, but I was protecting that sub2, the best I could. After the bad experience of San Francisco and Fontana, I was looking for something that made me smile, giggle and feel good when I crossed the Finish Line, instead of "why did I run this race?"
We ran up and down a street and at the turn around, that is when it got fun. We got to see everyone's costumes. I was behind the front runners and before the middle packers...so the farther down I ran, the more costumes I saw. Every few hundred feet, I would hear "Charlene!" or "Go Ladybug!" Some would stop me for a picture, some would slow me down for a high five and it didn't bother me at all!!! I was an Ambassador to this race and it was fun to meet so many of the participants on the course. In my heart, I felt Ladybug would of loved this. I felt like we were on a good long run and we were playing together.
Louie stopped me for this picture. He calls this my Elite picture - it looks like no one else is on the course
Coming up on Mile 8...I see in the distance my friends Daniel and Jacqueline Widdis. They are standing in the grassy medium and screaming and cheering me on. I was flying it at that point, but giggling all the way. Thank you, Daniel & Widdis for the Trooper salute and cheering me on!
Then, I see my buddy, Terri Perez - she crossed the grassy medium to my side of the course for this great picture
Watching my Garmin, I had the sub2 easily, that's all I cared about. I had stopped for participant pictures, high fives so many times...it didn't matter, I still had my sub2.
Coming into Qualcomm stadium for that last 2-3 miles was hard and boring, but I just ran faster to get it over with.
As I was coming up on 12.75, the Race Director and my friend, Ken Nwadike. was on the lead bike and says, "how ya doing Charlene?"
I said, "great!"
He says, "I am going to ride with you to the Finish"
I said, "alrighty then!"
I picked up the pace, so it was easier for him to peddle and the Finish Line crowd went nuts! You would of thought I had won this race. As we got closer, I said, "time for Ladybug to FLY"
And here is what happened....
And my all-time favorite Finish Line photo
I promised everyone I would fly into the Finish...and I wasn't joking, huh?
I finished in 1:55:06 and 3rd in my AG. Despite all the stops and slow-down's for the other runners, it was my fastest finish time in 18 months. Yet, I could of run a 2:30 and been happy!
|With Ladybug's Ball, Finisher Medal and the Ladybug stuffy from Terri Perez|
HERE IS A CLOSEUP OF THE MEDAL and it's the World's Largest Half Marathon medal. Quite the doozy, huh?
|Daniel and Jacqueline Widdis|
|Wendy Cerrato & Terri Perez|
|Ray De Anda|
I had the time of my life at this race. I came to this race, not overly enthused about doing and now, I am so glad I went and I am thinking about what to wear for next year.
|Race Director, Ken Nwadike (aka Michael Blackstone)|
|Race Announcer, Mark Jones (aka MC Hammer)|
|Running Troops Council Member, Jim Tello|
- My thanks to all my fellow SuperHero Ambassadors and fellow Troopers for making this a great event.
- The RD's - what can I say about you? You are my friends and I am so proud of what you have been able to accomplish and can't wait to see you again.
- My biggest thanks is to Terri Perez. She gave me the ladybug stuffy in the picture and it sat on my lap the entire way home from San Diego. She will never know how much that meant to me.
As far as running in a costume, it's still not my thing, but I will do it when it's appropriate (maybe). The Costume Party Run 2013...for a few hours, I felt like I was playing with my Ladybug again and I will forever be grateful for that memory of feeling her running with me.
(c) C. Ragsdale 2010-13
Run F.A.B. & Boston Strong,
Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
*Sponsored by RobKellerMD.com, KT Tape and Island Boost
*SuperHero Events Ambassador 2013-14
*Founder, Running Troops
RRCA Certified Running Coach, IFA Certified Sports Nutritionist & Public Speaker
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