This may be my most shocking Motivational May Spotlight post. Get read, here it comes.
Next on my list of people/companies/product that have inspired me is...Rock 'n Roll Series.
If you have been a part of the race community since 2011, you will know how Rock 'n Roll (RnR) is the torn in my side. After their RnR Las Vegas fiasco in 2011, I led the charge to insure that my city would not be violated, again. What came of that night and the months I fought for change with city/county officials, was a better race industry, overall. Racers were more aware of crowds, corrals, hydration distribution and more. Race Directors (across the country) made improvements to ensure our safety and our experiences.
Why does RnR inspire me?
My first ever long distance race was in 2010 and it was a Half Marathon. It was at the RnR Las Vegas, the last time it was held during the day. It was an experience of a lifetime. I remember the kindness of the volunteers, the people lining the Strip to cheer us on, the dialogue with other runners as we worked our way back to the Finish Line. I remember seeing my family in the spectator stands and that final moment of crossing the Finish Line. Nothing has compared to that crowing moment, since that time.
I was so overwhelmed with the experience I went home that afternoon and registered for all my races for 2012. I ended up running over 20 races. Without that first experience being so grand and wonderful, I would not of kept racing. That is a fact.
RnR has given me the best experience of my racing career and also my worst. Through the best experience, I came home victorious. Through my worst experience, I was able to see an race industry change for the better and ensure the runner experience was improved upon. Even as I prepare for my own race director moments, I think back to the 2010 and 2011 events and compare (good and bad).
While I have not raced a RnR since 2011 (I did pace RnRLV in 2012), they will always hold a special place in my heart, as that is where my running career began. To both experiences (good & bad), I say THANK YOU for launching my career and THANK YOU for showing me the strength of this community, when they have been wronged.
Will I ever run an RnR race? I never say never and they are certainly making changes in the right direction. I will consider one of their events, as my schedule permits and if their races help me achieve my racing goals.
(c) C. Ragsdale 2010-14
Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
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