Running a mile was something she never thought she could do, now she can't imagining running less than that.
Photos Courtesy of Charlene's Instagram: charlene_ragsdale
Charlene Ragsdale is a Senior Masters runner and the founder of New Day Racing, an up and coming race management company based in Las Vegas, Nevada. She has been running for six years and considers the 5K and Half Marathon to be her favorite races.
Charlene first got into the sport of running because of her youngest son. “I was at the park with him and he wanted to run. I remember I was wearing a blue blouse and white tennis shoes. We would go for a little bit and I thought it was too hard. I told myself ‘I need to stop”. That’s when my son turned around and asked why we had stopped. I told him I just couldn’t do it. That’s when he simply looked at me and asked, ‘Why can’t you?’”
That simple question from her son motivated Charlene to try to run a mile. This was a feat she had dreaded ever since her competitive track days as a sprinter. She thought it was time to get the thorn out of her side. Then she thought she would try to run three miles. Next thing she knew, she was taking a crack at a half marathon, something she had never imagined she would end up doing. When she crossed the line just a hair over two hours, she told the timing company that their timer was wrong. “I could not fathom I could run 13.1 in two hours.”
After finishing that first half marathon, Charlene had become a runner.
Charlene became a RunGum Ambassador in 2015. She first heard about RunGum when Nick Symmonds was challenging the USATF policy leading up to the IAAF World Outdoor Championships. She gave RunGum a try and was hooked. “I chew RunGum while running, working out, during my work day or whenever I need a caffeine boost. I just pop them in, chomp, chomp, chomp, and I’m good to go!”
RunGum has been especially helpful for Charlene not just in boosting her performance, but in life. In 2015, she was diagnosed with Meniere’s disease, a rare disorder that causes vertigo and nausea. It cannot be cured. However, RunGum has helped Charlene manage the disease. “When I start to feel it come down, I just grab some RunGum and go on with my day.”
It was Charlene’s love a running and her desire for more competitive racing that lead to her founding her race management company New Day Racing. As she started to get more and more competitive in her races, Charlene found herself traveling a lot to get in the quality race efforts she was striving for, as there were not many available within the the Las Vegas community. That’s when she started her company. They offer races both small and large in the Las Vegas area to runners of all abilities, making sure to cater to the more competitive runners as well.
New Day Racing offers special a la carte style races where if you want a shirt or medal, you can pay for it yourself, rather than have it included. This lowers the costs for those who just want to run fast and allows for a wider range of people to get in and race as they choose. The ultimate goal of New Day Racing is to promote running within the greater Las Vegas area, which is a big reason why Charlene chooses to promote other races in the area as well, and not just her own. “It’s not about me, it’s about racing,” she said.
When asked about her favorite part of being an ambassador for RunGum, Charlene said, “Having the ability to share my love of this innovative product with athletes and non-athletes. It’s been a fun experience and I am honored to be part of a great team.”
Interested in becoming a RunGum Ambassador? Apply here!