Dallas Rock-n-Roll 2015

In March of 2013, I ran the Dallas Rock-n-Roll half marathon. I set a personal record of 2:08:33.

Nothing beats a mirror selfie from 2013!
Then, the Nightmare happened and I was forbidden from running until my health stabilized. It took me a while before I was even ready to attempt to run again. As time continues to pass, I continue to regain my strength. In December, I relayed a marathon with four others. I ran the last leg (six miles) and had such joy sprinting across the finish line. This Clearly Alive runner was back!

Dallas Marathon in December of 2014.
Although I was back, I was in absolutely no shape to run the entire Dallas Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon on March 22nd, 2015. However, they did have a two person relay option. Leg one would be 6.9 miles and leg two would be 6.2 miles. My husband and I signed up as Team Clearly Alive.

During the race expo, I learned about an amazing organization called Race Guards. I walked up to their booth to quiz them. I showed them my medical alert bracelet and asked them, "If you saw this during a race, would you know what to do?"

Purchased from RoadID.
"Absolutely. Will you have your shot with you?" As it turns out, the woman who responded was a veterinarian. She even joked about how veterinarians are often more familiar with Addison's Disease than actual doctors. She emphasized the importance of filling out the back of the race bib with medical information and she wanted to make sure I was clearly labeled in case I needed my emergency injection. She then promised that the team of Race Guards would be running the entire course and providing medical aid when needed.

Steroid Dependent? Yes.
Clearly Alive? Always.
Also do fill out the back of the race bib with correct information.
I was greatly encouraged after speaking with her. Paramedics often do not recognize the severity of my disease and most volunteers in the medical tent at these races are ill equipped to handle my medical condition. This was the very first time I would be running a race where I actually had confidence in the medical responders.

The early morning before the race photo.
The day of the race arrived. I was running the second leg, so I was bused to my starting point. I had to wait a bit at the relay exchange for my husband to run his 6.9 miles. I thought I heard the announcer state that team "Clearly Alive" needed to make it to the exchange, but I had yet to see my husband. The volunteer at the exchange point asked me who I was looking for. I responded, "A very bearded man." When I saw him coming up over the hill, I pointed him out to her. She laughed and agreed that I had described him quite accurately.

The husband and random people before the start of his section.
My husband handed me the relay baton (which was a drum stick) and I was off on my section of the race. About three miles into my run, I passed the Race Guard that I had chatted with the day before. I thanked her for running the course. She instantly recognized me from the expo and loved my shirt. She chuckled and said, "Yup, you are clearly labeled like you said you would be. Good job!"

Items avaliable for purchase here.
About half a mile away from the finish, I witnessed an event that almost triggered a panic attack due to my PTSD from previous medical experiences. A runner had collapsed and was foaming at the mouth. I am not sure if he made it or not. But what I can confidently state is there were Race Guards immediately on site performing CPR as they waited for the ambulance.

I had to make a dedicated effort to separate myself from what I had just viewed. Yes, what I saw was a horrible sight. But it was not me. I needed to focus on my race, my own journey. I just had to turn one more corner and sprint through the finish. I sprinted fast across that finish line and received my finisher's medal.

Another victory!
My next goal: A half marathon in September.

I sell these items on my Zazzle storefront.
Proceeds are donated to NADF and AIU.
27 July 2015 Update: I contacted Race Guards to thank them and to share this blog post with them. They let me know that the man I saw half a mile away from the finish line had collapsed due to a seizure. He was going into cardiac arrest. The same woman at the expo who encouraged me to fill out the back of my race bib with medical information was able to perform CPR on him until the ambulance arrived. He was able to make a full recover and is doing well. 

I am highly impressed with Race Guards. I hope to continue to see them in future races.

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