Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Runner in the Spotlight: Tracy Rabon

Tracy Rabon is currently a student with the University of Phoenix Online and is a Charlotte native. Tracy would love to find a group run that boasts runners in the 12-14 minute range per mile. Feel free to email us if you would like to link up with her!

What's your favorite restaurant in Charlotte?

Too many to name but I'm always happy to eat at Cheddar's in the University area! I love their Sante Fe Spinach Dip and Lemon Pepper Chicken!

How long have you lived in Charlotte?

I'm a native - born here, moved away for about 5 1/2 years to Arizona but came right back!

Favorite place you've traveled and loved for running?

The beaches actually. I've ran at Ocean Isle Beach NC, St Augustine FL, and Wrightsville Beach NC. Nothing quite like the breeze in your hair and the view of the water nearby!

When and why did you start running?

My first run was the CPCC Skyline race in 2008. I was immediately addicted to the sport but yet I began for health reasons. I suffered from mild dehydration while in AZ and running was and is part of the cure. My body lacked proper hydration thus I gained over 50 lbs during my first 30-90 days of living in AZ and until the hydration is fully corrected the weight remains (a result of "starvation" mode). Running both keeps me healthy and forces me to learn the habits of proper hydration and nutrition. Late last year I finally had all other health concerns related to the dehydration corrected, weight is the last issue and this is my year to 'get back to my old self'. While I am not yet able to run an entire course, I know that one day I will be and part of what motivates me is all of the support and encouragement that runners (and walkers) give each other. I've never participated in a sport activity that is this warm and friendly towards humanity, thus running truly has become a passion for me.

What do you love about running?

As well as the camaraderie, I enjoy that sense of accomplishment we get when we cross that finish line. I believe we are only in competition with ourselves. It's not about winning, it's about finishing what you start..

What’s the funniest or strangest thing that has ever happened to you on a run?

On one of my earliest runs (during 2008) I fell in with a group of college kids, overweight, carefree, and basically out to enjoy every minute life had to offer. While chiding each other over how far they yet had to go to the finish line and how on earth could they make it, one boisterous male runner (with a prominent "beer belly") told the others to 'remember why we're here' to which he began to very loudly shout out to all those around him. "I would like to take a moment to thank my sponsors!! Thank you Burger King and Pizza Hut! Thanks to McDonald's! A very special thanks to Budweiser and Jack Daniels without whom I would not be here today!!" His perspective was both hilarious and refreshing!

Do you lead any Charlotte Running Club group runs? What time?

No but I would truly love to see a group in the 13-15 min pace range.

What's your most memorable race and why?

I have so many... at the moment though it's a tie between the Ocean Isle Beach Bridge Run and the Rock Hill Hunger Run (at Winthrop University). The Rock Hill run is where I earned my very first placing for my age group. Although my time was nothing to brag about whatsoever, I was out there, I was doing my thing, and boy does it feel good to take home that 'coffee mug' with the pride of knowing you're off the couch, on you're feet and Life is truly good! The Ocean Isle run was my first over a significant bridge. From the top we could see the entire coastline of the island, as well as the community itself. The wind chill factor was around 10 degrees that morning, the organizers were the most gracious hosts I've yet encountered and my running mates (strangers that became friends) were so very welcoming! I actually run in a skirt, it's part of my religious convictions, and am often greeted locally with "Hey, I know you! You ran at the XXX race just recently" not because they actually know me but they remember my attire and, I hope, my friendly self. On this particular race, I ran a mile or so with a lady that had never encountered a runner in a skirt and she had the forthrightness to simply ask why. It put her at complete ease to understand that people of all walks in life enjoy this sport and that the common bond in running supersedes our differences. On a race course, we're all runners, we're all headed for that same goal, and we all feel the pain and the glory of each other's struggles and triumphs.

Where is your favorite place to run in Charlotte?

The airport. Yes, I admit it. A flat course with a good view and I am one happy camper!

Favorite distance?

Right now it's the 5K. Somewhere in my future I hope to aspire to a half marathon, but right now I am most happy with a 5K. 38 min has been my best time yet and it was at Susan G Komen in 2008, although to be honest, I am not sure the route was a full 3.1 miles and the timing system for that event was off due to a late start (greater than 30 min with the clock already ticking). It is an estimate at best, 2nd closest to that is around 41 min.

What’s next on your race calendar?

My next race is the Run TOO Overcome 5K at Huntersville Family Fitness & Aquatics on 3/6 followed tentatively by the first race of the GPX series here in Charlotte. I'm quite excited!

Thanks Tracy Rabon for sharing your story! The Charlotte Running Club wishes you the best of luck in your race on March 6th! Maybe it will be a PR for her!


  1. Just as my predecessor, Scott Helms, said - I am quite honored to be part of the Charlotte Running Club. This is a fantastic local group that supports runners of every category. My best wishes to all members, both present and future. Go CRC !!
    Tracy D. Rabon
    Charlotte NC

  2. That was a nice interview!Very inspiring!