Dirt in Your Skirt Profile Series – Rachelanne Gladden
For those in the racing community Rachelanne Gladden is a name well known more her what she does off the course than on the course. She has been at races like the Death Race, Fuego y Agua, SISU Iron and many others not as a competitor but behind the scenes as a crew or volunteering for the event. Although many know her for all she does for the community behind the scenes she is no stranger to the races themselves.
She is one of the kindest most opened hearted people in the sport of OCR learn a little bit more about this 40+ woman who recently made a huge change in her life moving from California to Virginia to the United Kingdom. She took the time to answer our questions as she was in the process of making her life change and today we get to share a little more about Rachelanne Gladden with you.
How did you get involved in your sport?
Quite by accident really. After being diagnosed with breast cancer, and receiving my courses of chemotherapy, I became withdrawn and tired. I felt myself getting weaker, and giving in and decided one day I was NOT going to be a victim of m circumstances. I was given a chance to live – not just survive, and I was not going to squander it. My trainer at the time had met some crazy people who liked to carry tires, buckets and rocks about and climb everything in sight. He knew I would love them and…the next thing I know, I was Weeple Green.
Were you always an athlete?
I was always incredibly active, but until OCR, I never found anything that could hold my interest for very long.
What are some of your athletic achievements?
More than what I do, is what I help others do. I have always been a facilitator – someone who likes to create and organize events. Crewing at Death Race, Volunteering at Fuego Y Agua, Co-Organizing and staffing at the SISU IRON – those are my proudest achievements. Much more so than the races I have finished, or placed in.
Who is/are your inspiration?
My father is one of the most amazing people I know. At 75, he still runs every day and keeps fit by taking the dogs out for long hikes in the hills of beautiful Point Reyes where he lives. He is always there for me, and is a constant reminder that age truly is just a formality.
What is your most proud moment in sport?
Crossing the finish line at the Malibu Spartan Sprint with our friends and amazing athletes from Blind Start. It was a brutal course for a blind/deaf athlete and they were so amazing, that other competitors along the course kept saying just watching them gave them the needed boost THEY needed to keep going. There is no feeling like that I have ever known.
What is your most proud moment in life?
It is a rather recent one actually. The day I made the decision to jump in with both feet and say yes to living a life of adventure, love and no limits. Such a scary thing to do in your 40’s and the best decision I have ever made.
How do you overcome a bad race or training day?
I am pretty hard on myself, but it does not last. I don’t think that is such a bad thing. I set high long-term standards but attainable short-term goals. That way, even if I have a tough defeat, I know I will rise above it with my next go-round.
What is your training routine like?
I meet with my cruel and wonderful trainer, Jim Rafalin twice a week, and he puts me through the paces with inventive and painful routines that I take with me to the gym and try to recreate throughout the week. On off days I try to get in a run or a hike in the mountains, which clears my head and pushes my comfort zone. I am an AWFUL runner, and so I try to do it as much as possible. The little victories are huge ones for me, and I love the feeling of getting better with every push.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in your sport?
Stop talking about it and Go. Be. Do.
What is your favorite pre-race and post-race food?
I have a rather healthy diet and eat primarily veggies and lean meats, and stay away from almost all processed foods, but I have a horrible habit of not being able to eat before a race. Thank goodness for Quest bars (not a sponsor) – I seem to be able to keep one of those down before I run and that really helps. After a race, I do tend to indulge – but I end up having my stomach give up long before my taste buds do, lol.
What is your favorite quote to motivate you?
“Find what you love, and let it kill you” Bukowski. That one gets me going like nothing else. But my true mantra of late has been the very simple, Go. Be. Do. So many years of wishing I could, and now I just….DO.
What is the best advice a coach ever gave you?
“Fear is a liar”. That one stuck for good.
If you could share some advice to the next generation of athletes, what would it be?
We are all in this together. Support one another and build each other up. Healthy competition is an awesome thing, as long as when it all comes down to it, we have each other’s backs. There is room enough for everyone – never forget that.