I’ve tallied all of the votes that you all submitted either by email, comments on facebook or at end of the initial blog post for the RRotY and, the overwhelming choice turns out to be the Smiling Sandal Runner, Ms. Karen Jackson!
For a couple of days it was a close race between five runners but Saturday, the Karen horde showed up and pulled her to a clear lead and crowned her the Rocking Runner of the Year.
Many of you expressed that it was a tough choice. And, it was! The group of runners showcased this past year as Rocking Runners truly are inspiring, amazing people, – each and everyone of them. Each one has inspired me in more ways than they can ever imagine! I have been truly blessed to have gotten to know each of these runners. If you don’t know these runners personally, go introduce yourself to them next time you see them in a local event. You will see that they are approachable, warm and friendly.
I’ve had the honor to have run with each of these runners and share in their goals and accomplishments. I have watched them dig deep and find the strength to overcome extreme fatigue, cramping, hurting bodies and finish what they started – strong! I’ve watched many of these runners selflessly give of themselves to help other runners achieve their goals without expecting anything in return but instead, remove themselves from the lime light to let their friend’s light shine brighter and let them bask in the glory of great achievements.
These amazing people have given up their precious time to ensure the success and realizations of other’s goals and dreams. Yeah, that’s what these Rocking Runners have done. They are a humble, friendly, approachable bunch that care enough to include you in on their goals and ambitions. They’ll run with you and encourage you to dig deep and find that strong that you posses and then cheer as you come across that finish line, a different person.
Karen Jackson is all of that above! She is inspiring and beautiful and amazing. She epitomizes the Lowcountry running community – a lot of heart, a lot of grit, – a lot of Awesome! She drinks a lot of beer too!
In the short time that I’ve known Karen she has run over a dozen ultras and has accomplished a lot of amazing feats. Here are some:
- Kinston, NC 250k 2012 – 1st place overall
- Delirium 2013 24 hour overall female winner
- Chase the Sun Ultra 12 hour overall female winner
- Tarheel border to border 367 mile challenge 2013 – overall winner
The vote for the Rocking Runner of the Year, based on the Rocking Runners showcased on my blog was very tough, I know. All of the runners showcased are over-achievers by definition. They each have left an indelible mark in the Lowcountry running community. They have certainly left an indelible mark on me.
Any way, I sincerely thank you for taking the time to learn a little bit about these amazing people and, for taking the time to support the runner that impacted you the most this past year! You all payed it forward well and, I thank you!
Our rocking runner of the year, the amazing Smiling Sandaled Runner, Karen Jackson!
May you have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Kick ass in 2014! Take no prisoners!