Oh, the Places You’ll Go

by

Mark Jimenez

You never know where life will take you. When my kids were little I would read them the Dr. Suess book “Oh, the Places You’ll Go.” Life has taken lots of turns for me since then, but Dr. Suess was right, “Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest. Except when you don’t. Because, sometimes, you won’t.”

Mark in 2023, with Hannah

On February 7, 2010 I laced up my Adidas Supernova Glide and walked to the start line of my first ever marathon, the Surf City Marathon in Huntington Beach. I had purchased the shoes at Red Rock Running Company a few months before, kicking off a path that would eventually lead to me buying the store in 2018. My good friend John and I had started this path together. In 2009 we had finished two half marathons, and we figured Surf City would represent a good opportunity for us to conquer the marathon distance.

Mark & John about to start their first marathon in 2010

I finished the race in 4 hours and 32 minutes. John was right behind me at 4 hours and 34 minutes.

Mark in his first marathon

Ten years later I would run my Personal Record marathon time of 3 hours, 8 minutes and 35 seconds, which would send me to my first Boston Marathon.

Mark finishing the 2020 Surf City Marathon

I have run Surf City every year since, completing the marathon distance every year except the last two years, where I have switched to the half marathon. As I get older, I realize that I only have one or two good marathons in me a year, and I want to travel and get some of the fun ones out of the way. Doing the half at Surf City is very enjoyable! I’ve been nursing a bit of a knee injury, so I was able to run with Carl for the whole time during this year’s edition of Surf City. It was probably the most enjoyable race I’ve ever done. It’s good to have friends and running buddies.

Mark & Carl in the Surf City Half Marathon 2024

It has been a whirlwind 14 years (with 15 Surf City events in there, count them up and you’ll see!) since that day in 2010. In a lot of ways life was a lot easier back then. I was a high school math teacher, my kids were just little, and I had just finished my doctorate degree a few months earlier. I had started a part time job at the college level and my future as an educator was exciting.

The first big change came in 2014, when I accepted a job at HotChalk in Bay Area as Director of Academic Affairs. The plan was for me to move up there and the family would follow. It was an exciting job, I learned so much up there. The private sector moves so much faster than the public sector, and you have to adapt or you’ll be left behind. What I didn’t anticipate was the complications this plan would have on my family. As I have since learned, before you take an action as big as this you need agreement, and I never truly had agreement from my family. That’s ok, I learned a lot and between the pull of my family and the prices of homes in the pay area, I came back to Las Vegas and was back in the classroom in 2015.

I was able to teach high school and work as a Dissertation Advisor. It was pretty exciting. Then in January of 2018 I got the email saying the owner of Red Rock Running Company was interested in selling. I deleted it, but then the next day I was out on my run and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I sent an email and then ka-boom! On March 1, 2018, I was the owner.

I’m quickly coming up on 6 years as the owner of Red Rock Running Company, and it has also been a whirlwind. Every store has changed since then! In 2019 we moved the old Cheyenne location to the Centennial Center. In 2022 we opened the Southwest store. In 2023 we remodeled and expanded our Henderson location, and in 2024 we have opened our 4th store in North Las Vegas. Are we done? Only time will tell!

The new Cash Wrap at Deer Springs

The one constant in all of this has been running. Running is amazing. It gives back so much more than it takes. I know that it’s hard to get started, trust me, I get it. Over my 46 years on this planet I have given up and started running again so many times. It wasn’t until 14 years ago that I started doing it regularly. Even then I wasn’t very consistent with it until I started running every day more than 7 years ago now.

There is a lot of pain in my life. I haven’t been shy about how depression is a part of my life, and couple that with how my life has changed with a divorce and my current relationship with my kids and you get somebody who hurts a lot. I’ve said it time and time again, this is why I run every day. It helps me fight those demons. I’m not running away from them, no it’s not that at all. I’m running to give me the strength, energy, and endorphins to defeat it. I’m in this to win!

Finishing the 2024 Surf City Half

It doesn’t matter why you run, the reason is yours and yours alone! It doesn’t matter if you run fast, slow, or in-between. Just go out and get a run in! Stick with it for 3 or 4 weeks and you’ll see major changes in your life, I can promise you that.

Every run is a good run, and I mean that. Focus on the good it’s doing for you and remember that you are doing something that a great many people refuse to do. It sets you apart.

Come visit us at Red Rock Running Company. Be a part of our community. We’d love to meet you and hear your story!

******

Every Run is a Good Run