Running with Sparrow Rodgers: Racing the CS12, 12 Years Post-Accident

On Sept. 3, Sparrow Rogers ran the Charles Street 12 with her left leg “filled with all kinds of plates and pins” from an accident abroad 12 years ago. In 2004, she was told she might never walk again and would need an amputation after being hit by a drunk driver in Croatia.

Now, Sparrow has completed her goal of finishing a long distance race. “I was so ecstatic to cross the finish line, even though my time was far from inspiring,” she shares, “the 12 mile distance was the perfect ‘push yourself’ length.”

 Sparrow celebrates finishing the Charles Street 12.

Sparrow celebrates finishing the Charles Street 12.

Sparrow’s surgeons in Croatia ended up successfully saving her leg. “Thankfully my vanity or youthful confidence convinced me to let them try,” she says. That same confidence propelled Sparrow to train for the Charles Street 12 this year, although her longest previous race was a 10K.

“I ended up doing most of my training after dark. It was under the stars with my pup Titan when most people were settling in for the night.” Sparrow shares that the toughest parts of race day were adjusting to the early start time and the hilly course. She says she relied on a mix of adrenaline, the exciting race atmosphere and the presence of supportive friends to get her through the 12 mile race.

As co-founder and co-owner of the Across the Bay 10K, Sparrow works with a lot of runners but has always worked behind the scenes to organize races. That changed six months ago when she decided to train for her own long distance race debut. “It doesn’t matter how fast I am or how hard it is for me to finish, the important thing is getting started, setting a goal and seeing it through.”

 Sparrow high fives Across the Bay 10K co-founder, Peter Paris.

Sparrow high fives Across the Bay 10K co-founder, Peter Paris.

Sparrow’s optimistic attitude comes in part from her accident and long recovery journey. She says, “It has taught me that you should always take the worst case news and look for the best in it. It taught me that ‘never’ is a pretty useless word and that as bad as any one thing may seem in the moment, it might change your life in amazing ways down the road.”

This positivity fueled Sparrow’s drive to reach her goal this September and push through a tough summer of training, hills on the course and her injury to cross the finish line of the Charles Street 12 with a smile on her face.

“My message to anybody reading this is that whatever your secret dream is, you should find a way to start it. Even if you don’t finish something, or you finish it very slowly, you’ll love yourself and the world just a bit more for showing up,” she shares.

Sparrow did more than just show up on Sept. 3 and now she can say, “I did it!” Congratulations, Sparrow on reaching your Charles Street 12 finish! We can’t wait to see what goals you reach for next, on and off the race course.


About the Author: Lizzy Peper

Lizzy is the Marketing Coordinator for Charm City Run. Previously she worked as a part time Sales Associate for two years in the Timonium store. Lizzy ran competitively as a member of the cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field teams at Towson High School and Marist College. She co-captained the Division I Marist women's cross country team in 2015 and graduated in 2016 with a degree in Communication and a concentration in Public Relations.