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The final 10 competitors from the Ladies Co-Driver Challenge had a successful training weekend in Arizona, the last leg of the challenge. The jam-packed weekend was full of offroad recovery, navigation, driving, shooting, kayaking and even a road trip to California. The ladies powered through early mornings starting at 4:30am and late nights to prove their skills and show Charlene why they deserve to be selected as one of three co-drivers. Fans were able to follow along the ladies’ adventures via Facebook Live streams where Charlene and the girls talked about the activities, both past and present. Those videos and pictures from the training weekend can be seen on the Bower Media Facebook page as well as I’mNotJustAGirl.com and BowerMediaTours.com. Rachel Spier Markequing joined us for the weekend to capture all the moments, so more videos and photos will be released over the next few weeks.
“None of the ladies had a clue what we were doing all weekend! They knew what time our first conference call was, what time they had to be in the van, what time we were having lunch and dinner so they could manage their food, and knew what the goal time was for showers! Every turn for them was a surprise and it was just as exciting for me to see all their reactions as we pulled up to different places to meet amazing people,” said Charlene Bower, Owner of Bower Media. “My friends are awesome. When I reached out to Nena, Emily and Allison to help be our rock on a particular topic, they changed their schedules to accommodate these ladies. The behind the scenes work to put this together was intense, but it was also very easy with my group of supporters wanting each lady to be successful.”
“As I said more times than once, this training weekend was the win, the events will be work! We didn’t do anything necessarily competitive, we were truly training and learning. Some tried things for the first time, and others honed skills and came away thinking about a topic differently,” continued Charlene. “All the ladies came to the house as strangers, with only a Facebook picture and a couple conference calls to connect to, and left as lifelong friends. I watched a couple of the girls completely change over the course of 3 days, and I mean completely. My ultimate goal with this weekend was to empower these ladies with information and skills so they could give back to others, and I feel I completed that task.”
“But of course, the true end goal is to match 3 ladies for the different events. We started with 91, social media Votes of Confidence cut it to 33, we narrowed it to 10 and now somehow I have to match up three to a specific event. In the spirit of events, we did have a change with RallyVenture cancelling due to a BLM permitting issue, so as I put my final plans on another adventure, we will be postponing the top 3 announcement to our Ladies Meet & Greet at Bantam Jeep Festival in Pennsylvania. There is nothing that we can’t handle or adjust for, that is what makes us successful,” said Charlene. “As the ladies learned, there will be times when everything goes the way you want it to, and there will be times when everything is out of your hands and you have to adjust for it. How you manage the adjustments make you the true winner.”
See More of the As It Happened…Play-by-Play…with Timely Facebook Pictures and LIVE Videos: www.bowermedia.com/2016/05/training-weekend
Facebook Video: www.facebook.com/BowerMedia/videos/1169333589775399
The weekend schedule was intense. After the girls arrived in Phoenix, being picked up by Charlene in the Big White Whale Van, they headed to Bower Media World Headquarters to kick off the weekend and receive backpacks supplied by WARN Winches, packed with items from BFGoodrich Tires, I’m Not Just a Girl and other Bower Media properties. More gifts were distributed over the weekend from Rugged Radios and Kicker Audio. The first activity was a quick trip to the Goldfield Ghost Town where they went on an underground mine tour and did a photo scavenger hunt to test their RallyVenture skills. The evening was an easy dinner at the house with the whole Bower Media staff. (Watch FACEBOOK LIVE Video) (See Pictures)
Facebook Video: www.facebook.com/BowerMedia/videos/1170086729700085
Friday morning started with a 5:30am conference call with the leaders of BFGoodrich Tires 36 Hours of Uwharrie where they learned more about the event and what it would entail. Then they loaded up and headed to Sedona where they would meet Nena Barlow, Barlow Jeep Rentals, who would spend most of the morning doing recovery training via winching and high-lift jacking. After a lot of great hands on opportunity, they loaded up in a couple of her rental Jeeps and headed to the hills. A short, but fun trail allowed all the girls to get behind the wheel and test out their skills on one of the more challenging obstacles. Before leaving, Charlene drove, and Nena spotted her, up one of the harder climbs so the ladies could see the driver / spotter relationship in action. (Watch Facebook LIVE Video) (See Pictures) When finished, the ladies loaded up into the van and headed back towards Phoenix for an early dinner at the Roadrunner Restaurant in New River, a favorite after-wheeling stop for many local Arizona folks. (See Pictures)
Facebook Video: www.facebook.com/BowerMedia/videos/1171183546257070
Friday evening, after dinner, the ladies were driven to Shooter’s World in Phoenix. Cassandra was brought in to teach the group the basic fundamentals of shooting, and then they had their own range to utilize shooting 9mm pistols and AR15 Rifles. With special targets made just for the Ladies Co-Driver Challenge, the competition was stiff to see who had the best shot. After a long day, the ladies headed back to the house where they couldn’t sleep because they were so amped up about shooting. After rotating through showers and starting to get lunches packed for the next day, everyone settled in for the night. (Watch Facebook LIVE Video) (See Pictures)
Facebook Video: www.facebook.com/BowerMedia/videos/1171887222853369
Saturday was an early morning, leaving the house at 5am and unknowingly to the ladies, heading to California for the day! They took the southern route through Yuma which put them next to the Mexico border and through border patrol checks, which was new to most. (See Pictures) They arrived to their destination over an hour late due to not scheduling enough time for 12 girls at a bathroom stop! The destination: the Raspy Roost where Emily Miller, Soulside Network, was waiting for us with an amazing day of Navigational training on the horizon. After an introduction and talking about her event, the Rebelle Rally, the ladies buckled in to learn how to use a compass and map. Nothing was easy. It was hot and the wind was blowing. The task was challenging. (Watch Facebook LIVE Video) (See Pictures)
Once the hands-on training was done, it was time to jump in the van and try their hand at navigating. With 11 ladies telling Charlene where to drive, it was very entertaining, but they made the first checkpoint, 90 minutes after Charlene had planned to have them out of the area and on the road back to Arizona. With the excitement level high, they all convinced Charlene to drive to checkpoint B, which according to Emily was down a simple dirt road. Well, the dirt road turned into a rocky road and then into a sand wash where Charlene’s driving skills were put to test. They made it to a safe landing area for the van about ¼ mile away from the checkpoint, so everyone piled out and started hiking through the desert. Once the checkpoint was accomplished and everyone was back, the new challenge was getting the van back to the hard-packed trail. The ladies used their recovery skills twice as the heavy van sank in the sand. Once on hard-pack, everyone was excited about their accomplishment!! They were now 3 hours past their original leaving time. The ladies loaded up, went down the rest of the dirt road and back to the Raspy Roost to clean up and prepare for the 5 hour drive back to Arizona. No one complained about the late night stop at Jack In The Box and the 2:15am arrival time for showers. The day’s events and stories outweighed them both. (Watch Facebook LIVE Video) (See Pictures)
Facebook Video: www.facebook.com/BowerMedia/videos/1171959519512806
Sunday morning came quick with a 6:30 am conference call with Jeff Knoll to learn more about RallyVenture, and a 7am departure for the day. The destination this time was a short distance away to the Saguaro Lake Guest Ranch where there were kayaks waiting for each of the ladies. Allison Burns, a kayaking and canyoneering enthusiast was there to join us for the trip down the Salt River. Although there were not Class 1 rapids on this river, there was a strong headwind for the majority of the 14 miles. As the ladies left the last stop, Charlene gave them the words to finish by: “It’s Sunday afternoon, you haven’t slept, you are tired, you are doing something that is physically challenging. But you must finish to win. This is the last leg, work together and make it count.” The ladies pushed off the shore and stuck together as a team to make sure everyone finished together where Charlene was there to greet them with a high-five! (Watch Facebook LIVE Video) (See Pictures)
Facebook Video: www.facebook.com/BowerMedia/videos/1172769699431788
As the ladies loaded back into the van, they knew they were going back to the house and that there was going to be a Closing Ceremonies, but other than the Live Coverage aspect, they had no idea what was in-store. Charlene had reached out to the other 81 Ladies that were part of the challenge and asked them to join for this special event, of course, as a surprise. Nine ladies from Arizona, Nevada and California came to cheer them on. As the ladies cleaned out the van for the final time outside, the guests inside were handed checker flags. As the challenge ladies came inside, the guests wove the flags and cheered, the ladies were in shock and tears started flowing on some. The afternoon Closing Ceremonies was a grand party with gifts, tacos, pool time, chatter and a Live Coverage post with a Live audience!! It was a perfect end to the events of the weekend. (Watch Facebook LIVE Video)
A couple of the ladies had to leave, but most stayed to watch the movie Dream Racer, a documentary about a rider taking on the Dakar Rally. Then it was time to pack up and settle down for early morning flights and what all considered an entry back into the world they left. No one went back to their world the same person as they left. Each of their stories will be available to read. (Watch Facebook LIVE Video)
You can learn more about the 10 finalists participating in the weekend’s training session on www.BowerMediaTours.com. Or by clicking on their name below to go to their Facebook picture: Alice Gerst, Kaleigh Hotchkiss, Kristen Endres, Kristie Moore, Lauren Martin, Leigh Singleton,Makayla Holstein, Marcie Hricziscse, Teralin Petereit, Trisha Glezen.
The Ladies Co-Driver Challenge started when Charlene Bower had the opportunity to participate in three events in 2016 with BFGoodrich Tires. Instead of picking other industry lady, she decided to open up the opportunity to ladies across the country. A flood of amazing ladies stepped outside their comfort zone to register for the opportunity. The events will be BFGoodrich Tires 36 Hours of Uwharrie, and the all girls Rebelle Rally in October, along with a third to be determined replacing RallyVenture. Each of these events will offer a unique competition experience alongside Charlene, as well as a behind the scenes look at the actual events themselves. The girls chosen will be Charlene’s second in command for the entirety of the event, and will have the opportunity to drive, navigate, and compete in all sorts of challenges to accrue points at the events. There will be three winners, one for each event this year.
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Photos by Rachel Spier Markequing
About Charlene Bower: Charlene Bower, founder of Bower Motorsports Media, took her very first job changing tires in a motorcycle shop. From there she went on to be a part of the management team of some nationally recognized multi-line powersports dealerships. After over 10 years in motorcycle retail management, it was time for a change. Putting 6 months aside to experience life as never before, she hooked up her truck to her trailer and wandered from ride spot to ride spot making up for lost weekends on her dirt bike and quad. While on the road, she found the love of photography and writing. When a private multi-line magazine company approached her to be a part of their sales team, it turned into the perfect match. The next few years were based around sales and relationship building, while learning the in’s and out’s of the media world, specifically in the Sand and UTV Markets. When the economy dropped severely and affected the magazine business, Charlene looked for the niche that needed filling. It didn’t take long to evaluate that quality PR to the media for needed content was in order. She works daily to consistently refine the process as the world of media has revolved quite drastically in the seven years since opening Bower Motorsports Media.
The company has grown to include different properties, all with media and marketing as the core to their creation, including: Bower Power Hour, Bower Media Calendar, Race Team Store, I’m Not Just a Girl, Bower Media Promo Gifts, Shirt & Swag Club, Shirt & Bling Club, Bower Media School of Professional Marketing, and Offroad Newswire among others that are in testing phases. The Bower Media team is in the backdrop to some of the most successful racers, events, and companies in the 4×4 market. It is normal to find Charlene at offroad events every weekend working to get the shots and the stories to bring the love of motorsports back to those that can’t be there.