2023 Race 14, Helotes Beer Garden 5K

Photos are here:  https://photos.app.goo.gl/sKa9VqKrHiZMSrPq7

Before The Start:  My 14th race of 2023 was the Helotes Beer Garden 5K held on March 25 in Old Towne, Helotes Texas.  This even supports HOPE Hits Harder Cancer Foundation, which has a mission to improve the quality of life for children in the San Antonio area diagnosed with cancer. This is a very popular annual event which this year had 784 finishers. Start time of 8:30 a.m.  Weather was very cooperative, fair weather with sunshine, very little wind, and a nice temp in the low 60s with low humidity at start time. I arrived on site about an hour before start time. My friend Albert had picked up my packet for me the day before, thank you Albert.  There was a pretty nice crowd of people there already by the time I arrived.  I chatted with friends, volunteers, other participants, supporters, vendors, etc.,  and got a few pre-start photos.  Several participants for this one were in various costumes too, some of them quite humorous and imaginative.

On The Course: In the past for this one, the course usually takes us up a hill from the starting area, then a turn near the local church, then down a hill, and then into a neighborhood that has some humongous hills.  However, for reasons I won’t go into detail on – too darn complicated, lol – this course was unavailable, so we pretty much stayed in the Old Towne area. We started in a large field just down from where the New Year’s Day La Cruda start is.  From the start, we went onto the road, made a right turn and went up to the Old Towne traffic circle.  We circled this and then went downhill past the start/finish area, and then climbed a fairly long uphill to a turn-round point near Chaparral restaurant.  Back the way we had come out, this time going downhill; then a short uphill. Back at the traffic circle, we turned right onto the flat road of the course.  This road took us to another turn-round. We then went back the way we had come out. Back at the traffic circle, we made a right turn and went a short ways to another turn-round.  After this turn-round, back to the traffic circle and then back through Olde Towne, going for a second time on the route we had started on, climbing once more the hill that took us to the Chaparral turn-round.  Back down the hill again, then up a short incline, and then back into the field we had started on, taking us to the finish line. Lots of out-and-backs and nice wide roads to accommodate everyone, from what I could see. I did my usual 8-min run/2 min walk thing and took photos during my walk breaks. Out of the 29 people in my 60-69 males age group, I finished 17th with a chip time of 41:18, and pretty much ran most of the last mile non-stop, woohoo! The overall winner did this course in 17 minutes and change, zowie!

After My Finish:   First got some water from the C-Force water guy – love this water, nice electrolytes and nice taste too to help rehydrate  After that, wandered around taking some post-race photos, chatting with others there, handed out a few treats to a couple of dogs there, and did sample a couple of the various brews – small cups only, since I was driving, so limited myself to two – and they were quite tasty.  Besides the brewery folks, there were also sponsors with all kinds of various treats such as fajitas, and lots more.  

Epilogue:   Really nice weather for this one – and Mr. Wind graciously did not start picking up speed until after the finish – with what forecasters call ‘abundant sunshine’.  For what the event planners had to work with, the course was really well-thought out to accommodate that many participants, and all those out-and-backs resulted in lots of encouraging comments and cheers as friends, family members, etc., passed by each other coming and going. Race packet included a really very nice quality tech tee. I do so many races over a year that sometimes I donate some of my race shirts – otherwise I’d have no drawer room left, lol – but this one is definitely a keeper.  Great running/race “atmosphere” for this one and, as noted, mucho post-race goodies.  No finisher medal – gosh, with that many participants, the cost for medals would probably be outrageous, so I get it; and besides, I’d rather see the funding go to the selected beneficiary nonprofit – especially this one as I am a survivor myself and it supports kids with cancer. My wish is one day no kid ever will have to experience that. Every kid should have the chance to just be a kid and grow up. Vendors and sponsors were all great, thanks to all of them.  Thanks also to all the volunteers; race Director Lisa Soler/Soler Sports for getting this all together; the police officers on the course for our safety; and anyone else involved I may not have mentioned here.  See you at the next 5K – which for me will be the day after this one, lol, Sunday, March 26, doing the Let’s Roll 5K at Morgan’s Wonderland, which benefits an organization that supports kids with disabilities; another personal cause for me, as I was a March of Dimes baby, born with a disability; and look at me now, running races…because of organizations like this.  See you there, if you signed up for this one. If not, I am sure I’ll see at some race in the future. Good look to all of us!

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2023 Race 13, LWVSAA 5K

Photos are here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/GrRJ9qWZucu8tMVW8

Before The Start: My 13th race of 2023 was the “100 Years and Running” League of Women Voters San Antonio Area (LWVSAA) held on Sunday, March 19th at Wheatley Heights in San Antonio, with a start time of 8:30 a.m.  This event supports the League’s ongoing voter education efforts. The event had a nice turn-out with 181 finishers.  After a cold, windy, and rainy Saturday, Mother Nature was more cooperative with this one, giving us a 43 degree temp at start time, very little wind, and we even got a bit of sunshine.  I arrived with about 40 minutes to go until start time, chatted with friends and other participants, treated some doggies to a few biscuits – this is a dog-friendly event – and got a few pre-start photos.

On The Course:  The course is an out-and-back, starting behind the bleachers of Wheatley Stadium.  The route took us through part of the parking lot, then onto a road that took us to Martin Luther King Park.  After getting to the park we did an out-and-back on the park’s off-road paved trails. The course was pretty flat, with nothing you could call a hill.  There were a couple of small inclines and the longest ‘hill” was the stadium parking lot incline we had to go up right before making the final turn that took us back to the start/finish line. I did my usual 8-min run/2-minute walk break, as did my friend Sally Rios, who was ahead of me for the whole course, except right at the start when I was a bit ahead of her, as I went over the timing mat before she did.  Sally has really made some good progress with her running.  I never did catch her on the course after she passed me shortly after the start, but I did keep her in sight for just about the whole way.  I felt pretty good the whole way; so good that I even extended my running time a bit on some of my intervals.   Right near the finish, I almost caught up to Sally, but she ‘smelled’ that finish line, lol, and found a burst of speed that left me several yards behind her.  I thought I would finish in around my usual  43 – 44 minutes but surprised myself with a finish chip-time of 41:02, the fastest I’ve been in a while; making progress!  I ended up 7th out of 11 in my 60-69 males age group.  I was so happy for Sally, who finished first in her age group; congrats to her!

After My Finish:   First, a short cool-down walk, ate a banana, drank some water, and also enjoyed a free post-race sausage-wrap, which was really good.  After that, did my usual post-race photo-taking of some of the happy finishers and supporters and enjoyed chatting with friends, sponsors, supporters, and other participants, and handed out more treats to doggies.

Epilogue:  This is a very nice 5K, well done by the LWSVAA ladies and their volunteers. The sponsors were all great, with lots of freebie things, coupons, etc., for participants. Iaap did their usual great job of course set up, timing, and results, and there were several “official’ race photographers taking event photos which I am sure are my better, lol, than my amateur ones. Very nice quality race shirt.  I do so many 5K races  over the year – 65 completed in 2022 –  that I am running out of room for shirts, lol, so for this one I ordered a women’s small and asked the LWVSAA ladies to donate it to someone. This event has some really nice post-race goodies and really nice quality sponsors – including Natural Grocers, which provided the site for packet pickup, and a whole packet of discount coupons in the goodie bag for some of their products. C-force water provided bottled water – good stuff – and their rep at the event also kindly let me put my dry post-race stuff I changed into near her table. There was also a very nice backdrop for photo-ops; indoor restrooms instead of porta-potties, nice; and much more.  I would certainly do this event again and would recommend it to others. Much thanks to all the people who made this one happen for we participants: LWVSAA; the police officers at the road crossings for our safety; all the many volunteers; iaap for the course setup, timing, and results; our music man Paul; and, of course, all the many race sponsor; also anyone else involved I may not have mentioned here; thank you all so much!

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2023 Race 12 Alamo Donut Dash 5K/10K

Photos are here:   https://photos.app.goo.gl/owrMsU4SSWoUD16b6

Before The Start:  My 12th race of 2023 was the Alamo Donut Dash 5K held on March 4th at  Lion Field, a small park just off of Broadway street in San Antonio, TX.  There was also a 10K.  This  Alamo Donut Dash is a very popular local event as you ca tell from the number of finishers: 835 for the 5K and 402 for the 10K, so over 1200 finishers.  Lion Field is a pretty small area with limited parking in the surrounding area. Usually you can park in Brackenridge Park, right across the street, but some of the park roads were part of the course, so most of the roads were blocked off. The Doseum Museum was right across the street from Lion Field, so I went and chatted with one of the employees, bought 4 Doseum tickets and told him to just donate them to any kids that came in. This made me a Doseum customer, so they provided my vehicle info to their security folks so I would not be ticketed or towed; very convenient.  I arrived about an hour before the 5K start time of 7:45 – the 10K started at 7:30 a.m – and wandered around chatting with friends,  runners, walkers, vendors,  etc. and getting some pre-start photos. 

On The Course:  At packet pickup the night before race day, me and a few  other participants had our doubts about the course for this many participants, with Lion Field being a pretty small area.  However, once on the course, I found  that Athlete Guild, a top-notch local area race management company, had actually done pretty well in laying out the course, given what they had to work with.  We started on a grassy part of Lion Field then went onto a paved path that went behind the field’s main building, We turned left on Mulberry Street – and had a very wide road to run or walk on – and then turned into Brackenridge Park, crossing over the park’s train railroad tracks.  This wide road took us down near the park train station area.  Right before the end of this road, we went onto one of the park’s off-road trails, looping around this for a short bit, and then coming out onto another park road.  This road took us in the direction of  Broadway.  We did not actually go all the way out to Broadway; we turned left at an intersection, and then went down a road that took us toward the Witte Museum and past the parking garage in the park. At the end of this road, we did a turn-round and went back up the way we had come, on the other side of the road. This took us back to Mulberry, where we had first hit the road.  WE crossed over Mulberry and went back on the paved trail we had come out on.  We followed this trail down past the Brackenridge Golf Course.  The 10K folks continued on for their longer route, while the 5K folks made a turn-round just past the golf course entrance, and then back the way we had come, finally turning into the area we had come out during the start, and this took us back to the finish. In the 5K males, 65-69, I ended up finishing 2nd in my age group with a chip time of 41:18.  The guy who was first in my age group finished 31 seconds ahead of me. I was quite pleased with this time, and I had a negative split for Mile 3, making me feel pretty good that I am slowly but surely coming back from my 15 months of prostate cancer treatment that I finished in November 2022.   I did not check the results after I finished because I figured there would be some really speedy 20-somehing minute milers out there for this event; and, darn the luck, I forgot to pick up my finisher medal.  Darn old-man brain. 😉

After My Finish:   The food line was really really REALLY long, so thankfully I had brought my own protein bar to munch on post-race, as I wandered around again after my finish, once again chatting with friends, sponsors, vendors, supporters, etc., and getting some after-photos.  I was also very popular with the dogs there, as I always have dog treats with me when I run – hence my name Scotty Dogg – how I register for my races; A friend of mine  way back when nicknamed me this when she found out I carry these treats, even on training runs, so I just started using it as my running name; and the rest, as they say, is history; that’s how all my running community friends know me now.

Epilogue: As noted, this is a very popular event, as is the associated half and marathon that are done on the Sunday after the 5K and 10K.  The packet pickup on Friday for the 5K and 10K had really long lines – took me about 3 minutes to finally get to the table to get my goodie bag. Back in the day when I did this before, it really was done near The Alamo, but with ongoing construction there – and the road closures probably cost a fortune – it was moved this year to Lion Field.  I kind of felt sorry for the race organizers, this must have been at times a planning nightmare for them. However, it all did come out pretty good for we 5K and 10K participants. The only thing I would suggest is maybe have packet  pickup over a couple of days instead of just one, but other than that, everything on race day did seem to go pretty smoothly from the view I had of it.  Nice ‘donut’ finisher medals – as mentioned, I forgot to get mine, duhh – and a nice quality race tee.  I would do this one again and would recommend it to others.  I hope someday – when and if the Alamo Renovation folks ever get their act together – this will be moved back downtown and we do get to pass by The Alamo again. Until then, it is what it is, and what it was for this one was, as mentioned, pretty well done, given what the organizers had to work with. MUCHO thanks to all the organizers, sponsors, vendor, volunteers, EMTs there, law enforcement out on the roads part of the course for us, and anyone else involved that made this one happen for we participants.  Thank you all!

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2023 Race 11 Diploma Dash 5K

Photos are here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/kdZAsVxBNrMkVD7k9

Before The Start: My 11th race of 2023 was The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Diploma Dash 5K held on February 25th.  Put on by the UTSA Alumni Association, this event helps raise scholarship funds for students. UTSA Diploma Dash 5k is the largest chip timed 5k in San Antonio and serves as the San Antonio city championship, so it always gets a nice turnout.  There were at least 3 to 4 other local area races being done on this day too, so that may have taken away from the total count of participants, as several area runners, including some friends of mine, were doing some of the other events. Even so, really nice turn-out.  I arrived at UTS around 8:15 and started getting a few pre-race photos when one of my friends and co-workers told me “Scotty, you better get going; the race started at 8 a.m.”  What?  I found out later I had looked at last year’s event website on Runsignup,, not this years, duhhh . Oh well.   So off I went after getting maybe about 4 pre-start photos. The weather was actually pretty chilly for me  – in the low 50s, with a fairly good wind blowing at maybe 10 – 11 mph, making it feel a bit colder than the actual temp, so I was glad I had chosen to wear a base-layer under my regular running shirt and felt very comfortable before my start, during my run, and after my finish.

On The CourseSince the starting-pack had left 15 minutes before I did, I pretty much had the course all to myself, lol.  Also, as I started my race, the overall winner of the 5K was coming into the finish, good grief, and lol, with a time of 18 minutes and change, if I remember correctly, and my  friend Andrew was also coming in, finishing at 19 minutes.  I did not really need any of the course markers since I do this event every year. I also am UTSA staff, so sometimes after work I run this course on campus as a training run, so I knew the route exactly.  Since I was late, I pretty much had most of the course to myself until I started catching up to some of the walkers on the course, around Mile 1; some of those walker go faster than I run, lol.  I did my usual 8-min run/2 minute walk break thing and took some on-course photos during my walk breaks.  This is a loop course, starting and finishing in front of the Convocation Center. After the start, the course turns onto the road that heads toward UTSA Boulevard, passing a parking garage on our left and large parking lot, and some of the buildings housing some of the colleges.  Before UTSA Boulevard, the course takes a left turn and goes up a short incline, passing by some parking lots on the left.  This road took me to a left turn on Baurle Road. At the first intersection, a right turn that took us partway up the hill that goes to the campus Upper Parking Lot near Valero Way. Just before reaching the top of this, we did a turn-round, went back the way we had come up. After getting back on Baurle Road, we then went past the Main Building, made a left and then made a right onto the road directly in front of the Alvarez Business College building,  Left turn onto the service road next to the business building. Right turn onto the road that took us past the Physical Plant and the building housing ROTC. Left turn took us to the first course water stop and past the campus police station. At the end of this road, a right turn took us past a student housing building on our left, and up a fairly steep hill, going past the Roadrunner Café parking lot. At the top of the hill we made a left turn on Tobin Avenue.  This took us down to a left turn on Barshop Blvd. Once on Barshop Blvd, we went all the way down this to the on-campus traffic circle just up from UTSA Boulevard.  Left turn by the round-about and this took us past the Campus Rec Center, then to a left turn on Brennan, and then we entered the Convocation Center parking lot to finish in front of the Convocation Center. I felt pretty good and was clipping right along, lol, at my usual 12 – 14-minute miles pace.  Used to do 10 – 11 minute miles, but 15 months of prostate cancer treatment during 2021 – 2022 has slowed me down a bit. Thankfully, I am now cancer-free, but still dealing with some side-effect issues.  Even so, it’s all good, and I am just happy I am still able to run at all.  I ended up finishing with my watch time of 40:38, averaging 12:56 per mile, and did negative splits too, nice, with my last mile being my fastest.   As usual, I carried dog treats with me and whenever I encountered a dog on the course, doggie got a treat from me, with its human’s permission, of course.

After My Finish:   After eating a banana and getting some post-race water into me, I then enjoyed chatting with friends, other participants – several of my running friends were there – co-workers, students, other staff members, volunteers, etc., and handed out some more doggie treats. One area where this event is no slacker is in post-race goodies and amenities, wow.  All kinds of various food-and-drink, from fresh fruits to sausage wraps, beer, Gatorade, water, and other drinks, donuts, and a whole lot of other good stuff.  There was a photo area, also our sound guy playing music for us, and lots of sponsors freebie stuff. Also available was post-race massages, a compression blow-up thingy – I am so technical, lol – you could put over your legs – I think it helps with blood-flow, etc – and lots more. The convocation center is also open, so as well as porta-potties on site, you can also use actual indoor restrooms if you’re willing to wait in line for those, there usually is a line.

Epilogue:  This is a very popular annual event.  I don’t think the results are publicly posted yet, so not sure how many participants there were for this one, but it was a LOT. This is also a dog-friendly event.  Very nice quality shirt, and the goodie bag even included an extra shirt from one of the sponsors.  The goodie bag was nicely packed with lots of other stuff too. My cat’s favorite goodie back item is this little miniature hand-held fan you can hold and squeeze to make the fun blades go round-and-round – a miniature cool-down device, with my cat trying to catch the turning plastic blades., lol.  I love this event; have been doing it for years; will continue to do so; and certainly would recommend it to others. See you next year at this one if you decide to do it.

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2023 Race 10, Street2Feet 5K

Photos are here:


Before The Start:  My 10th race of 2023 was the Street2Feet 5K held on February 19th at Brooks in San Antonio, Texas.  This is one of my ‘streak’ races; I have done all the live Street2Feet 5K races ever since this event started. Brooks is the former Brooks Air Force Base which became Brooks City Base and now is known simply as “Brooks”, an open community with the mission to benefit the economy of San Antonio’s South Side. Brooks is owned and managed by the Brooks Development Authority with a board of 11 members appointed by the San Antonio City Council.  Founded in 2008, Street2Feet is a wellness program for those experiencing homelessness. Start and finish was at Hanger 9, where all the pre-race and post-race activities took place.    Lots of pre-race activities included photo ops at the Street2Feet backdrop and there was a kids run before the main event.  We also had music from our DJ Pau, and indoor restrooms, which was really nice.  I arrived with about 40 minutes to race time and wandered around chatting with participants and supporters and got a few post-race photos.

On The Course 8 a.m. start time and you better be ready because local race management company iaap, who did the course setup, timing, and results, has a good reputation for starting right on time. The course was an out-and-back on the very wide roadways of this former Air Force base, plenty of maneuvering room for everyone. It is also quite a flat course, which is nice.  After my 5K the day before, in which I pushed myself a bit, I just kind of took this one easy for a bit, finishing in 40:39 chip time, although I did get a negative split for my last mile, as I ran most of Mile 3 nonstop, instead of taking my last walk break. I was 10th out of 14 in my 60-69 males age group.

After My Finish:  Did my usual post-race cool down walk, eating a banana and getting some water into me.  After that I enjoyed wandering around the area chatting with participants and supporters, giving treats to the dogs there, and getting some post-race photos. Also enjoyed some of the post-race goodies, and there were quite a few offerings from some of the sponsors that were there.  

Epilogue:  This is a very popular annual event.  This year the 5K had 428 finishers.  Very nicely laid out course; nicely designed race shirt, and lots of sponsor freebie stuff.  Inside the hangar, there was also a photo booth, which was popular. I would certainly recommend this event to others and I will continue to do this one myself.  Our MC, Lana – and I think co-founder of Street2Feet 5K –  did a great job, and our music man Paul rocked out the tunes for us. Several local community running organizations were represented too, including Wolfpack Running, San Antonio Roadrunners, Munsters Squad, iaap, and more.  If you’ve never done this event, this is definitely a ‘to do’ race to put on your list for the future. Much thanks to all the people that made this one happen for we participants: all the sponsors, volunteers, La Gloria Restaurant for allowing packet pickup to be held there, the police officers on the course, iaap crew, of course, and anyone else involved I may not have mentioned here.  Hope to see you out there next year!

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2023 Race 9, Aidan Alexander Memorial 5K

Photos are here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/ob5GxZphh4QD83Hb6

Before The Start:    My 9th 5K of 2023 was the Aiden Alexander Memorial 5K for Stillbirths and Infant Loss, held at Lady Bird Johnson Park on February 18th.  This event was started by the parents of Alexander, who sadly was born Feb 15,  without a heartbeat due to some complications.  The first year of this event in 2022 was held as a private family-and-friends affair. In 2023, Alexander’s parents opened the 5K to the public, with race proceeds benefiting stillbirth and infant loss organizations. When I found out the cause of this event and that it would be public, I immediately signed up to show support, since I could relate to the cause – my first wife and my 4-month old infant son were killed by a drunk driver. In a perfect world, no parent should ever have to go through this but, unfortunately we don’t live in a perfect world. All we can do for the parents is show support and understanding and, for those of us who have experienced a loss like this, empathy also, and support the event’s cause.  Race start time of 9 a.m., so I got to sleep in a bit, as I live fairly close to the park. On arrival I got my race packet and then got a few pre-start photos.  For a first-time event that was held on Saturday – a popular day for local area races, and there were quite a few this day in our region – it had a pretty nice turn-out, with 100 finishers.  The weather was fairly decent with some sunshine and temp of about 43, with a pretty strong wind making it feel a bit chillier.

On The CourseWe started in the traffic circle of the park, did a loop around that and then went onto the trailhead taking us down to the park’s paved trails.  We turned left onto the trails and followed the trail that took us out to the Los Patios area near Loop 410.  Once we got to the Loop 410 underpass, we made a turn-round at this point and went back to the finish the way we had come out.  The course is mainly flat, with just a couple of short inclines along the way.  With my ‘blazing pace’, lol, pretty much all the other runners left me in their dust and I was mostly alone for the majority of my outing. Some of the speedier walkers even caught up to me and passed me, lol.  I did not mind at all; I just settled in, did my usual run/walk thing, and got some photos of a few of the other participants when I encountered them.  With just a tad over a mile to go, I encountered another runner, and he and I ran together for the finish, having a nice chat along the way. I did run most of the last mile non-stop and managed to get a finish chip time of 39:54; first time in a quite while I’ve been under 40 minutes, so made me feel good that I am slowly but surely starting to come back a bit from the 15 months of prostate cancer that I went through in 2021 – 2022. Yay me, lol.

After My Finish: Did my usual post-race procedure of getting some water in me and ate a banana as I did a short cool-down walk.  After that, I got some post-race photos, chatted with friends and hopefully made some new friends, and enjoyed some of the post-race goodies, which included some really tasty pastries, and 4 different kinds of breakfast tacos. Race awards were given to the overall winners  and first in age group in each category, and some of them got a nice $50 Starbucks gift card. I was 2nd in my age group and was not even close to the finishing time of the first guy in my age group, lol.

Epilogue: This is a well put-on event, as all iRun Texas events are, with a very nice course, nice quality race shirt  and some pretty nice overall awards.  Besides the pastries and tacos, there were also some other things, like fruits, nutrition bars, etc. The organizers also provided a few of those space heaters – the ones that kind of look like an old-time Franklin stove – which was nice before-and-after with that wind putting a chill into the air. I also had the pleasure of chatting with Mr. and Mrs. Alexander, the event founders.  These are two of the nicest people one could ever hope to meet.  I really feel for them for what they are going through – I say, ARE, because those of us who have been through something like this know we never really get over it, we just learn to live with it a day at a time – and admire them greatly for their founding of this event and showing their big hearts in trying to help others from their own experiences. Mucho thanks to: the Alexander family for this event; iRun for the course setup, timing, results, etc; to all the many volunteers for packet pickup, water stop, and lots more; to the other runners, walkers, and cyclists in the park – which was still open to the public – for their patience aw we race participants invaded the park trails; to all the event sponsors; and to anyone else involved that I may not have mentioned here.  Thank you all and see you next year!  This one is definitely a keeper and I certainly would recommend it to others.  

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2023 Race 8, Be My Valentine 5K

Photos are here:  https://photos.app.goo.gl/EvRFM7fG1RmBPC1Y9

Before The Start:   My 8th 5K of 2023 was the Be My Valentine 5K held on February 11th at McAllister Park in San Antonio, Texas.  This is a very popular event, put on by local race management company iaap, and the event sold out with 351 finishers. With a late morning start time of 9:30 a.m., I got to sleep in a bit longer; probably a bit too long, lol, as I made it to the event with about 35 minutes to go, found some parking, got my packet, and then got a few quick photos before we all got onto the course.   The weather was pretty sunny, which was nice for a February day, but Mother Nature also gave us quite a windy day too, making it feel pretty  chilly out there.   45 degrees at start time with a ‘feels like’ of 41 degrees.  I much prefer running in the 60s, 70s, even 80s.  Some of my running friends think I’m nuts, lol, but I just prefer warm weather running to colder weather.  Maybe it has something to do with my cancer side-effects.  I’m cancer-free now after a 15-month treatment session, but ever since I finished my radiation treatment last year, I just seem to feel chilly more easily. Even so, not going to let it get me down or stop me running. I just slap on those layers – I had 3 layers on for this event – and keep on going.

On The Course:  As noted, this event took place in McAllister Park.  I did my usual 8-min run/2- minute walk thing (stupid arthritis!), taking photos during my walk breaks. We started by the park pavilion located near the lower soccer fields and the youth baseball field. The terrain was primarily off-road paved trails and one of the park’s paved roads. For the most part, a very well thought out course; we started in front of the pavilion on a park road and went past the soccer fields and youth baseball stadium.  We then proceeded to a turn onto one of the off-road paved trails.  This took us behind the baseball stadium, then along another trail that took us across a park road that was just up from Becken Pavilion in the park. After crossing this street, we were on another off-road paved trail. We proceeded up this and made a left turn onto another trail – if we had gone right, the trail would have taken us to the Turkey Roost pavilion area. Once on this trail, we went down to a road that used to be the original entrance way-back-when to McAllister Park. We crossed this road, and made a left turn, going down another trail.  This trail came out just down from Becken Pavilion.  We turned right, going away from the pavilion, coming to a trail intersection.  We went left. If we had gone right, this would have taken us past the police substation near the park.  The trail we did take wound around for quite a bit, eventually bringing us back to the first trailhead we had entered, just down from the youth baseball field, with the finish line on the road to our left. Now came the part of this course – which I have done before – that I really absolutely hate, lol.  Instead of turning left to just go to the finish, we had to make a right turn and do a short out to a cone turn-round and then finally headed for the finish.  What?  When I come out on that trailhead before that out-and-back, I always think to myself, “What the heck…I know the finish is to my left, so I just want to come off this trailhead and GO TO THE DARN FINISH right now, lol.  There must be some way to extend the course a bit on the other trails so we can do that.  However, it is what it is, and I’ve never cut a race course in my life and wasn’t about to start now. So I just did that darn out-and-back, and finally got to the finish 7th out of 10 in my 60 – 69 males age group with a chip time of 41:29, averaging 12:28 per mile.  I did stop a few extra times to get a couple more photos, but I did run nearly all of the last mile nonstop, with just a shorter walk break than I usually take.

After My Finish  –  Got some water, did a short walk-about so I would not get dizzy and fall over, lol, and then enjoyed some post-race goodies – they had quite a bit of stuff, including beer too – and chatted with friends, volunteers, other participants, etc., while getting some after photos. Epilogue –  In spite of that short out-and-back just before the finish that drives me crazy, lol, this really is a well-thought out course and a very nicely done event, as all iaap events are.  They’ve been doing this for a long time now and have it down to an art; they definitely know their stuff. They also throw some great after-parties; not quite as crazy as the Scallywompus parties, but iaap sure does a good job. There were lots of post-race goodies; very unique finisher medals; and the race “shirt” is a nicely designed hoodie. My wife and I were married on Valentine’s Day, so when I registered, I got one in her size, figuring she would like this design. It fits her pretty well too.  There was also a costume contest; a selfie-photo area, where you stood in front of a camera with balloons behind you formed in a heart-shape;  and we had our sound-and-music man, Paul, playing tunes for us. Mucho thanks, also, to our MC Lana for her great job. Also, of course, thanks to the iaap crew; all the sponsors of this event; the park police officers out there for our safety, and anyone else involved that made this one happen for we participants. I would do this one again and recommend it to others.

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2023 Race 7, Scallywompus Half, 10K, and 5K

Photos are here:  https://photos.app.goo.gl/LdjkykTYRvS7fCaA7

Before The Start:  My 7th race of 2023 was the San Marcos 5K put on by Scallywompus running group on February 5th.  There was also a Half Marathon and a 10K. Start and finish at Tanger Outlet Stores iin San Maros, TX, about a 40-or-so minute drive from San Antonio. This was my 2nd 5K of the weekend, after having done the San Antonio Stock and Rodeo Show 5K the day before.  I arrived with about 40 minutes to start time, picked up my packet – and found my race Bib number was “1”, lol; wow, were they way off on that – and then wandered around getting some pre-start photos and chatting with friends and other participants. The Half Marathon started first, followed by the 10K, and then the 5K started at 8:35 a.m. The weather was pretty cooperative with just about no wind, a temp in the mid-40s, pushing up to the low 50s, and plenty of sunshine, but sometimes ‘watery-looking” sunshine as we had a lot of mist and fog at places along the course, with the humidity being pretty darn high.

On The Course:  All the courses were HILLY, with the half-marathon folks having the most, of course.  All the courses were out-and-back.  All courses went through part of the Tanger Outlet Parking lot, taking us to a paved ‘country road’ – still open to traffic. As we exited the parking area we made a right turn and almost immediately began climbing our first hill.  After we crested this, we had a long downhill, and then another uphill to our turn-round point.  Naturally, after the tur-round, that long downhill became a long uphill for us on the way back.  We then had a short flat part – for maybe about 50 yards – and then did another shorter up incline.  After that it was downhill back to Tanger Outlet, where we made a turn behind the stores – looks like an area where store deliveries are made at the back of the stores – and ran on fairly flat asphalt surface on the way back to the finish.  Pretty nicely thought-out course, probably by “Moe” as this race was previously known as “Moe’s Better Half”, until he retired and turned the race over to Scallwompus, which has been taking good care of it ever since. For my race on Saturday, I kind of pushed myself on the last mile and got negative splits, so my legs were feeling that on this Sunday race. I decided for this one just to take it pretty easy, just have fun with it, and maybe take a few more photos than I normally do.  That last long climb before the finish I was really feeling it.  I ended up with a chip time of 45:42 and positive splits, 5th out of 5 – dead last – in my 65=69 males age group, so I certainly did take it easier, lol.  So much for being Bib #1.

After My Finish  –  Cool-down walk, and got some hydration into me and just relaxed for a bit.  Then it was off to get some post-race photos. Scallywompus always has a lot going on after the race – their motto is “Come for the Race. Stay for The Party.” They are not kidding either.  Post-race goodies included sausage-on-a-stick, various type of beer and some harder drinks, also plenty of water, some fresh fruits, and more. There was also a drawing for prizes – shoes for the people who placed 1st in their age groups – and more.

Epilogue –   Love the Scallywompus events. For each series of races, you can sign up for all 4 at one time and get a nice discount, or each one individually, which is what I do, since I am still dealing with some post-prostate canter treatment side effects, so just never know  what the da will bring for me; mostly okay, thank goodness, with the occasional bad days. It’s okay though. I still manage to run pretty consistently – a heck of a lot slower than I used to be, lol, but hey, at least  still can run – and the Scallywompus events are some of my consistent go-to events. If you have never done a Scallywompus event, I encourage you to give it a try. You will experience some of the friendlies participants and volunteers in the running community; great after-party; really nice quality race shirts; lots of post-race goodies; unique age-group placer awards and uniquely designed finisher medals for each race in the series. Tell them, lol, “Scottydog sent me.”,,,,they know who I am. Happy running and walking!

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2023 Race 6, Stock Show and Rodeo Stampede 5K

Photos are here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/hNfnSRrM4kg36JXB8

Before The Start:  My 6th race of 2023 was the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo Stampede 5K held on February 4th, starting and finishing at Milam Park in downtown San Antonio, right near San Antonio Children’s Hospital.  . The race had  a start  time of 9:30 a.m – 0930 for we military related folks 😉 – so got to sleep in a bit more for this one.  This event; put on by the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo association raises scholarship funds for local area students. This is a very popular annual event for runners and walkers and this year was no exception, with 511 finishers.  After some miserably cold weather the previous week, Mother Nature gave us a break for this one, with sunshine and a temp in the low to mid 40s and very little wind.  I remember the one from last year was a lot colder, with a pretty stiff wind blowing, so this was a very  pleasant change.  I arrived with about just under an hour to start time and wandered around chatting with friends and other participants and supporters and getting a few pre-start photos.

On The Course:   The course was changed from the one I remember last year, and the one this year is much better. We started to the side of Milam Park and then turned right, going down Santa Rosa Street. We made a left turn onto Nueva Street.  This took us down to the intersection of St. Mary’s and Nueva. Right before that intersection, we made a right turn to go onto the San Antonio Riverwalk, moving toward the historic Arsenal, now H-E-B headquarters. Right before getting to the Outrigger Canoe Club along the Riverwalk, we made a right turn, going up a short walkway, and then crossed over a bridge to go into part of the Historic King William District – some really nice houses in here. This took us to a path that put us back onto the Riverwalk going toward Nueva. Back on Nueva – with the historic Bexar County Courthouse building behind us – we went toward Hemisfair, then making a left turn on Presa.   Once on Presa, this took us to Houston Street.  After turning left on Houston Street, we proceeded all the way down Houston – with lots of people who were out shopping, eating breakfast or brunch – becoming cheering spectators as we passed by them, which was pretty cool – and we passed by the fairly new Frost Tower, headquarters for Frost Bank, which has a pretty cool design..   Back at Santa Rosa Street, we crossed over that and there was the finish line….DONE!
I did my usual  8 min run/2 min walk for the course, taking photos during my walk breaks, so definitely never set any speed records when I do a race, lol. I ended up with a chip time of 42:31, 18th out 23 in my 60 – 69 males age group.

After My Finish  – Got some water, did a short cool down walk as I sipped that, chatted with friends, and then got some post-race photos of some of the Happy Finishers and their supporters, as well as volunteers, etc.

Epilogue –  As noted, this is a very popular race, so sign up early if you’d like to do it. The course this year was GREAT.  I like this course much better than the one we did last year, it’s a lot more scenic, and gives a nice look at some really cool parts of the downtown area. I hope they keep this course for the event.  Way back when, this event used to be a 4-miler, for which you’d take a bus from the AT&T center area to the start point and then run back to the AT&T center, going around the AT&T parking lot a bit before getting to the finish.  That was exciting – NOT, lol.  There was a Cowboy Breakfast after the race back then, so that was pretty good. However, things change, evolve, etc., and this race has done that and I think it is better for it.  Very well organized. Really nice long-sleeved tech tee race shirt, finisher medal for all participants, and very unique awards for the top age group awardees. Milam Park is also a smaller, but pretty nice inner-city park to relax in after a race, very beautifully done. Lots of various post-race goodies, including beer, nice.  I plan to continue doing this one and I certainly would recommend it to others.  MUCHO thanks to our Race Director, Carolyn and her race crew of volunteers, Stock Show and Rodeo staff, etc., they all did a great job for us. Also, thanks to Carolyn for giving me ONE HUNDRED medals for the cancer kids. When I chatted with her at packet pickup, she found out I keep a bag in my car and, since I do so many races in a year, I throw some of my finisher medals in there; when I get enough to fill the bag, usually about 30 – 50,  I them to the San Antonio Children’s Hospital and donate them to be given to the kids in the cancer ward – my preference, since I am a 2-time survivor.  When Carolyn found this out, she told me to see her before I left the race area, she would have some medals for me to donate too. So I did.  After the race I took mine and hers to the hospital and turned them in to the staff and, FYI Carolyn, they were really impressed with the amount of medals. Thanks so much to Carolyn and her staff for doing this, the two ladies I talked to at the hospital were SO appreciative.  See you next year at one my very favorite events!

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Report and Photos: 2023 Race 5, Das Dreizehn.Eins Half Marathon and 5K

Photos are here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/jnwCMp2LN7ZDGNFKA

Before The Start:  My 5th race of 2023 was the das dries.eins 5K held on Sunday, January 29. There was also a half-marathon.  Put on by local area race/running company Athlete Guild, this was the inaugural event of this race, which raises funds for Pink Warrior Advocates, which provides grants for women undergoing treatment for  breast cancer.  Pretty nice turn out on a wet Sunday morning, with 195 finishers for the 5K and 199 finishers for the half, and a pretty darn good turnout for an inaugural event. The half start time was 7 a.m. and the 5K followed at 7:30 a.m. Both courses started and finished in Prince Solms Park in New Braunfels, Texas. This park is located near the Schlitterbahn Water Park. Prince Solms Park is one of the starting points in the summer for toobers who want to toob down the Comal River. Weather was kind of dreary, with overcast skies, temperatures in the 60s, and pretty darn humid, with the prediction of possible storms.  When I left San Antonio to go to the race site, it was raining there, but when I arrived in New Braunfels, there was just some slight drizzle, although the ground was pretty wet, so  looked like the rain had passed through.  I got there a bit after 7 a.m., so the folks doing the half had already started.  I had picked up my race packet the day before, so chatted with friends and other participants and got some pre-start photos.

On The Course:  The Half course took in Landa Park, the Gruene District and the Guada Coma neighborhood.  The 5K took was mainly in the Guada Coma area.  We went of of Prince Sohms park, took a right turn on Liberty Avenue, then made a right turn onto San Antonio Street.  We crossed a bridge, then proceeded down to a traffic circle, which we looped around, and then came back onto San Antonio Street.  We then made a right turn on Comal Street, going  down to a turn-round point, and then came back up Comal. Next, a right turn onto Tolle Street, and then down to Gilbert street, where we made a left turn.  This brought us back to San Antonio Street, upon which we turned right, and then proceeded back to the park; left on Liberty; and then left back into the park and around  part of the loop road there, which took us to the finish. I ended up 4th  out of 5 in my 65-69 age group, with a chip time of 42:31, averaging 13:41 per mile, with all my photo stops, and had a negative split for Mile 3.  The weather actually did cooperate a bit by not raining on us, but it was still very humid (90 percentile humid) and very overcast, with no wind at all.

After My Finish  –  Got some water and did a short cool-down walk for about 5 minutes or so.  Then it was time to get some photos of the happy finishers and their supporters, chat with friends and other participants and just wind down from the race. 

Epilogue –   This is  very well-done event put on by Athlete Guild and MC Extraordinaire Mark Purnell did his usual superb job; in my opinion, he is our top local area MC – but watch out, Mark, my friend Anthony Zamora may be pulling up on you.  Well, we have enough local events year-round, I think there is room for both of them, lol. Really nice tech-tee long-sleeved race shirt; and finisher medals, and race bibs that can be ‘personalized’ for you if you register early enough.  Very nice race location, with adequate parking only a short walk from the start/finish area.  All kinds of post-race goings-on and good treats, that included post-race massage, various “flavors’ of breakfast tacos, Shiner Beer, Gatorade, water, and more. I will definitely do this one again and would recommend it to others. Mucho thanks to Athlete Guild for this event, and the course setup, timing, and results; Sports and Spine Physical Therapy for the post-race massages; Two Rivers Running for doing being the site of the pre-race day packet pickup; the Pink Warrior ladies that were handing out the breakfast tacos; Shiner Beer for their great beverage; and all the other sponsors involved.  Thank you all for what you do so we participants can have this event.  Also, thanks to all the police officers out there on the course for our safety.  Also, in closing this report, I leave a personal note to my friend Amy, a co-owner of Athlete Guild, who is a fellow survivor, and one of the people  responsible for getting this event started. We both were getting treatment at about the same time, me for my prostate cancer, her for breast cancer. I recently finished my 15 months of treatment in Nov 2022. Amy has done the majority of hers and has a few more things to get through, but I am SO glad we  both made it through!  Amy truly is a Pink Warrior who daily lives Never Give Up and one of my very favorite people;, a wonderful lady with a strong spirit, good heart, and great attitude.  Her posts are an inspiration.   Please keep her in your good thoughts and prayers – and anyone else too you may know who is dealing with this insidious disease.

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