2021 Race 13 Cinco de Mayo 5K

Race photos are at this link:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/GeuQoNtgDQ67w5PV9

BEFORE MY START:   My 13th race of 2021 was the Cinco de Mayo 5K held on May 8th in New Braunfels at Cypress Bend Park, start time of 8 a.m.  There were 127 finishers for this event,  44 male and 83 female. Picked up my packet the day before, so when I arrived at race site got a few pre-start photos.  Cypress Bend Park is a small park, but a nice one with the river going along right beside it. 

ON THE COURSEI ran this event a few years back, but since then the course changed a bit from the last time I had done it. One thing that had not changed was hills.  This course had several climbs along the way.  They were not very long hills, but they sure did give you a workout. We started near the park pavilion, did short part down by the river, came back up past the pavilion the park road, then up an incline before going out the park gate.  Passed by a cemetery – the next-door neighbor of the park grounds; incentive that makes you want to keep on moving; – then a left turn to take us into a nearby neighborhood – and here was the first challenging hill.  Up that, down a short incline, left turn, up another hill, and we also had an ‘off-road’ part f the course on a road that was undergoing renovation.  As you can see from the phots, a few challenging parts. As noted, not super-large hills like you find in Helotes and places like that, but challenging enough for an old dog with a pacemaker, lol.  Even so, nice course overall and Race Director did include several flatter parts for us all to catch our breath, lol.  Instead of a usual “out-and-back’ 5K, this one was more of a loop course that took us through a nice neighborhood – nice wide streets, with plenty of room for everyone to maneuver – and then back to a point where the last part of the course was a couple of streets we had come out on and those took us back into the park – so we got to pass the cemetery twice, for double motivation.  Once we got into the park, we diverted down to a small parking area that took us onto a grassy area of the park and crossed over that.  This brought us to the road we had started out on, and we did a slightly different path to the finish than the way we had started out – with, of course a last small incline to climb before we went on a flatter part to the finish line; that race director has a wicked sense of humor, lol. . I ended up with a time of 38:53, averaging 12:31 per mile – and I guess it didn’t help my time that I stopped occasionally to give treats to a couple of neighborhood dogs out in their yards, ‘cheering’ us all along.  I was 4th in my age group. Finisher number 3 beat me in my 1 minute 58 seconds. Guess I should not have stopped to take that last photo.  All good though

AFTER MY FINISH:  Stuck around the finish line for a couple of minutes getting a few photos of others finishing, including some of the other participants I had interacted with on the course.  Enjoyed some post-race goodies, which included tacos, Gatorade, water, various nutrition/protein bars, bananas, and a bit more. Wandered around chatting with friends and other participants, getting photos of the Happy Finishers and some of their supporters who were there cheering them on. 

Epilogue:  As noted, somewhat challenging course, but very thoughtfully laid out; I enjoyed not doing a ‘direct’ out-and-back course for a change. Awards to the top 3 in each age group, and finisher medals for all finishers.  Nice quality race tees too.  I would definitely do this one again – and hope they keep this course for a while – and would recommend it to others.

MUCHO THANKS TO:  Two Rivers Running Store in New Braunfels that hosted the packet pickup and was one of the sponsors. Nice little store on Comal Avenue in New Braunfels, only recently opened.  They offer some really nice tech-tee shirts and singlets; I ordered a few. Check this place out when/if you go to New Braunfels. Very friendly staff. And, since they are in a ‘neighborhood’ area, if you are looking at getting running shoes, you don’t have to give them a trail run in the store, you can go outside and try them on the road in front of the store in this peaceful and quiet neighborhood, nice touch. Thanks to other sponsors that included Athlete Guild, Corner Tubes, Cycle Bars, the water bar, Hotworx, La Cocinta Taqueria, e-Dragon Productions, and Guadalupe Brewing. Thanks to all the volunteers that were there for us, and the Junior ROTC Marines color guard that was there for the National Anthem; and to the police officers at the public road intersections, keeping us all safe; and anyone else involved I may not have mentioned here.  Thank you all!  

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2021 Race 12 Spring Thing 5K

https://photos.app.goo.gl/WQQSUbwQpgbkcQjM7

Race photos are at the above link.

BEFORE MY START:   My 12th race of 2021 was  Spring Thing 5K on Sunday, May 2, my 2nd race of the weekend after having done the Life is Good 5K on May 1. This event, held on he grounds of the San Antonio State Hospital, supports raising mental health awareness in the community.  About 138 or so participants, runners and walkers. After all the rain we had on Friday and Saturday, this day gave us abundant sunshine, clear skies, and a temp of around 64 at the 8 a.m. start time. Also pretty humid.  I arrived with about 40 minutes to start time, got my race packet, and then got a few pre-start photos.

ON THE COURSE:  I did this race previously a few years back.  The State Hospital campus is very large, so large it kind of reminds me of some of the smaller military bases I was assigned to during my Air Force career. This was an out-and-back course that included a few inclines – some would call them hills, but to me they were really not that steep, just really long up-and-down inclines. Because we were high up on the campus at various spots on the course, we had some really nice views of the surrounding area. The campus is like a community unto itself with the hospital, a church on the grounds, some medical labs, and more, and even a small train area which I assume is to bring in supplies, etc. Makes for some nice running and walking, gives you a pretty good workout. Be nice if the State Hospital would allow you to come get in a run or walk there once in a while, but don’t think they are really open to the public, except for special events.  Maybe they should charge a fee – like the State Parks do t enter the parks – just to run on the grounds, might raise a bit of money that way for the cause.  At 38:45 finish time, I was 5th in my 60 – 69 age group, averaging 12:24 per mile. Mile 2 was my slowest mile as we were on the inclines for that portion, and I extended one of my walk breaks to get a few more photos. Did a negative split for Mile 3.  The first 3 guys in my age group all finished in the 20s, zowie! Speedy old guys.  After I crossed the finish line, I got a few photos of others coming in.

AFTER MY FINISH:  Awards to the top males and females in each age category. Some of those runners were really speedy. The first 3 male finishers all finished from 17 – 19 minutes.  I’d probably explode if I tried to run that fast, lol.  Enjoyed chatting post-race with friends and other participants and wandering around getting some photos of the Happy Finishers. Also, nice spread of post-race goodies, with breakfast tacos, various nutritious bars, gingerbread cookies, lots of water, bananas, and more.  Lots of smiles, chats with friends, cheering in other participants coming in, both runners and walkers, and there were even a few dogs doing the event too. Yes, they all got treats from me.

Epilogue: Very well-organized event by Race Director and iaap at a very nice location with a good course.  Really nice quality race shirt and good post-race treats. Indoor bathroom instead of porta-potties, nice.  A smaller event but a fun one with lots of camaraderie and interaction between the participants.  Definitely would do this one again and definitely would recommend it to others.

MUCHO THANKS TO:  Race Director, iaap, all the volunteers that were out there for us, the State Hospital for use of its facilities, all the race sponsors, and anyone else I did not mention who were involved in making this one happen for we participants.

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2021 Race 11 Life is Good 5K/10K

https://photos.app.goo.gl/yKKAcjAJHTRHz6ii9

Race photos are at the link above.

BEFORE MY START: My 11th race of 2021 was the “Life Is Good 5K/10K” held on May 1st at River City Church in Selma, Texas, and incorporated city that borders onto the City of San Antonio city limits out near Retama Horse Racing Track. This race supports the San Antonio Pregnancy Care Center, “a life-affirming ministry helping people facing unplanned pregnancies.” It provides a variety of services, including lab tests, counseling, etc. Some crazy weather the night before the event – thunderstorms, high winds, and a heck of a lot of rain. Race morning it was still raining, but then cleared out for a bit, so the race went on as scheduled. I think there were quite a few registered for this one – someone told me something like 435 initially – but the turnout was smaller than that, probably due to the weather situation. Temp was in the low 60s, but the dewpoint was crazy high with all this storming, so it was pretty humid. Even so, still a fairly nice turn-out, and Mother Natured did cooperate. I rained just a bit before the start but then stopped; so after that we did not get rained on the while time we were on the course or for the post-race events.

ON THE COURSE: 10K and 5K participants started together, after the Kid’s Race was done. The course is all on River City Church grounds – the place and its property is huge – starting near a stadium, then going down a hill. After we went out the entrance/exit gate of the church grounds, we then proceeded along a route that took us around the very large parking lot areas of the church. Not too scenic, but effective since, as noted previously, this place is huge. We did not get rained on the whole time, but there sure was a lot of standing water on a couple parts of the course, so a lot of splashing in these spots. Overall, though, not too bad at all. I did my usual run/walk thing, taking photos during my walk breaks, and ended up with positive splits. I really have to work in getting that reversed, lol. My pacemaker did fine – thank goodness there was no lighting, people knowing I have a pacemaker might have avoided me, lol – and despite being slower than thick mud transported on the shell of a turtle, I felt pretty good and did fine, finishing in 38:03, averaging 12:34 per mile. The course was also just a tad short – several of us had 3.01 on our timers/garmins – but all good, still a nice outing.

AFTER MY FINISH: Really nice after-party with Kiolbassa sausage wraps, bottled water, flavored water, Gatorade, various types of nutrition bars, coffee, and several kinds of cookies including my favorite, oatmeal raisin, bananas and other fruits, and more. With my mouth munching away, I wandered around chatting with friends and other participants and taking some after-photos.

Epilogue: Very nicely done event, organized by Race Director Charysse and her crew of supporters and volunteers. Finisher medal to all finishers and a nice quality tech tee race shirt. Very nice location for an event, with lots of room for everyone; actual indoor restroom facilities. It there had been inclement weather before the start, nice, very large, covered stadium and also other covered areas to be under. This is a very nice facility. I’ve done this event in the past; would do it again; and would recommend it to others.

MUCHO THANKS TO: Race Director Charysse; our announcer/MC Bob, who did a a great job; and all the sponsors, volunteers, supporters, etc. who made this one happen for all we participants. Also, thanks to River City Church for the use of the property; and, of course, anyone else involved I may not have mentioned here. Thank you all!

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2021 Race 10 Scallywompus Siesta Half, 10K, 5K

https://photos.app.goo.gl/HG97qr1ddNhTjxBn7

Race photos are at the above link.

BEFORE MY START:  My 10th race of 2020 was the Siesta 5K on April 25, held in Comfort, Texas, about an hour’s drive west of San Antonio. The main event was a half-marathon and there was also a 10K. Put on by Scallywompus company, this event was the last one in it Texas Hill Country series of races.  Participants could sign up for individual races in the series, or get a races discount by signing up for the whole series.  The weather for this event turned out pretty nice, sunshine, blue skies, just about no wind, and humidity pretty low in the 50% range.  The half started at 7:30 a.m., the 10K at 8:15 or so, and the 5K at 8:30 a.m.  Since I was doing the 5K, I got to sleep in a tad later than the other races participants.  Arrived at the race site around 8 a.m. The half-marathon folks had already started, and 10K/5K participants were awaiting their start times.  Nice turn-out for this one.  Since I had already picked up my packet the day before I spent my wait-for-my-start time wandering around the area chatting with friends and participants, giving the doggies there some treats, and getting some photos.  10K participants left right on time, with we 5K participants cheering them on their way.  More waiting and then it was our turn.

ON THE COURSE:   Comfort is in Texas Hill Country and for 2 of these races – the half and the 10K – it sure was true.  Participants in these events told me they definitely had some hills on their course.  The 5K course stayed mainly in the downtown Comfort area and in some surrounding neighborhoods, with our highest ‘elevation’ being something like 62 feet.  So pretty flat for the most part, with just 2 small inclines on the course.  Since the 5K started last, we participants got to see some of the faster 10K people and a few of the speedier half-marathon people heading for their finishes.  Believe me, some of these people are REALLY speedy.   I did my usual run/walk thing, taking photos during my walk breaks, chatting with other participants, and just enjoying myself.  Ended up with a time of 37:09, averaging 11:54 per mile, and did a negative split for the last mile, nice. Ended up with 3rd place in my 65-69 age group. I think there were only 3 in my age group, lol.

AFTER MY FINISH: “Come for the race. Stay for the party.”  Scallywompus is not kidding either, with this motto.  They always have a heck of an after-party, with lots of drink and food. My friend Gilbert had his best assortment of fresh fruits out; there was also sausage-on-a-stick, Alamo Beer, bloody mary’s, and a whole assortment of various goodies provided the sponsors/vendors there. There was also a food truck on site if anyone wanted to purchase food from that and they had quite a nice selection too, pulled pork sandwiches, breakfast tacos, etc.  Music played by DJ Paul and friend Jason did a great job as MC with FLARE in his usual colorful manner.  Wandered around sampling goodies, taking photos, treating my doggie friends there, chatting with friends, and thoroughly enjoying myself.  As usual with their events, well done Scallywompus, well done!

Epilogue: As noted, a really nice quality event in a nice location. Very nice quality race shirt and unique finisher medals for all finishers. Age-group awards were unique glasses – the kind you drink from, not wear. 😉   Very nice facilities, including some actual indoor restroom facilities, as well as the porta-potties.  Lots of post-race goodies, and more.  Definitely would do this one again – Comfort is actually a pretty nice little town to run in – and would recommend it to others.

MUCHO THANKS TO:  Hill Country Distillers property was the site of the start/finish/post-race party area, so mucho thanks to them for the use of their grounds. Really a nice place with an outside porch and a small side yard with some table, and then a large yard – which is where we all were mostly for the duration of the event – and a nice touch was some chairs “socially distanced” placed that participants could sit in pre-and-post race, to relax, drink, eat, etc.      Thanks to all the Scallywompus folks and their volunteers and sponsors that made this one happen for we participants; to the police officers at the various course intersections, keeping participants safe; to the two medical staff ladies on site for us if needed; and anyone else I may not have mentioned here that had a part in giving us this quality event.  Also, thanks to the city and people  of Comfort, for allowing us to park all over their streets on this Sunday morning for the event; and thanks for the patience of you drivers who were maybe out this morning on part of the course. Thank you all!   

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2021 Race 9, Run With A Purpose 5K

https://photos.app.goo.gl/PHxU5b3Q7F12HNKA8

Race photos are at the link above.

BEFORE MY START: My 9th live race of 2021 was the Run With Purpose 5K held on April 24, starting and finishing at Landa Park in New Braunfels, Texas. This event supported the New Braunfels Christian Academy school.  170 finishers,, 76 male and 94 female Start time of 8:30 a.m.   Very nice day for it, temps in the low 60s, blue skies, sunshine, no wind, humidity around 54%.  I got a late start so arrived with about 20 minutes to start time. Just enough time to get my packet, get my bib number on and just a few photos right before we started.

ON THE COURSE:  Not the normal 5K course for a Landa Park race, as the road by the golf course was under renovation, so closed to the public. The route today took us out of the park and past a baseball field across from the park and then into a really nice residential area across from the park.  Wide streets, very little traffic, lots of maneuvering room.  I dropped my darn music player so had to go back to get it, so that kind of killed my first mile, lol.  Oh well, not like I was going to win anything anyway, lol.  Settled in after that, did my usual run/walk thing, with photo taking during my walk breaks.  Course was pretty flat the whole way except for one small incline near the Mile 2 marker.  As we headed back to the park to finish up, I checked my Garmin and thought, “What…no way do I run/walk this fast anymore.”  I assumed the course would end up short and it did, with 2.7 miles instead of a full 5K.  Even so, nicely laid out course – just need to add a tad bit more to it – in a really nice area. I was 6th out of 9 males in my 60-69 age group, with a finish time of 35:19, averaging 11-something per mile. First mile was my slowest and I had negative splits after that, nice.

AFTER MY FINISH: Got some water and a banana, sat for a while enjoying the park atmosphere and my post-race goodies.  Then off to get some photos of happy finishers and supporters.  Also got a few of the park area.  Have not been here in quite a while and forgot how really pretty and relaxing this little park is. 

Epilogue: Very nicely organized event, that included a Kids Run after the main event. Nice quality race shirt and medals to the top 3 in each age group.  Lots of goodies too. Chik-Fil-A was handing out breakfast biscuits; there was quite a large selection of fresh fruits/veggies, nutrition bars, and more.  I think there was also coffee somewhere, but did not pay much attention to that since I can’t stand the stuff, lol. Several vendors too, showing their products, and had some free give-away items.  So nice to run again in Landa Park.  Definitely going to make plans to run here more often, and a very nice place to relax post-run.  Definitely would do this event again, and would recommend it to others.

MUCHO THANKS TO: Athlete Guild for the race setup and timing; race director and all the volunteers and sponsors that made this one happen for us, as well as to the New Braunfels/Comal County officials for allowing a live event again in the park during these times.  Thanks also to the New Braunfels police officers that were out at the intersections for us, keeping us all safe; and to anyone else I may not have mentioned here. Thank you all.       

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2021 Race 8, Big Bear 5K

https://photos.app.goo.gl/PHxU5b3Q7F12HNKA8

Race photos are at the link above.

BEFORE MY START:   My 8th live race of 2021 was the Big Bear 5K held on Apr 17th in Mico, Texas. This race supports the Wounded Warriors. Running at Fort Sam Houston a lot, which has the Center for the Intrepid, a rehab facility for Wounded Warriors, I have often encountered/met some of these Wounded Warriors, and they are always so inspiring, truly living the philosophy of Never Give Up. I have a Wounded Warrior friend who lost a leg and sometimes see him at Fort Sam when I occasionally run on the large track there.  I do around 11 – 13-minute miles with 2 good legs and my friend, with his prosthetic leg, laps me. Truly amazing and awesome seeing him out there.  I’ve lived in San Antonio since 1994 and have never been to Mico, so this was a new race scene for me. Start and finish was at the Dancing Bear Cantina.  Race start time of 10 a.m., a late start so I got to sleep in a bit. Maybe a bit too much, lol.  I got up, had breakfast and got going a bit later than intended, not sure if I’d make it by start time.  Arrived with about 20 minutes to spare.  Had already picked up my packet during the week, so quickly got a couple of pre-start photos and then it was time to line up for the start.  Nice sunny day, with weather a bit chilly in the 50s, and a really good wind blowing off-and-on with around 10-20 mph gusts, making it feel a bit chilly.

ON THE COURSE:  Out-and-back course from the Dancing Bear Cantina.  MC and friend Mark Purnell told me the course would be a tad short of 5K distance, as we had been instructed to use the local fire station as our turn-around point. He also told me it was a ‘bit’ hilly.  Downhill to the turn-round point and then uphill back.  The way he described it, I was thinking uh-oh, we are going to have steep “Helotes Hills on the way back up.  It turned out that it was not like that at all.  The hills coming back were challenging, all right – especially since I have not done any hill work since having my dental surgery about 3 weeks ago – but they were not really steep-steep, just more like really long, long inclines on the way up, as you can see from some of the photos. And the wind had changed direction and was blowing right into our faces on the way back.  Tough wind to run head into.  I did take a couple of extra walk breaks on portions of these hills.  As I finally got to the finish line, my Garmin showed 2.7 miles, with a finish time of 34:52, averaging 12:55 per mile.  I really expected to do 14-something minute miles, so was happy with my result.

AFTER MY FINISH: Got a couple photos of some people coming in after me and got some views of Medina Lake from the Cantina property.  Got some post-race refreshment, which included a beer for participants, and enjoyed post-race relaxing, chatting with friends, and taking some photos of the happy finishers, volunteers, supporters, etc.

 Epilogue: As noted, first time out here doing this event. Very well organized by John Purnell/Purnell Racing and his volunteers/crew in support of a great cause, Wounded Warriors.  Course was open to traffic, of which there was very little, and drivers I saw at any given time were very friendly and careful when going by participants. Nice little after-party at the cantina with live music by a group called Lionthrone. I thought they were pretty good.  If you wanted to stick around for a while, this event was also a Full-Day event with T-shirts, cuzzies, award for top male and females in 5 categories, beverages, and a food coupon.  Nice quality race shirt.  Definitely would recommend this one to others and will certainly be doing this one again in the future.

MUCHO THANKS TO:  John Purnell/Purnell Racing, the Purnell family, and all the volunteers and sponsors that made this one happen for we participants; the Medina County Sheriff officer(s) that were out there for us; Dancing Bear Cantina

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2021 Race 7, Wanderlust 5K 10K Half Marathon

Race photos are here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/qbGE73ve2bTJePhX8

BEFORE MY START:  On March 20, I did my 7th race of 2021, the Wanderlust 5K, held in Fredericksburg, Texas. The main event was a half marathon and there was also a 10K. This event was the 3rd race in a series of 4 races called Texas Hill Country Races.  People can sign up for the whole series or any individual race.  Since the 5K was the last to start – at 9:01 a.m. – I got to sleep in a bit before my drive from San Antonio to Fredericksburg, which takes just a little over an hour from where I live. I arrived at race site with about 40 minutes to start 5K time and the 10K folks were lining up to get going.  I had already gotten my race bib the day before, so while waiting for the 5K start, I got a few pre-start photos.

ON THE COURSE:   Normally, this course starts on the street in front of the “Marktplatz” (Market Square), but this year we lined up in the pavilion square and then did a “social distancing” start from the start line on part of the Market Square.  The start area had us going toward the Vereins Kerche Museum, a replica building of the historic one that was built in Fredericksburg only a year after it was settled.  This was a short path on brick pavement, passing in front and to the side of the building and by a very pretty little park behind the building, before we went out onto paved streets.  We then proceeded to do sort of “loop” course through some very nice wide streets with very little traffic; plenty of room for all to maneuver.  Our last mile as we 5K folks headed back to the finish, we started seeing a few of the faster ½ marathon and faster 10K folks heading to the finish also.  The last mile of the course was pretty much the same finish for all the races.  I ended up 4th in my 65 – 69 age group with a time of 37:12, averaging 12:14 per mile.  Even though at start time, the temp was a cool 41 degrees or so, we had abundant sunshine and blue skies, so I think I overdressed a tad with a base layer underneath my running shirt.  I usually do tend to overdress a bit on cooler mornings as I just do not like being cold; the older I get the more I seem to feel it, lol. Even so, all good, and my last mile was a negative split at 11:48 for that mile.

AFTER MY FINISH:   Stood by the finish line and got a few photos of other participants finishing up as I waited for friend Ralph to finish. Never did see him come in, so I must have missed him after I first finished, when I was getting my finisher medal and putting back on my dry shirt I had brought.  Sorry, Ralph.  Got some water and wandered around taking “after’ photos and treating doggies with the dog biscuits I had in my pockets – I even treated one along the course, lol.  Also enjoyed some post-race goodies, and there were quite a few of them, including bloody mary drinks, Alamo beer, Kiolbassa sausage on a stick and more.  Scallywompus has a motto “Come for the race. Stay for the party” – and they are not kidding either. Really nicely done. 

Epilogue:  Scallywompus events, with timing/results from a great local area race management company iaap, are always a class act.  Co-owner Bart and his crew take really good care of the participants.  Really nicely laid out courses, offering something for everyone, from the shorter 5K for folks like me who can’t run distance anymore and/or don’t want to do longer distances, up to those longer distances on some courses that can be pretty challenging in some places.  Finisher medal for all finishers and nice quality race shirts.  And, of course, that great after-party. If you’ve never done a Scallywompus event, give it a try, you might like it. 

MUCHO THANKS TO:    Bart; race director Tony Garcia; our sound/music man Paul, and our lovely event MC – and her name just popped right out of my head, sorry about that – and all the volunteers, sponsors, supporters, law enforcement officers, medical staff, and anyone else I may not have mentioned here that do what they do so we participants could enjoy this event.  Also, thanks to the “people in charge” in Fredericksburg who allowed permission for this “live” event in the city limits.

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2021 Race 6, St. Paddy’s Day 5K

https://photos.app.goo.gl/8W432HsXo4yU42tH7

Race photos are at the link above.

BEFORE MY START:    On March 13 I did my 6th race of 2021, the St. Paddy’s Day 5K held in Gruene/News Braunfels, Texas. Put on by local area race management company Athlete Guild, this event had 259 finishers, 91 male and 168 male.  There was also a Kid’s Run held a short while before the start of the main event. Start and finish at Gruene River Company, a tubing and rafts business.  Mother Nature was threatening rain, but all we got were just a few light drops, nothing much; however, it really did shoot up the humidity and the temp was around 68 degrees at start time.  I arrived at race site with about 45 minutes to start time, got my race packet, and then got a few pre-start photos.

ON THE COURSE:  Started in the Gruene River Company parking area; right turn onto a local street, then after a very short way, right turn that took us onto a road with a hill.  Up this hill and underneath a train bridge, and then a left turn into a very nice neighborhood with wide streets and nice homes…and more hills. Very little traffic at all so everyone could spread out quite a bit, which was nice. We did a loop course through this neighborhood that brought us back out to the street on which we had first come into this area.  So the uphill we had on the way out was now a downhill that took us back to the Gruene River Co. area.  To finish, we made a turn into the back gate area of the company property, went alongside the company building, then turned in front of it to get to the finish line.  Nicely thought out course. I finished in 37:01, getting 5th in my age 65-69 ag group.  Yeah, there are some speedy old guys in my age group, lol. The first guy in my age group finished in 22 minutes and change.

AFTER MY FINISH:  After I finished, I stood near the finish line and got a few photos of others coming into the finish line. Then went and got some water and a banana and relaxed for a few minutes.  After that, wandered around and took some various photos of some of the Happy Finishers, volunteers, and supporters that were there for their “personal runners/walkers” as well as some of the sponsors. Nic post-race goodies too, with Whataburger handing out breakfast taquitos and Guadalupe Brewery had their really good beer available.

Epilogue:  Athlete Guild puts on some really good, well organized events with nice post-race goodies; nice quality race shirts; finisher medals; kiosk for participants to get results print-out, and a pretty nice after-party.  Definitely would recommend their events, and would certainly do this 5K again. Also, as you can see from some of the photos, their events are dog-friendly.

MUCHO THANKS TO: Athlete Guild Crew, and all the volunteers that were out there for us, and who were at packet pickup too; and all the sponsors supporting this one. Thanks to Gruene River Co. for the use of their property and thanks to Guadalupe Brewery, Whataburger, and all the other sponsors for the goodies they had available; also to our law enforcement folks that were there for us for traffic control, and anyone else I may not have mentioned here. Thank you all for what you do so we participants could have this event.   

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2021 Race 5, Chocoholic Frolic 5K

https://photos.app.goo.gl/g4XV3zMxYQB875zb7

Photos are at the link above.

BEFORE MY START:   On Feb 27, I did my 5th live race of 2021, the Chocoholic Frolic 5K held at River City Community Church in Selma, TX.  Start time of 9 a.m.  The church location is pretty nice, with ample parking, very large indoor restroom facilities, and lots of booths for the volunteers, etc., to set up their areas. Weather was a bit humid, with a 62 degree or so temp and very overcast, looking like it was going to rain on us, but it never did.  I felt pretty comfortable the whole way; but then, unlike most runners, I prefer warm weather running to cooler weather running.  I’m an old dog, lol, and I seem to feel the cold more as I get older.  Nice turn-out for this one, especially considering there was another popular 5K going on the same day/same start time, right down the road from where this event was location.  Doncha hate it when 2 really good events are scheduled on the same day at the same time? Anyway…arrived with about 40 minutes to go to start time and got a few pre-start photos. 

ON THE COURSE: I’ve done 5Ks here before and usually the route takes us into a nearby neighborhood where we do an out-and-back and then head back to the finish.  This year, however, with the pandemic, etc., the route did not go into that area. Instead, the route was all on church-owned grounds. From the start, we went down a short hill and exited the main gate of the church grounds.  We then ran on the access roads and parking lot areas.  We’d get to certain points and went along one of the main parking areas, got to a set of cones, did a turn-round and went back the way we had come, only on the other side of the asphalt pavement.  This was done in 2 places on the course. Put into words, it sounds kind of boring, but it actually was not. It is a pretty well-thought-out course given what the race director had to work with.  Also, as I did my run/walk and took my walk breaks to get photos, I noticed at the out-and-back locations the participants, as they went by each other, coming-and-going, cheered on friends/family they saw, some stopping to get their own photos, and generally everyone just encouraging each other along.  After we passed the water stop on the course, we then went around the perimeter of another parking lot and then exited that into another lot that we went just about directly across.  This took us back to the road we had started on, which took us back to the finish.  I ended up with a finish time of 36:42, averaging 12:27 per mile. I also had negative splits, nice.  Mile 1: 12:49, Mile 2, 12:03, and Mile 3 I managed to get under 12-minute miles with 11:52.  My pacemaker behaved itself nicely.  😊

AFTER MY FINISH:  After I finished, I stood near the finish line and got a few photos of others coming into the finish line. Then went and got some water and a banana and relaxed for a few minutes.  After that, wandered around and took some various photos of some of the Happy Finishers, volunteers, and supporters that were there for their “personal runners/walkers.”

Epilogue: Very nicely done event.  Unique finisher medal and nice quality race shirt, made of really nice material.  Unfortunately for me, the race shirt has an attached hoodie. I am not a fan of hoodies, just have never liked them, so knew I would never wear it.  But no worries, my wife was happy to claim it from me, lol.  They had some Chocoholic Frolic event shirts on sale after the race, very reasonably priced at $10, so I ended up getting a really nice long sleeved pullover event shirt, collared and with a small zip-up on the front.  Very nice quality and very comfortable.  The course this year was different, but nice.  This used to be done at Morgan’s Wonderland, but in talking post-race with some of the participants, most of them were in favor of this course over Morgan’s.  Just more room to spread out.  So this course is probably a keeper for this event in the future.  Had lots of fun, saw lots of friends, very enjoyable. Definitely would do this again, and would recommend it to others.  TONS of goodies post-race, including not only the finisher medal to all participants, but also a small box of chocolates.  My wife got that too, lol. But that’s okay; she is the one who has to put up with me 24/7 so she deserves her treats.  :p

MUCHO THANKS TO: All the volunteers that were out there for us, and who were at packet pickup too; and all the sponsors supporting this one; thanks to Ed, our bike-lead guy and to Race Director Tony, who also laid out the course; our music man out there for us, as well as the 2 medical-staff people there for us; and anyone else I may not have mentioned here that was involved.  And of course, thanks to River City Community Church for the use of the grounds. Thank you all!     

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2021 Race 3, Freedom Fighters 5K, Jan 30

https://photos.app.goo.gl/ktRNH7eKDbfqBwTU9

Introduction:  I am Scotty aka “Scottydog”, called that because I carry dog biscuits when I run and treat the doggies I meet along my way – or throw them in the other direction if a dog wants to chase me. I actually register for all my events as Scotty Dogg and this is the name all my running friends know me by.  I became a runner during my Air Force career, on April 15, 1983, when I was stationed at Incirlik, Turkey. I always remember the exact date since I started on Tax Day, lol. And as all we runners know, sometimes running can be very taxing. 😉  As a cancer survivor, I have this superstition that as long as I keep running I won’t have a recurrence – so far so good! – so that is why I had my running shirts printed up; every time I get lazy and don’t feel like going for my run, all I have to do is open my shirt drawer and remember why I keep on running. That, plus I love to run anyway, lol. As I’ve gotten older I’m dealing with a few challenges – as we all usually do as we get older – with some spinal and hip arthritis – which is why I now do run/walk these days – and I’ve had a few surgeries, including 4 knee surgeries, and still have the screw that goes all the way through below my knee, holding my left kneecap in place, and in Aug 2019 I had a pacemaker implant.  Never-the-less I manage to do okay and complete quite a few races over the years; 91 races in 2018 is my all-time high so far, and I even managed to get in 35 live races in 2020..  Never give up!

BEFORE MY START:  On Jan 30th, I did my 3rd “live” race of 2021, the Freedom Fighters 5K. The event was held at the Regional Park of Castroville, Texas. As the online race event page put it: “The race is a salute to our most honored infantry soldiers.”  Start time of 9 a.m., so got to sleep in a bit. Arrived at the park with about 40 minutes to go, picked up my packet, and got a few pre-start photos.  Not sure how many participants there were, but it was a nice turn-out for a smaller event. 

ON THE COURSE:  We started by doing a loop through the park and just as we were going out of the park on a road leading into an adjacent neighborhood, that road was where the 1-mile mark was. 12:21 first mile for me. We then did an out-and-back on a very nice flat road in a really nice neighborhood.  The halfway turn-round point was marked on the road in green but I was not paying attention and kind of missed it and kept going a little before I realized I’d gone too far.  Being retired Air Force, I joked with some of my Army friends post-race, I needed them there to give me directions, lol. Back the way we had come out.  Mile 2 for me was 12:43. Back into the park and looped around the way we had come out, heading to the finish.  I guess I got a little motivated here to be done, Mile 3 was 11:44, and I finished in 37:13, averaging 12:15 per mile. 

AFTER MY FINISH:  After I finished, I stood near the finish line and got a few photos of others finishing the course.  I then went to my car to put my dry shirt back on – I did the race in a singlet – drank some water and ate my protein bar and then went back to the main race area, enjoying chatting with friends and other participants and getting a few after-photos.

Epilogue:  Small event, but nicely done and had the feel of a group of friends all getting together to enjoy a running/walking outing. Kudos to whomever laid out the course, that was really nicely done.  I have not been in the Castroville Park for quite a while, and I remember it being a lot smaller; it has been very nicely renovated since I was last here, and really has some nice trails, sports grounds, and so forth.  Definitely will be coming back here once in a while to explore some more.  If I remember correctly, awards to the Top 3 male and female finishers.  The race shirt is pretty nice quality too. I would definitely do this event again, and would recommend it to others.

MUCHO THANKS TO:    The race sponsors, Tartan Construction; Run Local; e-Dragon Productions; and Jypsy Jane Botique.  Thanks to the race volunteers out there for us; to the lady who beautifully sang The National Anthem; and to our race director – I think she was the Race Director – Alliclare – and to anyone else involved that I may not have mentioned here.  Happy running and walking to all!

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