2022 Race 33, The Longest Day 5K

Photos are here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/ro7W5Xs6G5ey3mwq9

Before The Start:   My 33rd race of 2022 was Beans vs Beards: The Longest Day 5K put on by brothers Matthew and Miguel on Sunday, Jun 26th at Comanche County Park in San Antonio. There was also a 10K, a Kid’s Run, and a 0.5K Beer Run. This event raises money for Alzheimer’s research, a cause close to the heart of the brothers who have had family members pass on from this awful disease. I am sure several of us, including me, can relate to that. The 10K started at 7:30 a.m, with the 5K start following at 8 a.m.  I arrived with just under 45 minutes until the 5K and got a few pre-start photos. This is a very popular event put on by two very popular members of our local running community, so a nice turn-out, especially considering that on Saturday, the day before this one, there were several other local area events which some of these participants had done too – one even in the late afternoon at 5 pm with a 102 degree temp at start time, jeez!

On The Course: The course was on paved road near the start-and-finish – with pretty uneven surfaces there for a bit, as the pavement was cracked and missing in some parts, so had to watch your step – and then on the off-road paved park trails. Given that this is Texas summer – and we’ve been having a heat wave since May – it was pretty warm and humid, with a temp of 79 degrees at start time. Thankfully, the course up to the 5K turn-round point has lots of tree shade along the way, which helped, and no hills, just a short incline we went down on the way out and up on the way back.  Since I did no go past the 5K turn-round point, I am not sure what the 10K folks had to deal with past that point. I took it pretty easy, doing my run/walk thing and taking some photos along the way – some a bit blurry; my old-time push-button Canon camera is not really great with ‘motion’ photos. I ended up 7th out of 10 in my 60-69 age group, with a 42:14 chip time, averaging 13+ minutes per mile.  The last mile I ran in with a very nice lady who kept me company right to the finish, and we had a nice chat along the way.  Very much appreciate her running with me, it helped mentally making the distance seem like it was going by quicker.

After My Finish:  First thing, right after I crossed the finish line I went from run to a quick walk and kept walking so at to cool down gradually. I have a bad habit, lol, of sometimes stopping right after I cross the finish line and then, of course, all the blood pools straight down right out of my head and I get a bit dizzy, which scares the heck out of my friends as I have a pacemaker and am being treated right now for cancer, so they right away think I am having some kind of medical episode. No, I am not, I am having a ‘being stupid’ episode, lol; made sure to behave myself this time and I felt fine after about 5 minutes of walking around. I then made sure to re-hydrate and get something into my stomach. There was quite a variety of post-race goodies.  After that, time to wander around chatting with friends, getting some post-race photos, watch the 0.5K beer run – each participant carrying a mug of beer as he/she ran, trying not to spill any – and enjoy the awards ceremonies. Several of my running pals placed in their age groups.

Epilogue:   Very nicely done event put on by the two brothers.  They also have an earlier event each year called Run To Remember, which is also well done.  These are ‘contests’ between the two brothers to see who can raise the most for the cause – and the losing brother has to do some kind of ‘challenge” specified by the winning brother.  All in good fun to raise fund for this very worthwhile cause.  Very unique and nice quality race shirt; finisher medals to all; and unique coin awards provided by e-Dragon Productions for the age group placers. LOTS of vendor/sponsor booths at these events, with lots of goodies, ranging rom various fruits, drinks, and other goodies, including these small cream peanut butter half-sandwiches, which really hit the spot for me.  These Alzheimer events put on by the brothers are definitely “keeper” events which I make sure to regularly include on my race calendar. Thank you so much to all the people making this one happen, including iaapweb for course setup, timing, and results; Miguel and Matthew, of course; all the many sponsors and all the many volunteers; Burleson Yard Beer Garden for pre-race day packet pickup location; my friend Jada for being the ‘medical help’ at the event; our amazing, talented, and humorous MC, Anthony Zamora; and anyone else involved I may not have mentioned here.  Thank you all!

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2022 Race 32 Dos Rios Splash and Dash 5K

Photos are here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/qEP4eCw3S4rg7L8j9

Before The Start:  My 32 race of 2022 was the Dos Rios 5K Splash and Dash on June 18.  Put on by Athlete Guild, this event is a 5K starting and finishing at Cypress Bend Park in New Braunfels, Texas.  Start time of 8 a.m.   There was also a Kids Run before the main event. This 5K gave you the option of doing a regular 5K or doing the 5K with ‘splash’ included, for which those participants stopped along the course to do a chute splashdown in a pool via an inner-tube, and then continue along the course to finish the 5K.   Probably very cooling for those participants as it was already in the upper 70s by the time of our 8 a.m. start.  Gotta love running in Texas spring/summer, lol., and we have had, since May, a record number of 100+ degree days. Crazy. Having done this one before I knew parking was kind of limited in the park; so I arrived early, got some nice parking close to the start/finish, got my packet and then still had time to take a short nap in the car before the start.  I also did wander around before we started and got some pre-start photos.    

On The Course: Started near the park pavilion and went down by the nearby river.  The portion going alongside the river was nice-and-scenic, but also had to watch your footing as it was a bit of  dirt-and-rock of-road trail.  It was fairly short, so we soon exited off the trail into one of the park parking lots and then went up a short hill.  This took us to the park’s main entrance where we exited the park and then did a route through a neighborhood.  A very hilly neighborhood. Near the halfway point, we runners who were not doing the Splash kept on going while the Splash folks veered off to get their inner tubes and do down the chute into the water.  Some of these folks were pretty speedy too; even with their splashdown, they still soon caught up and passed my slow self, lol. After the turn-round, the route back to the finish was the same way we had come out from the start, only now in the other direction.  Yay, more hills, lol. Once back in the park, we did the trail thing again then headed for the finish after getting back on pavement on the other side of the park.   I did a 41:02 chip time and was 2nd in my age group.  There were only 2 IN my age group, lol. The other guy finished in 21 minutes and change.  So with only 2, I was in the Hare and the Turtle group.  Bet you can guess which one I was.

After My Finish: Dang it was warm. After I finished, I made sure to walk a bit and got a few photos of others coming into the finish and some of the happy finshers .  I get a little bit dizzy after I stop running after a race – may be making the blood drain from my head into my legs – so find walking around for about 5 – 10 minutes after that helps a lot. Still felt pretty heated though, so went and sat in my car for about 15 mintutes with the a/c on high while drinking some water. Ahhh, much better!  I then went back to the finish area and enjoyed chatting with friends and other participants and getting some more photos.      

Epilogue: Very nicely put-on event by Race Director Sherri and her Athlete Guild crew.  Nice quality race shirt and nice age-group medals (10-year age groups).  Some pretty nice post-race goodies, including beer. Park with a pavilion was nice since you could get into some shade post-race if you so desired. Nice views of the river from this park; it was to our left on the way out and to our right on the way back. I’ve done this event before, I would do it again, and I would recommend it to others.  Much thanks to Athlete Guild and all the race volunteers; all the police officers out there for us on the open roads; all the race sponsors and vendors; to the rocks and roots on the trail part of the course for not making me fall down; and to anyone else involved I may not have mentioned here.  Thank you all.  Oh, this is a dog-friendly event too, but with this weather, please be sure Fido is hydrated, etc.    

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2022 Race 31 Y’all Means All 5K

Photos are here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/TeTaw6TSfRFKABeb8

Before The Start:   My 31st race of 2022 was the Y’all Means All 5K held on June 11 at South Side Lion’s Park East in San Antonio, with a start time of 8 a.m.South Side Lion’s Park East is a very nice city park with a man-made lake and off-road paved trails.  The park’s trails connect to other San Antonio parks – such as Comanche Park – so if you are so inclined you can get in quite a distance run, walk, or cycle ride.  I’ll just stick with the 5K distance.  This event was put on by In The Loop Crew, a social running organization open to runners and walkers of all levels. Managed by San Antonio Wellness, LLC, they put on a variety of training runs and walks and various social events primarily for all their members, but everyone is free to participate.  San Antonio has been having a series of days and weeks with temps hitting the 100s in the late afternoon so this race morning was pretty warm, already in the upper 70s by race start time.  This event sold out with 300+ participants, so I made sure to leave home early, getting there about an hour before start time and found some good parking. I had already picked up my packet the day before giving me on Race Day nothing but time until the start time.  I took advantage of that time to get a few pre-start photos.  As I wandered around doing this, more and more people started showing up and the parking area closest to the start/finish line filled up pretty quickly.  Glad I got there early!

On The Course: We started near one of the park pavilions and made our way around part of the lake trail. We then diverted away from the lake and went onto a paved off-road trail that took us to a turn-round point.  After doing the turn-round, we then went back the way we had come and then back onto the paved trail around the lake. Once on that, we went in the opposite direction of the way we had come out and this looped us back to the start/finish line.  I did my usual 8-min-run/2-min-walk thing and took photos during my walk break.  I ended up in the ER twice during the past week – thankfully results showed I was okay – so I did not push myself for this one. I ended up with a 41:18 chip time, averaging 13:18 per mile and was first in my 60-69 males age group…what, at that slow pace?  I found out there were only 2 in my age group, lol.  I’ll take it.  Got nice little medal for me efforts.  I did positive splits too, lol, probably because I was trying to take it a bit easy after my ER adventures, like my doc had told me to do – so for once I behaved, lol, and took a few more on-course photos than I normally do, and a couple of exrtra shorter walk breaks.  Also, during my transit from Mile 2 to Mile 3, a cyclist was trying to pass we runners and slid a bit and took a fall off his bike.  Well, shoot, I had to stop and check on him.  No race time is worth leaving a potentially injured person laying out there.  He was okay, thank goodness – and so was his bike – just a bit of skinned elbow, and was soon on his way again.   I was too, and plodded along until I saw the finish line and then sped up bit – that means I went a whole whopping 10 seconds faster than my normal pace 😉 – to get across that.

After My Finish:  Cool-down walk first.  Then got a banana and some water and sat for a while with two very nice guys who also did the 5K and let me share their picnic table with them, and we had a nice conversation.  Next, time to get some post-race photos. I enjoyed myself doing that; chatting with friends and other participants and supporters too, watching the awards ceremony – really surprised when they called my name, lol – and, as this was a dog-friendly event I handed out quite a few doggie treats, making more 4-legged friends for life. Quite a very relaxing and enjoyable time post-race.  Sadly, we did have one participant down in the finish area post-race and an ambulance had to be called.  Hopefully, nothing serious.  Wishing her all the best and hope she has a speedy recovery.

Epilogue:  I really enjoyed this event.  In The Loop Crew – their staff, volunteers, vendors, sponsors – all did a really great job with this one. Iaap did their usual great job with the course setup, timing, and results – go to their iaapweb.com site and they have all the results already posted there – and my Craaaazy friend – in a good way – Anthony Zamora did his usual great job as MC and entertaining everyone. Finisher medals to all finishers, and very nicely made medallions for the age group placers.  Sponsor Fleet Feet was there and, courtesy of Saucony -three pairs of Saucony running shoes were raffled off by the Fleet Feet crew, using race bib numbers for the raffle, nice. There were also prizes from Rollga Foam Rollers; and Trail Toes.   All kinds of post-race goodies including popsicles, various brands of beer courtesy of Black Laboratory Brewing – which also hosted the day before race day packet pickup – Athletic Brew, Second Pitch Brewing, Real Premium  Hard Seltzer, fruits, CForce Water – I really like this water – assorted fruits, nutrition bars, and much more.  Quite the nice turn-out of participants and vendors/sponsors.  I would definitely do this one again and certainly would recommend it to others.  Much thanks to all who made this one happen for us, In The Loop Crew, all the volunteers and sponsors, park police that were out there for our safety, iaap for the timing and results, etc., and everyone else involved.

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2022 Race 30, SA 5K Summer Series, Race #2

Photos are here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/As87bUmvpnpjHyHK9

Before The Start:  My 30th race of 2021 was Race 2 of the San Antonio 5K Summer Series, a series of 4 5K events for runners and walkers that raises funds for a scholarship for a locally selected youth athlete. This event is annually put on by e-Dragon Productions, a top-notch race management company that offers several different races over the year, some of them QUITE challenging.  Iaap, another top-notch company, did the course setup, timing and results for this event. Race 2 was held on Sunday, June 4, at Lady Bird Johnson (LBJ) Park in San Antonio. Nice turn out with 161 finishers. Packet pickup from 0600 – 0700 at each of these events.  A kid’s run then kicks things off, with the main event following after that, usually between 0715 to 0730, so a nice early start, which is definitely appreciated with the hot days we have been getting in San Antonio.  I arrived around 0630, got my packet and then got a few pre-start photos.

On The Course:  After the Kid’s Run, we started around 0715 or so. We did one loop around the traffic circle in the park and then went down an incline to access the park’s off-road paved trails. The course was out-and-back, going past a business area known as Los Patios, and then to a turn-around point near the frontage road of local highway Loop 410. After the turn-round, back the way we had come out and then finishing by going around the park’s traffic circle one more time before going over through the chip-timing finish line.  I took it pretty slow and easy for this one, after pushing myself a bit at the 5K I had done the day before this one.  The course at LBJ park is pretty flat with just a few inclines along the way, nothing you can really call a hill. This park also nicely has a lot of shade, which was a blessing with all this hot weather and ‘abundant’ sunshine we’ve been getting lately.  Temp was already in the 70s by the time we started.  I did my usual run/walk thing and took photos during my walk breaks. There were only 4 people in my 65 – 69 age group and I ended up 3rd with a chip time of 40:22, averaging 13-minuute-miles. 

After My Finish: Cool-down walk for a few minutes and get some water into me. I then enjoyed chatting with other participants, and also the supporters and volunteers there, and getting some post-race photos.  Some nice post-race goodies of water, various fruits, and other sundries.  Age group in 5-year increments, which is nice, allows participants a better change of placing.  As an example, for the race I did the day before, my age group was males 55 to 100, lol, so I knew I had no chance of placing at my slow pace.

Epilogue:  The Burciaga family, owners of e-Dragon Productions – and they also have a really good print shop too, where I get all my printing done for my race shirts – always put on a really good quality event for all the races they manage.   Nice quality race shirt for these events. The age group winners also get a nice, unique e-Dragon coin as the age group placer medal. It has a coin number on the back which, if I remember correctly, can be used for a discount when you sign up for other e-Dragon events.  This is the second year I’ve done this series of events and they really are nicely done. I certainly will continue to do them and would recommend them to others. Mucho thanks to e-dragon, all the race volunteers and sponsors, and my race volunteer friend Gilbert for bringing all that tasty fruit he has to each of these events. Thanks also to Camp Gladiator representative – I think it was Camp Gladiator – who led the pre-race warm up session for all who wanted to do that.  Thanks also to anyone else involved that I may not have mentioned here.

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2022 Race 29, Aid The Silent 5K

Race photos are here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/ap9gtBnwNtkMU28R6

Before The Start: My 29th race of 2022 was Aid The Silent 5K, held in Boerne, Texas on June 4, 2022. This event supports the organization Aid The Silent.  The organization is “a Texas-based nonprofit that helps deaf and hard-of-hearing children and teens receive equal access to opportunity by providing financial assistance to enhance communication methods; gain access to education resources; and to improve their overall health, both mental and physical.”  Race start time of 8 a.m., with start and finish at the Boerne Town Square. Weather was actually pretty nice with low humidity making the warm temperature not feel too bad at all.  Top-notch iaap race management company did the course set-up, timing and results. This event had a really nice turn-out, with 605 listed finishers, but there may have been more than that on the course, with some kid walking with their parents and so forth.  This was also a dog-friendly event but I don’t think they were counted in the results. 😉  I had picked up my packet the day before, thank goodness, so did not have to stand in line on race day. I arrived with about an hour to go to the start time, chatted with friends and other participants and supporters and also handed out doggie treats as I got some pre-start photos.  One really cool thing before the start: They did the National Anthem, playing a recording of it with someone singing the words, and during that they had these kids on the stage ‘signing’ the National Anthem in a really very cool demonstration.  It was GREAT, one of the very best National Anthem presentations I have ever seen; they rocked it.  I just about teared-up, they did it so well.

On The Course:  The 5K started right on time.  Me being a slow old dog, I had lined up pretty far back so it took me a bit to get across the start line. This was a ‘new’ course for me, one that I had not done before in Boerne, so that was nice.  We basically went straight out from the start, turned into a really nice neighborhood, then went down a hill and up a hill on the other side. We did an out-and-back in this neighborhood so had to do those two small hills twice. We then proceeded back toward the finish line, but made a left turn that took us to a hotel by the Town Square and then went onto Boerne City’s off-road paved trail, kind of similar to what the San Antonio Riverwalk is like, but on a smaller scale.  It was a bit crowded with all those runners and walkers on it but, thankfully, where I was at any given time, I never saw anyone fall.  This portion of the course was out-and-back too, so on my way out, everyone on my side of the walk had to watch out for those front-runners coming toward us as they went to the finish.  It is a pretty little course, though, with the river to our right on the way out and on our left on the way back to the finish. I did stop a few extra times to get a couple of photos.  I ended up running and chatting with a very nice lady – whose name went right out of my head just now – and then the last ½ mile or so my very speedy friend Jackie, who had already finished, came back on the course and ran with me back to the hotel, where she then dropped off as I ran to the finish line on the last bit of the course. I did better than I thought I would, with a chip-time finish of 39:28, averaging 12:24 per mile and I had negative splits, with my last mile being my fastest, nice.  Finally starting to get under 13-and-14-minute miles again as I make progress in beating my current prostate cancer, yay! 

After My Finish:  Got a few more photos near the finish line, then went back to my car, changed into a dry shirt, reloaded up on dog biscuits, and then back to the town square area to get some post-race goodies and more photos as I wandered around chatting with friends and other participants. My age group was 50 – 99 males, lol, so I already knew I was not going to place in that age group, lol.  Shoot, my friend Gary was first in our age group, and he finished in 18 minutes and change, jeez.  I was not even to Mile 2 at 18 minutes, lol.  So no pressure for me! I got to enjoy just wandering around having a good old time seeing everything, taking photos, chatting with people and handing out dog treats – to a few people too 😉 – and just having a good ole time.  Very enjoyable. I also got to meet the Aid The Silent founder, Emma, whom my wife and I met once, way back when at an event at Morgan’s Wonderland via mutual friends Angel and Dale Guillot.

Epilogue:  This is a really nice event with a lot going on before and after. As noted before, very dog-friendly event.  All kinds of post-race goodies including some really tasty popsicles – the line was pretty long for that and they went fast, but I managed to get one –  sponsors/vendors offering water, coffee, nutrition bars, various snacks like popcorn – saw two people with bags of that –  and the vendors had a variety of give-away items too.  There was a photo booth and other area with games for the kids and all kinds of other stuff. Really nice quality race shirt. Very well done event, one I will definitely do again and certainly would recommend to others.  Mucho thanks to Aid The Silent for this event and to all the supporting sponsors and volunteers. Thanks to the police officers out there for our safety; to the Boerne residents for letting a ‘horde’ of runners and walkers invade their space for a while; and to anyone else involved I may not have mentioned here.  Thank you all!

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2022 Race 28, American Hero 5K/25K

Photos are here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/KhwY2A3fJHNfo8cT6

Before The Start:   My 28th race of 2022 was the American Hero 5K held on May 29th at Comanche Park in San Antonio. The main event was the American 25K Relay and the individual 25K. There was also a 400 meters dash kids’ run and a wheelchair 5K. This event is put on my local racing company e-Dragon Productions, with timing and results provided by iaap race management company.  Both these companies are very good at what they do. This was a somewhat military-related event in honor and respect of the Memorial Day Holiday and in recognition of those fallen.  Several people carried flags with them on the course. Start time for all events at 7:30 a.m. Race Day was warm, with sunshine, a temp in the low 70s, and humidity to match. Thankfully, Comanche Park is a really nice facility with covered pavilion, ample restroom facilities, water fountains, and lots of shaded areas along its paved trails.  I arrived with about an hour to go to start time, got my race packet (shirt, race bib, etc) and then got a few pre-start photos.

On The Course:  The courses were out-and-back on off-road paved trails in Comanche Park. The relay teams made their baton exchanges at the start/finish line area.  After the National Anthem, people started getting lined up.  Having done a very hilly 5K the day before this one, I planned to just take it pretty easy for this one, per my doctor’s instructions when I do back-to-back events and do my run/walk a little slower than I normally do, take a few extra walk breaks and do positive splits so I’d know I was ‘behaving’.  I usually do 12-to-13-minute miles, so planned 13 to 15 minute miles for this one.  Mile 1 went well, 13:38 Mile 2, 14:29. Then I blew it with Mile 3, negative split of 13:20.   I ended up with a chip time of 42:33, averaging 13:42 per mile and ended up first in the 5K 60 – 69 males age group.  So much for 14 – 15 minute miles, lol. I did feel pretty good out there and did enjoy myself. What, I was first at that pace?  Then I realized all the speedy people in my age group at the events were doing the relay, so that is probably how I placed. What the heck, I’ll take it.

After My Finish: All kinds of goodies post-race, including sausage wraps, various fruits and drinks, including Alamo Beer, nice; one sponsor even had peanut butter sandwiches for those who wanted one. Other sponsors/vendors had various pastries, cookies, nutrition bars, and more.  The local area Fleet Feet stores had a ‘compression” thing, where you could relax and they put this compression thing on you from the waist down to help blood flow to your legs after your run, pretty cool.  I wandered around taking it all in, enjoying some of the goodies, chatting with friends and getting some post-race photos.  Dog friendly event too.  I saw a couple of dogs on the course – mostly for the 5K, not the relay, as 25K is probably a long way to go for a dog in a race – but most of them were nonparticipants who stayed in the start/finish area. Stroller friendly course also, as the trails are wide enough to accommodate them.  Lots of things going on with this event and from what I saw at any given moment, people seemed to be enjoying it all.

Epilogue:  Very nicely done event by e-Dragon and iaap. Lots of local running/walking groups and sponsors there, including Team RWB (veterans group), Wolfpack Running, lots of iaap folks, Fleet Feet folks, Soler Sports, Camp Gladiator; and more. Very nice race venue with a nice course, and lots of facilities. Nice quality race shirt; finisher medals for all, and nice age-group award medals  I’ve done this one in the past; will continue to do it in the future; and would certainly recommend it to others. Much thanks to all who made this one happen for we participants: e-Dragon; iaap; all the sponsors and vendors; all our many volunteers; police officers who were out there for our safety; Miguel, our ‘prime cook’ who grilled all those Kiolbassa sausage wraps for us – they were good too! –  and all the nonrunners out there for us – family members, friends, etc. – cheering us all on. Apologies if I missed anyone, thanks to all who were involved in some way.

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2022 Race 27 La Paletta 5K

Photos are here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/MwCwhTvA7XaWY6A38

Before The Start:   My 27th race of 2022 was the La Paleta 5K held on May 28th at Mission County Park in San Antonio.  Put on by Andiamo Race Productions, this event had a total of 225 finishers.  Nice and early race start time of 7:30 a.m. on a San Antonio warm-weather day, with the temp already heading to the 70s as all the participants began to gather.  I had picked up my packet the day before so when I arrived with about 40 minutes to go until race time I wandered around chatting with other participants and getting a few pre-start photos.  Before the start there was a warm-up session put on by Camp Gladiator and then a young lady beautifully sang the National Anthem.  We then lined up to get going.

On The Course: The course was an out-and-back along the San Antonio Riverwalk.  When you access the Riverwalk at County Mission Park 1, there are two ways to go.  If you turn right, the usual 5K course this way is a bit less hilly and it is a bit more ‘open’ – not as much overgrowth along the banks of the river so you get some nice views of the water and spaces along the riverwalk. If you turn left, you go onto the very hilly 5K round. There are some nice views of the river, but there is also a lot of brushy growth along this way that does block some of the river views.  There was a ‘staggered’ start, letting about 10 – 15 participants head onto the course about 1 minute or so apart, since the Riverwalk path can get a bit crowded when there is a bunch of people on it. From my viewpoint in the back of the pack I could see participants turning left so, oh yay, the hilly course.   I did my usual 8-minute run/2-minute walk thing and took photos during my walk breaks.  I was a little worried about “side effects’ as I’d had my prostate cancer treatment on Thursday with an injection in my stomach, but none occurred thankfully, and I actually felt pretty good. I did better than I expected and actually did a negative spilt for Mile 3, which I have not done in quite a while.  Mile 2, which was primarily where the steepest hills were, was my slowest mile. I ended up 2nd  out of 6 in my 60-69 males age group with a chip time of 40:20, averaging 12:59 per mile, so slowly starting to get under my usual 13-minutes-and-change miles.  I’ll take it.

After My Finish: First, get a bottle of water and then just walked around for about 5 to 10 minutes, slowly sipping my water and cooling down. After that, went back on the side of the course near the finish line and got some photos of others coming in and cheering them on. Then got some post-race goodies and sat with friend Keys as we enjoyed some of that. Those goodies were nice too; included 3 kinds of breakfast tacos, nice and tasty cold paletas (popsicles) and there was even some beer I also wandered here-and-there, chatting with friends, treating any doggies there to the dog biscuits I had and, of course, getting some post-race photos.  Age group awards were given to first mane and female in each age group and to the overall male and female.  My friend Keys, 70+, was first in his age group.

Epilogue:   Really well-done event put on by Andiamo Race Productions, with a somewhat challenging course – we had to go downhill to start and then, of course, climb back up that hill just before turning to the finish line – but also several scenic views of the river from those hills. Really nice after-party as described above and there was also singer performing post-race – The Reen – and he was really good, very enjoyable.  Finisher medals to all and a really nice quality race shirt. Even the race timing bibs were quite nice.  Mission Park 1 is always a nice place to have an event as it has shaded pavilions, indoor restrooms, water fountains, and lots of room for everyone.  Definitely enjoyed this event and I certainly would do it again and recommend it to others.

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2022 Race 26, SA 5K Summer Series, Race 1

Photos are here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/vfdaQK4wEJicMfjy9

Before The Start:   My 26th race of 2022 was the Race 1 of the eDragon San Antonio 5K Summer Series. This is a series of 4 races put on at various local San Antonio Parks. The series profits provide scholarship for deserving local athlete. Start time of 7 a.m.  This was my second race of the weekend, after doing a very hilly 5K on Saturday, May 21st. Race 1 was held at McAllister Park.  After 100-degree temps for most of the past week, Mother Nature was kind to us for this one, dropping the temp into the 60s on race day.  There was also a pretty stiff wind blowing making it feel a bit cooler. Nice turn-out on an early Sunday morning with 123 finishers.  Packet pickup on Race Day only, so I arrived at the park with about 20 minutes until start time, got my bib and race shirt and then got a few pre-start photos.

On The Course: McAllister Park is a very popular park for runners, walkers, and cyclists.  The majority of the trails are paved and flat.  There are some park trails that are off-road and do have a few hills, but the 5K stayed on the paved flat trails and one of the park roads.  I did my usual walk/run thing and took photos during my walk break. After I got to near the 1.5 mile mark, I suddenly found myself all alone on the trail and was like, what the heck, did I miss a turn or something? When I looked to my right, I could see some people running on the road we had started on and thought, oh shoot, maybe I missed a turn. Well, too late now, so I just kept going with nobody around me until I came to the end of this paved trail and there was a directional arrow pointing me to the right, so that at least let me know I was on the correct course. I found out later that several people had missed a turn and ended up back on the road. I guess that ‘all alone’ running helped my pace, lol, because I ended up doing negative splits for the course, finishing 40:40 chip time, averaging 13:06 per mile. I did mile 2 in 12:53 and Mile 3 in 12:24. It’s been a while since I’ve been under 13-minute miles – this darn prostate cancer I am being treated for right now has slowed me down a bit, but even so I am just happy I can do any running at all – so I was one happy dog with my results. There were only 2 in my 65 – 69 male age group, so I ended up first in that, nice.    

After My Finish: First, got some water and enjoyed a post-race banana provided by my friend
Gilbert, who operates a fruit and veggies stand and has the best stuff ever, always fresh and tasty. After that, enjoyed post-race chatting with friends and other participants and making new friends.  This is also a dog friendly event so enjoyed giving out treats to the doggies there and we were friends for life after that, lol.  When I run I take dog biscuits with me all the time, races and training runs, in case one chases me. When I toss the biscuit, they usually go after the treat instead of me, lol.   For the friendly ones, I just give them a treat, with permission from their humans, of course. I think a lot of the San Antonio dogs in the areas I run have come to know me now, they see me coming and sometimes start giving me a barking greeting, which I guess means “Here comes the doggie treat guy!” lol.

Epilogue:  Very nicely done event, with e-Dragon Race Director Erik  and his volunteers dong the usual great job. Little bit of a mishap with the course missed turn for some participants, but everyone pretty much took it in stride – no pun intended – and it did not affect the awards for the age group placers. Very unique ‘coin medals’ for the placers and a very nice quality race shirt. Nicely laid out course – whichever path you ended up on 😉 – and flat too, which was nice after my hilly Saturday 5K. I did this Series last year and it was good, but this year it is even better as last year was just one park and this year provides a little more variety with 4 parks. I will keep on doing this series as long as they have it, and certainly would recommend it to others.  Mucho thanks to everyone who had a part in getting this one done for we participants: e-Dragon, all the many volunteers and any other sponsors and supporters, iaap race management company for the race timing and results, and anyone else involved I may not have mentioned here. Thank you all so much!   

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2022 Race 25, Cibolo Crossing 5K Stampede

Photos are here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/CiUDu7H8W3LM6eub6

Before The Start:  My 25h race of 2022 was the Cibolo Crossing Stampede 5K held on May 27 at the Cibolo Crossing shopping area, which included the ‘anchor’ patron of the complex, Santikos Theaters.  Santikos company kindly opened the facility to we participants, so we had access to indoor restrooms and water fountains. The place is huge, with movie theaters, a small bowling alley, food areas, and a games area complex.  Start time of 8 a.m.  I arrived around 7:15 am.  Weather was very humid with a temp in the upper 70s, and some dark clouds above, but it never did rain on us.  The sun actually came out while we were on the course.  Since I had picked up my packet the night before, once I arrived at race site I enjoyed chatting with other participants and getting a few pre-start photos. Athlete Guild, a top-notch local area race management company, did the course set up, timing, results. This event supports education scholarships for Cibolo students.

On The Course:  Before the start, National Anthem was well sung by one of the organizers. Since this was “Beach to Bay” marathon weekend – a very popular relay marathon in Corpus Christi, consisting of a course of six legs each – the local area events scheduled for today were fairly small.  For this 5K we had a total of 152 finishers, walkers and runners.  We started just up from the Santikos complex, going along a paved sidewalk area and then onto one of the Cibolo Creek Crossing access roads.  We did a fairly short out-and-back and then proceeded down a hill to another access road, doing an out-and-back on this one also.  We then proceeded up a short incline and went down a road that took us into the parking lot of the “Living Spaces” store. We did a round-about route through here and exited on the other side of the building.  The course then took us up a fairly long hill to a turn-round point.  Then it was back down the hill on the other side of the road, then uphill again as we went toward the finish area. Once we got back near the finish area, we did a u-turn and went back down the first hill we’d gone out on, then up to another turn-round point, and did the last uphill of the course a second time. One up that hill we then went up to a set of cones, did a turn-round here, back onto the road we’d originally started on, and then to the finish.  It is certainly a somewhat challenging course – especially for slow old dogs like me, lol, who are going to be out there a while – but for what Athlete Guild had to work with – and the time constraints they were given; the race had to be done by a certain time – they really did a good job figuring out how to get a 5K course laid out for us. The other nice thing, all these out-and-backs made for a lot of seeing our fellow participants on the course several times and encouraging each other on.  I ended up with a 41:11 chip time, averaging 13:15 per mile, finishing 5th out of the 7 in my 60 – 69 males age group.

After My Finish:  First thing, get some water and rehydrate and make sure to do a cool-down walk as I did so. I sometimes have a bad habit of just stopping after I finish – you’d think I’d know better after being a runner for 37 years, lol – and then the blood just pools right out of my head and into my legs and I suddenly get very dizzy.  I have got enough to deal with fighting my current bout of prostate cancer, and I don’t think my oncologist would be too thrilled if I ended up having to take an ambulance ride from keeling over, lol. . So this time I made sure to walk around a bit for at least a good 10 minutes or so.  Felt much better after that.  I then enjoyed chatting with friends and fellow participants, supporters, and sponsors, and getting a few post-race photos. Enjoyed some of the post-race goodies available too, including taking home a few ‘donut holes” from the Dunkin Donuts folks that were there, since they also have a store at Cibolo Creek Crossing.   I had them as dessert after lunch…they were good too. 

Epilogue:  Today’s event was a smaller 5K, participant wise, but very well done.  Nice job by Athlete Guild, all the race day volunteers, our MC, and our music and sound guy.  Sponsors and vendors were all very supportive. Santikos area a really nice area to cool down in after running/walking in that humidity.  They also had some staff that were selling cold drinks – including some cold beer, but I did not have any cash at the moment, lol – and there was also a BBQ cooking contest going on there too, so all kinds of grills and wonderful ‘cooking smells’ post-race. Nice quality finisher medal for all finishers and good quality race shirt.  One thing I liked is that when you crossed the finish line, they gave you this scarf-looking thing, which I found out was a ‘cooling towel’.  You wet it down, put it on your neck and it cools you down. I was skeptical but I tried it, and the darn thing really did work for me.  That thing is a keeper!  Mucho thanks to all the people involved that made this one happen for us; all the Cibolo Crossing vendors, Athlete Guild, the many race sponsors, all the volunteers for this one, the local law enforcement officers out there for our safety, our music and sound man and our MC, and anyone else I may not have mentioned here.  Thank you all!

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2022 Race 24 Spring Thing 5K

Photos are here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/FHionYPSGQbioSmc6

Before The Start:  My 24th race of 2022 and my second race of the May 14 – 15 weekend, was the Spring Thing 5K held on Sunday, May 16 at San Antonio State Mental Hospital. This event benefits “the Volunteer Services Council of the San Antonio State Hospital (SASH). The Council’s primary mission is to improve the quality of life and enhance the well-being of patients receiving treatment at the San Antonio State Hospital by providing goods and services not funded through traditional state funding.”  Start time of 8 a.m. Nice turn-out for this one, with 194 finishers, runners and walkers. Weather was semi-cooperative. May is usually one of our cooler months in San Antonio but this year, the temps have been much higher.  Sunshine, very little wind, temp of 72 degrees at start time, but humidity was a tad lower than the past few days, which was a blessing.  I arrived with just under an hour to go to start time, got my race packet, and then got a few pre-start photos.

On The Course: Paved roads on the SASH campus. The out-and-back course had a mix of a bit of everything.  We started on flat roads, went down a short incline, then flat a bit more, then went up a hill, evened out for a bit more, then up a longer hill which took us to a very short non-paved dirt-and-stones part of the course. We then proceeded down another hill that turned us onto the road that took us to the 5K turn-round point.  We then proceeded back to the finish line on the same route, making all those uphills now downhills for us, with our last hill being a climb up that incline we had come down after our start.  After that, it was flat all the way to the finish.  I had planned to take it easy for this one after my 5K on Saturday, but felt okay, so decided maybe I could run normally;  well, what is normal for me, lol.  Did not quite work out that way.  After I made the first turn from the start line, my MP3 player – yeah, I’m old school, lol, still have a SANS Disk – fell out of my pocket – guess I did not secure it enough, and the back opened and I lost my battery.  Good thing I carry an extra when I run.  So stopped, got my player back together, input fresh battery, and was off-and-running again, way at the back of the pack area with mostly walkers.  I had brought my angel Bernadette with me – a button photo of her and me together after a race – so I took this as a sign from her, lol, that I was to behave myself today and just take it easy and enjoy myself and the heck with the time.. So I did. It was kind of fun at the back of the pack, running and walking with friends I don’t normally interact with on the course – even got to feed a doggie – and just relaxing and taking a few more photos than I usually do.  Hit Mile 1 at 15:08 versus my usual 12 -13 minute miles.  My speedy walking friend Patrick was even ahead of me for most of this 5K and that does not happen very often. I eventually did catch up to him and got to chat with him. Feeling fairly good and actually ended up with negative splits. Mile 2 in 14:23 and Mile 3 in 13:20, per my Garmin. My garmin had my finish time at 44:20, while the chip results showed 44:14 chip-time finish. My friend, Patrick the Walker King, finished 43 seconds behind me, nice.

After My Finish:  First, got some water and did a cool-down walk-about and ate a banana..  Chatted with the local EMT that was there – very nice guy – and he took my BP and heart rate (I keep a long for my cardiology appointments, since I have a pacemaker) and he told me everything was looking good.  Awards were only given to overall winners, so I had plenty of time to chat with friends, volunteers, etc., and get some post-race photos.

Epilogue: I’ve done this event a couple of times before, so was familiar with the course, how the awards went, and so forth Very nice quality race shirt, nice course, good facilities for the participants – indoor restroom, nice – massage therapy for those that wanted it before or after –   I got ‘rolled out’ after I was done and it felt great – and post race goodies that included various fruits, coffee, water, and even donut holes, and more. This is a very nice location for an event.  The campus is quite large with a few scenic views along the way – especially when you’re atop some of those hills, lol – and the course is well laid out to take a lot of the campus in. Dog-friendly event. The SASH campus is normally closed to the public but opens yearly for this event, so a nice way to see it. The event supports a good cause too; I think all of us probably know someone, whether family or friends, who has dealt with mental issues for whatever reason and/or maybe dealt with them ourselves. When I was growing up – I am a baby boomer era kid – this was not really talked about all that publicly, but thank goodness times have changed and mental health issues are now getting more public attention and is not the ‘family secret to keep quiet’ as much as it once was, the stigma of it starting to slowly go away as people realize mental issues can be quite common and there IS help for it.   This event has continued to grow over the years bit by bit, and hope it stays that way, very good cause to support. I will do this one again and would recommend it to others.     Thank you to all the people who made this one happen for us:  SASH, sponsors, volunteers, iaap, police officers and EMT out there for us, and any others I may not have mentioned here

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