2022 Race 41, Remember The Alamo Beer 5K

Photos are here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/4twqFLL6aSr9E3CT7

Before The Start: My 41st race of 2022 was the Remember The Alamo Beer 5K held on August 6 at The Den in La Vernia, Texas.  The main event was a half-marathon and half-marathon relay and there was also a 10K. This race is part of The Alamo Beer Series put on by top-notch racing company Scallywompus, with sign up available for all 4 races with a nice discount, or one can sign up for each individually. The series is an 18-week long building up for people training for half and full marathons. The events started progressively, with the half and half relay beginning at 6:30 a.m., the 10K at 7:15 a.m., and the 5K at 7:55 a.m.  I had a few issues on race morning (my annoying cancer), so started out a bit later than I had planned but arrived in time to see some of the 10K folks heading out onto their route. The half folks were long gone. Thankfully I had picked up my packet the day before, so was able to get a few photos before the 5K start.

On The Course: 5K started right on time. Scallywompus is pretty good about this, very prompt with their events getting started when posted, unless there is some reason for a delay beyond their control, like a medical emergency or something like that.  Mother Nature continued her Texas Baking Session, with a temp already in the high 70s by the time we 5K folks started.  I have not run this course in a while, so found out the route had changed since I had last done it.  A much better change, too, well thought out, and very superior to the previous 5K course. The old 5K course was more of an out-and-back, but this one was more of a loop course – my personal favorite type of course – with lots of room for everyone.  Course was done on paved asphalt, with accessibility to nearby sidewalks too. Any traffic near the course was pretty light, and the drivers I encountered at any given point were all pretty polite about us being out there.  I did my usual run/walk thing, taking photos during my walk breaks, and going pretty much way slower than I normally go (stupid cancer), but all good, just happy I was still able to be there. I ended up with positive splits – which I expected – finishing 5th out of 8 in my 65-69 males age group, with a chip time of 42:48.  

After My Finish: One funny thing, lol; got my finisher medal and put it around my neck and was walking around chatting with other finishers when our MC and my friend Anthony, announced only a very few minutes after I finished about the medals that they were magnetic. Uh oh, and here I was wearing mine right near my pacemaker. People with pacemakers should not have magnets near their pacemaker, as magnets make the pacemaker slow your heart-rate down. This was drilled into me by my doc after I got my pacemaker implant. So I quickly found a couple who had a stroller -the guy pushing his child and the kid in the stroller each got a medal – so I donated my medal to “Mom’ so each member of the family could have one. I also told Anthony about this, since I have a few other runner friends with pacemakers, and he kindly made an announcement about that, so thank you Anthony. I was not upset about the magnet thing, I thought it was kind of funny, and told one of my friends, now I have a really good excuse for being so tired post-race, lol.  I did get a few munchies, but had to behave myself – no beer, no sausage, etc – as I have a procedure coming up on Tuesday and the prep for it is the same as a colonoscopy, so am on a limited diet until after that.  Too bad, because Scallywompus throws one heck of an after-party and it included Alamo Beer, sausage wraps, and more.  Our host company, The Den, also has a fantastic breakfast menu, so I missed out on that too. However, it is what it is, so just had to deal with it.

Epilogue: Very well-done event, as all the Scallywompus events are.  And they are not kidding with their motto “Come for the race. Stay for the party.” They throw one heck of an after-party. All kinds of goodies, including various fruits and veggies, bloody mary’s, the mentioned sausage wraps, and more.  There was also a self-serve photo booth thing; and the staff of The Den, bless them, served up the beer and more. I chatted with the manager, Jennifer – who I found out is also a cancer survivor; God bless all we survivors – and thanked her profusely for some personal assistance she had given me. Very nice lady, with a great sense of humor.   Very nicely designed finisher medal – even though I can’t have one; joking, Bart and Tony, joking, no big deal – and very nice quality race shirt.  Scallywompus events are very popular, so got to see lots of friends at this one, both human and canine. Yes, these are dog-friendly events. They let me in, didn’t they?  Mucho thanks to all who had a part in getting this one done for we participants: all the many sponsors, volunteers, all the staff of The Den; officials and people of La Vernia for allowing this event to be on their turf; any police officers out there for us; Race Direct Tony and MC Anthony, who did their usual great jobs; and, although I missed it by arriving too late, I assume there was a Color Guard for The National Anthem, which is usually done for all Scallywompus events, so thanks to those folks too; and anyone else I may not have mentioned here.  If you have never done a Scallywompus event, you are missing out. Give it a try!      

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2022 Race 40, Freedom 5K, 7/30

Photos are here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/M2s7iYotNcbWSWC7A

Before The Start: My 40th  5K race of 2022 was the JBSA Fort Sam Houston Freedom 5K hosted by the Jimmy Brought Fitness Center.  This is a free event for DoD ID card holders. Start time of 0700., with show-and-register time between 0630 and 0700. I arrived just before 0630 and got signed up.  Nice that we could use the fitness center facilities – indoor restrooms, which this old dog was grateful for.  The running pack was pretty small – we had maybe 40 people or so, if that many.  This event is also dog-friendly and stroller friendly, so I did give away a couple of treats – to the dogs, not to the stroller kids, although one kid wanted to try one, lol.  I got just a couple of photos before the start, and then we were off.

On The Course:  The course was on some of the paved roads on the post.  We started in the parking lot behind the base post-office, which is right behind the fitness center.  Out of the parking lot we made a left turn, went to a nearby intersection and then straight across Wilson Street.  This put us into an area near the Fort Sam family housing area that is near the fitness center. We went up an incline on Hill Street – with the housing area on our left – then turned right onto New Braunfels Ave.  This took us behind part of the historic part of Old Fort Sam – which Is a museum now – and then back to Wilson Ave.  Left on Wilson Ave., and then another left turn as we headed to the post Quadrangle area, going in front of the other side of the museum. Around the Quad we went – some really nice family housing in this area – and then turned left onto Stanley Road. Down an incline – the mapper of this course really likes hills, lol –  then across Wilson Street,  staying on Stanley – and up yet another long incline. After peaking the incline we stayed on Stanley Road, going past a large parking lot and the Boy Scout area on our left and then passing in front of the base Post Office.  Right turn into a parking lot area past the Post Office, then a small route that took us to the parking lot where we had started. Whew!  I pretty much just took it really easy for this one, stopping on the course to get some photos, chat with some of the volunteers and even treated another dog I saw walking his human. My Garmin showed the distance as 3.2.  I finished in 43:54, averaging 13:44 per mile, with positive splits, and lots of fun.

After My Finish:  Did a short cool-down walk and then chatted with some of the other participants and got a few photos. Post-race goodies included a few nutrition bars, and some other small items and also 3 kinds of water, which was interesting. They were pitchers of water with the first one have cucumbers in it; the second one had apples in the water; and the third one had lemons.  I liked the lemon water best. The volunteers were taking a survey to see which water was liked best, so when you told them which one, they dropped a piece of paper into a small box by the water pitcher to get the count about which one would be most popular. I never did find out, but I’m guessing the lemon water, it was really good.

Epilogue:  A very nicely done event with a 7 a.m. start time – reminded me of my friend Erik’s events that he puts on – so although it was warm, it was not too warm.  Also, with several buildings and trees along the way, there were quite a few shady areas.  Nice that it was at the fitness center too because after the finish I then was able to take a shower and change into dry clothes, so did not have to drive home all sweaty and funky.       This is a fun event with a well-thought-out course – in spite of all those up inclines, lol – and lots of nice people participating. Definitely good camaraderie at this event, especially as we are all somehow military-related. I would definitely do this one again and would recommend it to others.  The next free event like this will be the Superhero 5K on August 27; costumes encouraged.    

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2022 Race 39 Winter in July 5K

Photos are here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/kS8s5mMifRegfJR8A

Before The Start:   My 39th race of 2022 was the Winter In July 5K, held on July 23 at Martin Luther King Park in San Antonio.  This event featured a 10 miler, a 10K, a 5K, and a Kid’s Run. Start time of 7 a.m. for the 10-miliers, followed by a 7:30 a.m. start for the 10K and 5K.  Early start time appreciated as Texas has been having one heck of a heat-wave this summer; we’ve already had over 30 days this Spring and Summer where the temp has been over 100 degrees for the high.  I do this event a lot, not only because my friend Rebecca puts this one on but lso because is raises funds for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis, TN.  Back in my Air Force days when I was stationed near Memphis I did some part-time volunteering with St. Jude’s; some of the most courageous kids I’ve ever seen. These days, being treated now for my own prostate cancer, when I get a bit frustrated with it, all I have to do is think of those kids to get myself remotivated to keep carrying on.  I had picked up my packet the day before so when I arrived at the course site with just under an hour to go I had plenty of time to chat with friends and other participants and get a few pre-start photos.

On The Course: All the courses were out-and-back. The 10-milers were already on their course as we 5K and 10K participants lined up for our start. Temp was around 75 degrees already. One nice think about MLK Park is the trails are pretty flat and there is a lot of shade along the way. It’s a very nice park in which to run, walk, or bike. At my slow pace, I lined up way in the back where I belonged.  I did my usual 8-min run/2 min walk pacing, taking some on-course photos during my walk breaks.  Even before I neared the 5K turn-around some of the speedier 10K and 5K leaders were already heading to the finish; some of those folks are really speedy!  I just took it easy, enjoying myself and interacting with other participants on the course, and with one of the water-stop crews on the course. A very pleasant outing. I was 5th out of the 7 men in my 60-69 male age group with a chip time of 41:28, averaging 13:27 per mile, and met my two primary goals:  finish standing up, and no ambulance waiting for me at the finish.

After My Finish:  Did a cool-down walk back to my vehicle, then sat in it for about 10 minutes with the a/c one while I sipped my electrolyte water and munched on a protein bar.  Ahhh, much better. Then it was back to the race area to partake of some post-race goodies – including one Shiner beer, very nice – and enjoyed chatting with friends and getting some post-race photos; what I call my ‘Happy Finishers” photos, lol, because people are smiling a lot more after they finish than before the start and on the course. There were some really nice post-race goodies too; the beer, various fruits, lots of water and a few other types of nonalcoholic drinks, Kiolbassa sausage wraps, and some of the vendors had a few goodies too like nutrition bars and various snacks. Wolfpack Running, a local running group, also had some really nice running shirts/singlets for sale too.

Epilogue:  This is a very-well done event started by Race Director Rebecca, with timing done by local top-notch race management company iaap and help from e-Dragon Productions, another top-notch local race company. Great job done by them and our music/sound man Paul; our MC Tony, and the professional photographers on the course whose photos I am sure are a lot better than mine, lol.  Thank you all for what you do so we participants can have this event. Also thanks to Burleson Beer Garden managers for allowing the pre-race day packet pickup to be held there. Nice quality race shirt, and a finisher medal to all finishers; a really nicely designed finisher medal.  Mucho thanks to all the many volunteers, sponsors, vendors, all the people mentioned above, and anyone else involved I may not have mentioned here. I try to do this one every year and will continue to do so.  I’d certainly recommend it to others.    

       

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2022 Race 38, BryceStrong 5K

Photos are here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/2G37vvvuqiCw49h39

Before The Start:  My 38th race of 2022 was the Walk, Run, Have Fun BryceStrong 5K held on July 16 at the D. W. Rutledge Stadium in Converse, Texas. Put on by the Bryce Strong Foundation, this event is named for Bryce Wisdom, a young man and former Judson football player, who sadly died of kidney cancer at age 17.  He fought courageously and really touched the hearts of several people during his battle. Being a UTSA staff member, I knew of Bryce from his association with his brother, Rashad, a member of the UTSA football team. I also had the pleasure at packet pick-up of meeting Bryce’s oldest brother, Sean, a really great guy, and ended up staying at the pickup for a while as we chatted.    The stadium is an athletics/events facility of Judson Independent School District.  Nice early start time of 7:30 a.m.  Weather actually cooperated for us a bit and was a little cooler on this race-day than a few previous races I’ve done this year during a very very hot Texas spring and summer – we’ve already had over 35 days this season where the temp has been 100+.  I had picked up my packet the day before so after arriving, I wandered here-and-there chatting with other participants and getting a few pre-start photos, including one with my new friend, Sean.

On The Course: Start/finish was on school grounds, just outside one of the stadium access gates.  This was the 2nd year of the event. Considering, this was on the same day as the very popular San Antonio Road Runners women’s 5K and 10K, a pretty nice turn-out with 102 finishers.   Our route took us out to the front parking lot of the stadium,, then to the side parking lot, and then we proceeded on sidewalk off the stadium grounds.  We went up a long incline, then into another parking lot, circling around another building – which I think was a school property building, but not sure of that – and then back down the sidewalk the way we’d come out. Right turn back onto school grounds, putting us behind the stadium. This road took us to the course water-station and the halfway mark.  After passing the district buses parking lot, we went down another road that brought us to the soccer fields. This part of the course was natural grass, as we wound around the fields, which brought us back to a concrete walkway that took us back to the stadium.  We then entered a stadium gate to do one loop around the stadium track that surrounded the football field– really nice track, by the way – and then we took an exit gate – which was where the 3-mile marker was – and that put us back onto the stadium parking lot for the last short bit to the finish.  I was first in my 51 – 77 age group with a chip time of 41:49. I think all the others in my age group were walkers.

After My Finish:  Did a short cool-down walkabout and then went around chatting with other participants and friends and event supporters and got a few after-my-finish photos, including some of others coming into the finish.  My friends from Athlete Guild did the course setup, timing, and results.  It was nice to see them on this race day.

Epilogue: This is a smaller event right now – hopefully it will grow in the future – and very well done.  Easily accessible packet pick -up area and race area with plenty of parking for both – the stadium grounds are really large, which makes sense as Judson ISD is the 4th largest school district in Bexar County. The course was well thought-out, with both route and the safety of participants in mind. Really nice quality tech-tee race shirt. Lots of parking and great facilities with the use of the stadium – indoor restrooms, yay! I will definitely do this one again and certainly would recommend it to others. As a cancer survivor myself, and someone who is currently fighting a bout of cancer, I sure hope this one does grow.  It is a very worthy cause and the foundation makes a real effort to help those in need. Sean was telling me after the race about some of the things the foundation does to help people and it really is amazing how they try to connect and reach out to people in need. Give this one a try, I bet you will not regret it. Much thanks to all those who were involved in giving we participants this event; all the volunteers, Judson ISD authorities, Athlete Guild race management company, and of course, all the many sponsors; and anyone else involved I may not have mentioned here. Also a huge thanks to the Wisdom family and the Foundation-associated people who founded this event.  My heart goes out to the Wisdom family for their loss and my admiration goes out to them for turning this sad happening into something positive to help others. I bet Bryce in Heaven was right here along with us in spirit, cheering us all on.  Thank you all!           

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2022 Race 37, Texas Too Hot 5K/15K

Photos are here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/rVYUMaojbhSooMe1A

Before The Start:    My 37th race of 2022 was the Texas Too Hot 5K held at Boerne Lake Park on July 10, 2022. There also was a 15K.  Put on by Mitch and Michelle Allen’s iRun Texas, a very popular local running store, that also puts on group runs, coaching, training, etc., this is a very popular event that has gone on for more than 10 years. The 5K had 243 finishers and the 15K had 209 finishers. I initially thought this was my 40th race of the year, but apparently my old-man brain has trouble remembering, lol. When I checked my log, it was #37 for the year.  Still not too bad, though. Very nice race venue too, with beautiful lake views, lots of shade trees to sit under post-race, and a small pavilion too.

On The Course:  Both events started together at 7:30 a.m.  Thankfully, Mitch starts this one early, which helps with the heat, but even so, this is Texas summer, so already at start time it was climbing towards 82 degrees. The course was a mix of an off-road trail and asphalt pavement.  After just having a colonoscopy on the Friday before this event, I rested all day Saturday and decided just not to push it for this one, go at a nice-and-easy pace, walk more, take a few more photo stops and just relax with it and have fun. We started near one of the park picnic areas and almost right off the bat climbed a fairly steep hill – but thankfully short, for the most part – which put us on top of a kind of tall flood-control embankment, upon which we proceeded down a fairly rocky dirt trail.  I’ve done this race ever since it started, and for this year’s event it seemed to me it was a lot less rocky than I remembered for the past events, as if the park officials had groomed this trail a bit, which was all right with me, made for much better going. Along this part of the course we got some beautiful views of the lake, and also a nice cooling breeze coming off the lake. It was still warm, but the breeze did help.  Right after we hit Mile 1 on this trail, we then proceeded onto asphalt pavement.  This took us past a water stop – and the Mile 8 marker for the 15K folks on their way back to the finish. After passing this we turned onto a public asphalt road that was open to traffic.  We all climbed a long up incline.  The 5K people turned around on this road, while the 15K people headed for the hills farther on; and from what my friends who did the 15K told me post-race, these were no baby hills, either. One guy told me the darn turn-round hill was worse than some of the hills at the Texas Tough 10-miler, jeez; tough course!  Meanwhile…after making our turn-round, we 5K folks went back to the finish the way we had come out.  As noted previously, I just took it easy and kept on moving. My garmin told me I was averaging 14:30 minute miles and finally showed me a finish time of 46:50. However, when I looked at the official results, my chip-time was 43:48, averaging 14:01 per mile, so I did better than I thought.  I’ve had this Garmin for a while, so may be time to go see Mitch and get a new one.

After My Finish:  Always a nice touch with this event, the iRun folks have cooling towels on ice at the finish for we participants to drape on our head, neck, shoulders, etc., which felt great after this course. Plenty of bottled water on ice too, right there at the finish line so you don’t have to go looking for it. Very nice finisher medal handed to you after you crossed the line.  Very nice finish line process.  I went and found a seat in the shaded pavilion for a few minutes and just relaxed for a bit, sipping my water and enjoying a post-race protein bar.  Then it was off to chat with friends and other participants, supporters, volunteers, sponsors, etc., and getting some post-race photos. The Village Idiots – that is their team name – kindly invited me to share their picnic area and enjoy some of their food, thank you very much. Awards ceremony done nicely by Mitch and Michelle – although they really need to start with we older folks first; we need to get home to take our nap! 😉 – and very nice award medals.  There was also a bib-number raffle – I didn’t win squat – and Shiner was there with their very good beer; I enjoyed one – my limit at a race since I was driving.  After things began wrapping up, it was nice to be with The Village Idiots Group and just relax by the lake for a while with good company.

Epilogue: This is a really well-done and well-organized event put on by iRun Texas.  I will continue to do this one in the future and would certainly recommend it to others. Yes, it is a warm one but one worth doing.  The race ‘shirt’ is actually a very nice quality singlet, which you don’t get from most races; the finisher medals are nicely designed; and there are all kinds of sponsors and vendors at this event, including Brooks running shoes guy; a company – I think it was Promotion Physical Therapy – giving post-race massage-and-stretches; PhotoWolfe had one of those selfie photo cameras you could use; and SplitSecond Timing did the timing and results.  Mark Purnell – in my opinion, the best race MC ever, followed as a close second by my entertaining MC friend, Anthony Zamora  – did our announcing for us in his usual superb manner. Local race company eDragon Productions – who put on pretty darn good events too – was a sponsor as was PawBasics, a pet nutrition and supply center. Maybe I should get some dog biscuits from them.  😉  All-in-all one very nicely done event.  Thank you, Irun Texas people and all the volunteers, sponsors, and anyone else involved putting this one on for we participants.    

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Photos are here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/EM9q1ZJt2xLWAaPD7

Before The Start:   My 36th race of 2022 was the Schertz Jubilee 5K held on the 4th of July, 9:15 a.m., in Schertz, Texas.  This was my 3rd 5K of the 4th of July weekend, after doing a 5K on Saturday and one on Sunday. The late start time for this one allowed me to sleep in a little longer, with me arriving at the race site about 40 minutes before start time.  Having previously picked up my race packet, I spent the time before the start chatting with friends and other participants and getting some pre-start photos.  San Antonio – which is known as Military City – has several 4th of July events around the local area, including races; considering that, this one got a pretty nice turn-out with 188 finishers, runners and walkers.  Course set-up, timing and results done by top-notch race management company, Athlete Guild.

On The Course:  The course is a loop course, starting near the city’s community center and going along the city’s 4th of July parade route. Many parade spectators were already positioned along the route.  We began the 5K before the parade started, running in front of hundreds of cheering spectators. Pretty cool.  As this was my 3rd race of the weekend, I mainly just took it easy for this one, chatting with spectators along the way and, with a pocketful of dog treats, stopping on occasion to hand give a treat to each doggie I saw – with the permission of its human, of course. The humans thought this was quite humorous and lots of laughs and nice chats ensued along my way. After leaving the two primary streets the parade would be on, we entered a really nice neighborhood with wide streets and lots of shade. Texas July 4th can get pretty warm – 81 degrees at start time – but a lot of cloud cover and a pretty nice-blowing wind made it actually feel not too bad at all. I ended up running into the finish with a fellow veteran and his grandson, finishing with a chip time of 43:05, averaging 13:52 per mile. I was dead last out of the 4 people in my 65-69 Males age group, and thoroughly enjoyed myself on the course; lots of interaction fun with the crowd and other participants.

After My Finish:  First, a cool-down-walk. After that, enjoyed a banana and some water and Gatorade Zero to rehydrate a bit.  I then got some post-race photos of happy finishers, supporters, Team Athlete Guild, etc. Very nice quality race shirt.  There were also some very festive participants, decked out in various holiday attire. Dog-friendly 5K too; I saw a couple of dogs on the course.

Epilogue: This isa fun event which I have done in the past and will continue to do.  Yes, a later start than most 4th of July races, but going along that parade route is quite a rush and a lot of fun. Lots and lots of smiles at this one.  Post-race goodies included hot dogs, various fruits and other treats, and more. Our MC, Mark Purnell – in my opinion the top race MC for our local races and beyond; he MCs quite a variety of events – did his usual great job, as did the Athlete Guild Team. All the volunteers too were great.  Thank you to all who were involved in making this event happen for we participants: sponsors; Athlete Guild; Mark, and his dad John, who started this one way back when; all the police officers, EMTs, and firefighters who were out there for our safety; and anyone else involved I may not have mentioned here. Thank you all!      

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2022 Race 35 SA 5K Summer Series

Photos are here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/MscimADGUHthVsCw6

Before The Start:  My 35th race of 2022, and the 2nd of the July 4 holiday weekend, was the 4th race of the 5K Summer Series, a series of 4 events held at different San Antonio public parks. Today’s 5K was held at Martin Luther King Jr. Park with a start time of 7 a.m. Nice turn-out with 155 finishers.  Funds raised from this series provides a scholarship to a local-area athlete. The series is put on by e-Dragon Productions, owned and operated by the Burciaga family, with friend Erik Burciaga acting as Race Director for the series.  Top-notch local race management company iaap provided course setup, timing, and results for the series. Being Texas summer, nice to have an early start time, but even at that time of day it was pretty warm, with the temps already in the mid-70s.  

On The Course: The course was out-and-back.  We started at the front of the park and went onto the park’s off-road paved trails. MLK park is a very nice park with lots of shade along the trails, which was much appreciated on a warm morning.  The course has virtually no hills at all, just a couple of mild inclines Turn-around point was very well-marked and there was a water station along the way.  I slogged along at my usual two running speeds – Slow and Slower – but somehow managed to do fairly well for me.  I hit the first mile in 13 minutes; relaxed a bit for Mile 2, done in 13:38, and then pushed myself a bit more for Mile 3, done in 12:46.  Per the official results, ended up with a chip-time of 40:29, averaging 13:02 per mile.  This was 4 minutes faster than the 5K I did the day before, nice.  Got 2nd in my age group, as there were only 2 in my age group, lol.  The other one was my good friend Woody who finished in 25 minutes and change, about twice as fast as me, lol.  All good, I enjoyed myself and did take photos on the course during my walk breaks.  

After My Finish:  After crossing the finish line, I slowed myself easily down, and then did a cool-down walk for a few minutes.  It was pretty humid so I went and sat in my car for about 10 minutes with the a/c on while I drank some of my ‘fortified’ water, with electrolytes, etc, and ate a protein bar. Felt much better after that and then it was off to chat post-race with friends/other participants and get some more photos. Nice awards ceremony done by Erik – although, in my opinion, he really needs to start with the Old People first; we need to get home to take our nap! 😉   The award ‘medals’ were unique e-Dragon coins with a number on the back of them that can be used for a discount when you register for an e-Dragon upcoming race, very nice.  There were also finisher medals for participants at this last event of the series.

Epilogue:  This is a fun series of events that gives you a look at various San Antonio parks. I signed up for all four, but did 3 of the 4, missing one of them due to some issues/side-effects associated with my current cancer treatment. Thoroughly enjoyed the ones I did complete and certainly would recommend this series to runners/walkers.  They are also dog-friendly if you want to run or walk with your dog. Nice quality race shirt too. You can purchase a shirt for each event – all the money raised goes toward the scholarship – and the shirt color choice is different for each 5k in the series.  The race entry fee is VERY reasonably priced too. Mucho thanks to all the people involved in providing this one to we participants; all the sponsors, volunteers, park police officers that were at these events for our safety; our Music-and-Sound Man, Paul; iaap for all the course setups, results, etc; and, of course the e-Dragon Burciaga family who organize all these events. Apologies if I missed anyone, thank you too if you are involved.     

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2022 Race 34, Freedom 5K

Photos are here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/Ny5Py8mB2u4xfHTA8

Before The Start:    My 34th race of 2022 was the Freedom 5K held on July 2 at the Poteet Strawberry Festival fairgrounds in Poteet, Texas, starting at 8 a.m. Put on by the TRiCity Road Warriors and the Poteet Rotary Club, this event featured a 5K and a 1-Mile walk.  Start time of 8 a.m.  52 finishers for the 5K and 4 participants for the 1-mile walk. I arrived shortly after 7 a.m., got my packet, and then chatted with friends there and took a few pre-start photos.

On The Course:  The course started and finished in front of the Veteran’s Pavilion at the fairgrounds on the paved access roads. This was a combination of a loop and out-and-back course.  We headed in the direction of Highway 16, toward the fairgrounds access gate.  Once there, we made a left turn and proceeded along a road that took us up a hill that was not too steep, but fairly long. This was followed by a down incline that took us to an intersection where we turned right to go to a turn-around point.  This road was fairly flat at the start, with a couple of hills along the way; first a downhill incline; then uphill past the course water-stop, and an uphill just before we accessed a flat part of the course that took us to our turn-round point. Once there, we went back the way we had come out.  Back at the intersection we proceeded straight to go to the finish line. Out of the 14 in my 18 – 99 males age group, I finished last with a chip time of 42:03.  Having signed up for 2 other races for the 4th of July holiday weekend, I pretty much just took it easy for this one, stopping for more photos and also to have a chat with the very-nice guy local Constable at the turn-around point after I found out he was also a cancer survivor.  Of course, this killed my time, but what the heck, I enjoyed myself.

After My Finish:  Did a cool-down walk and then returned to the finish area to get a few photos of others finishing and a few photos of some of the happy finishers.  After that I sat for a bit, relaxing and chatting with friends and watching the awards ceremony. Awards were given to the Top 5 male and female finishers and to the Top 3 in the Kids Division age group (5-17). All finishers got a pretty nicely designed finisher medal. 

Epilogue:    A fairly small event that had a lot of competition from other races. There were quite a few holiday races all over the area, from down in Poteet, up to San Antonio, and beyond, even up to Bastrop, which puts on a very popular 5K event. Also, lots of 4th of July races scheduled on the holiday, so probably several runners/walkers may have opted to wait until that day.  Even so, this was a nicely organized event with a good course; very nicely designed quality race shirt and finisher medal; and treats too; participants got to take home a tub of ice cream – H-E-B Creamy Sensations – of various flavors, nice. Good location for an event, with ample parking, indoor restrooms, and an interesting area to be in.  I would certainly do this one again and would recommend it to others.  Hopefully, it will grow in the future. Much thanks to all those who made this one happen for we participants:  all the sponsors, race volunteers, race director, the Volunteer Fire Dept guy that was there for us, the Constable at the halfway point, and any others involved that I may not have mentioned here.  Thank you all!  

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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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