2020 Race #20, Bakersmith TX 5K

Photos from my report are here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/eqb5ZPnCpKwntzHr6

BEFORE MY START: On Sep 19, 2020, I did the Bankersmith 5K, my 20th “live” race of 2020.   This was the second race in a series of 4 that I signed up to do, called Remember The Alamo Beer.  The main event for this one was a half marathon and there was also a 10-miler and a 5-miler.  This event was held in Bankersmith, Texas which, from what I read online is a ‘ghost town’ near Fredericksburg TX.  The adventure started with my drive to get there. It was normal until I got to “Road 9”,  the road that took participants to the race site. One of the most twisting, hilly roads I have ever driven, and although it was only an 11 mile drive on this road, mentally it felt like forever.  At one point I thought I heard Twilight Zone music, and was going to go around the next curve and see Rod Serling standing there, or the Rock n Roll Band in Heaven, lol  Finally did arrive at the race site, got parked, and walked down to the “city center” of Bankersmith, where all the activity was. Had already picked up my packet so wandered around and got a few pre-start photos.

ON THE COURSE:  The half and 10-mile folks were already on their courses by the time I arrived. The 5-miler folks were the next to leave at 8 a.m., and then we 5K folks started at 8:15.  Really nice weather for this one, not too humid at all, and temp in the 60s, very nice.  The 5K course started down a long hill, and then we climbed up another long hill.  Then a bit of flat to the turn-round point. Then back down that 2nd long uphill we had climbed on the way out; and of course, the hill we had come down on when we first started was now a challenging uphill on the way to the finish.  Fun stuff. After the race, friends who did the half, 10-mile, and 5-mile, told me they had to do that too, and then they had even MORE hills on their courses.  Glad I only did the 5K, lol.  I finished in 38:06, averaging 12:13 minutes per mile and had negative splits of 12:31, 12:07, and 12:05, so pretty consistent.  I ended up first in my age group (65 – 69) since I was the only one IN my age group, lol. I also took my walk breaks like I was supposed to (stupid arthritis) and got several course photos, and then got a few more photos of friends and a few others coming into the finish.

After My Finish.   First, banana and water, and just relax for a few minutes.  After that, wandered around taking photos of what I call the “Happy Finishers” since most people after they are done are smiling more than they did before the start and on the course, lol.   Also found the beer and sausage, nice.

Epilogue:  Live event, well-organized as usual by the great folks of Scallywompus, with special mention to Tony Garcia and Julianne Hansen, who got me sorted out after I registered twice for this event, lol.  Very nice after-party with our music man playing tunes; MC Jason Cox doing his usual great job as host and entertaining everyone; and Tony and Julianne making sure everything was going smoothly.  Also, thanks to all the volunteers who were out there for us.  Thanks also to the race photographers and, of course, all the sponsors that helped make this one happen for we participants. And thanks also for the patience of the residents who live in this area.  This was an open-road course and where I was at any given time, the drivers were pretty careful and polite, at least on the 5K course. Hopefully for all the other participants too on the other courses.  And thanks for Bankersmith for hosting us…I think Rod Serling is the mayor…

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2020 Race 18: Remember The Alamo Beer 5K/10K

Race photos are here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/qYj77wM6Zpa4g4RN9

 BEFORE MY START:  My 18th race of 2020 was the Remember the Alamo…Beer 5K on August 8th, held in La Vernia, Texas, which is about a 40 minute drive from my residence in San Antonio.  There was also a 10K event.  Put on by running organization Scallywompus, this was an actual in-person “live” event, not a virtual race.  I have done virtual races this year, but I only include in my year’s race count the ‘live” races because, let’s be real here, a virtual race is really only a training run that you are doing to support a good cause.  They are enjoyable, but just don’t have the same ‘vibe’ as a “live” event.  I arrived at race site with about 45 minutes to go before the 5K start.  The location was at “The Den” in La Vernia. I had already picked up my packet the day before, so wandered around getting some pre-start photos.

 ON THE COURSE:  The 10K participants started first, doing 2 loops of the course.  The 5K started shortly after the 10K folks.  Start was ‘social distancing” staggered start with runners and walkers lining up on social distance markers, nicely spaced out from each other, and then a few runners each started out, with the next group of runners following a few minutes after that.  Scallywompus did a nice job with the social distancing start, well-controlled with nobody crowding each other. The course was a loop course of paved roads that went out for a brief time on the shoulder of a local FM road, and then into a very nice neighborhood housing area with very wide streets.  Plenty of room for everyone and from where I was at any given moment, I never saw anybody crowding anyone else.  All the participants were very accommodating with each other. I did my usual 8-min run/2-min walk, taking some photos on my walk breaks.  After I got past the half-way mark, some of the faster 5K folks, who were doing 2 laps of the course, started lapping my slow running self, lol.  In the last mile of the course, we did a loop around a local school near the start/finish area, then headed up a small incline to a public road, and then back down to a driveway entrance of the parking lot where The Den was located, and back to the start/finish line.  The course was just a tad long at 3.2 miles, but all good. I finished in 38:19, averaging JUST under 12 minute miles at 11:59.

After My Finish:   First off, walked back to my car and got my mask back on and my own water bottle and sat in the car a/c for a few minutes cooling down. Then back to the race site where I enjoyed a Kiolbassa sausage and drank my water to rehydrate.  After that I got my ‘treat’ of an Alamo beer and also wandered around getting some post-race photos.

Epilogue:  Packet pickup the day before the event was a very well-organized drive-thru pickup – I think I was there for all of about 10 minutes before getting my packet – and race day packet pickup was well organized too.  Post-race sausages and cups of water were set out on tables, so no “handing off”, to help maintain social distancing. Finish medals were also in a box on a table, so you just went and got your own.  Alamo Beer did serve beer post-race and they also did it very nicely, wiping all the cans ‘clean” and then putting the beer on the counter for you – I think because of TABC regulations, the servers had to open the beer for you – and then just stepped back and you picked your beer and went on your way. Very efficient and quickly served.  For Age Group winners, a unique Scallywompus glass was the age group award.  These glasses were in boxes and each winner just picked it up himself/herself from the box; no handoff from anyone.

Mucho thanks to Scallywompus and Tony Garcia, Bart Childers, and all the other people/volunteers who put this together for we participants, and to all the sponsors supporting the event. Everything was done very efficiently with the safety of everyone involved in mind.  Very nicely laid out course. Nice finisher medal for all finishers and a very nice quality race shirt too.  In these crazy times we are living through, this was really planned well and from what I saw, it seemed to me everything went off without a hitch. Very enjoyable event.

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2020 Winter in July Virtual 5K

Photos for this event are here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/EZ535wCgLpkUMUQq5

 BEFORE MY START: Winter In July 5K, July 25, 2020.  This would have been my 18th race of 2020, but due to COVID, this event too went virtual.  The actual race day would have been July 25, so Marty from Team RWB set up an area in McAllister Park , San Antonio, and invited participants to come out on race morning and do their own thing for the virtual race.  Race Director Rebecca was there and handed out packets to the participants that showed up, so I got to do my virtual 5K wearing the race bib.   After chatting and getting a couple of before photos, everyone was off to do whatever 3.1 mile route – or more for some, maybe – they had decided to do.  The weather was actually pretty decent.  Still warm, but at least only in the upper 70s, with a nice breeze blowing, and lots of cloud cover, as Tropical Storm Hanna – which I saw on the news right before I left to go to the park had turned into Hurricane Hanna – was in the Gulf area and heading toward the coast near Corpus Christi; so we were getting a little bit of ‘fallout” from that, as San Antonio is only a few hours drive from Corpus.  So we had a nice breeze and mix of both some darker clouds and sunshine.

 ON THE COURSE: I selected to do off-road for this one.  Started near the Dog Park at McAllister Park, beginning on what a trail sign said was the Blue Route. This trail is both quite hilly and rocky in some places, and popular with cyclists too, so these combinations did slow me down a bit as I both negotiated the trail and stepped aside many times to let cyclists go on past me.  Not that I am all that speedy anyway, lol, with my usual 12-minute miles, but today it turned out more like 13+ minute miles, with me ending up with 3.2 miles done in  42:37, averaging 13. I noted on my Garmin that I hit the 3.1 mile mark at 41:07, and then the last tenth of a mile got me back to the parking lot area.  Yeah, pretty slow but, between being hospitalized for a week a couple of weeks ago, and having a relatively new pacemaker that is still less than a year old, I am just happy to be running at any pace, lol.

After My Finish:   Marty had kindly brought a couple of coolers full of Gatorade, water, and other types of cold drinks, so that was nice post-race.  Sat relaxing and rehydrating and chatting with others there, and got a few “post-race” photos.  Lots of other runners, walkers, and cyclists coming-and-going in the parking lot area too, and Marty kindly invited them to have a cold drink too; so ended up chatting with some of these folks too, and also gave a few doggie treats out to some that had their dogs with them.  Very nice little outing and gathering, with  good people.  And, of course, I did get a few after-photos.

Epilogue: Thanks so much to Race Director Rebecca Benton for all her hard work in organizing the Winter In July 5K and then doing all the hard work to turn it into a virtual event for we participants.  And also thanks to any behind-the-scenes volunteers that helped her out with any of this.  Rebecca even handed out packets to those who came today, and there was a mail-out option for those who wanted their packets mailed, very nice.  Really nice singlet race shirt and a very nice finisher medal. Mucho thanks also to Marty for arranging the meet-up.   A very enjoyable running experience today.

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2020 Race 17: Stars and Stripes 5K, 10K, 1/2 Marathon

Race photos are here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/ELieHebxsfJhexaB8

 BEFORE MY START: My 17th race of 2020 was the Stars and Stripes 5K on July 18, 2020 put on by Athlete Guild after Comal County approved this to be an in-person race with social distancing, etc.  Held at the Stars and Stripes Drive-In Movie Theater in New Braunfels. Very nice venue with indoor restrooms and indoor water fountain.  The main event was a half-marathon and there was also a 10K.  Athlete Guild folks did a really good job of having all the participants doing social distancing for race-day packet pickup, wearing masks before the start and after the finish, and a ‘staggered’ social distancing start for all the events. Prior to race day, Athlete Guild also emailed out very specific directions for race day and how it would all work.  Very well organized, with “social distancing markers” on the ground  where packet pickup was and on the ground behind the start line.

 ON THE COURSE:    This was an out-and-back course, starting and finishing near the concession area of the theater.   Having been in the hospital for most of last week – being looked at for a possible TIA episode in my brain – my doc gave me permission to do this event only if behaved myself and did not push too hard.  I made this public to my FB friends to help me behave myself, lol, so they would scold me if they did see me misbehaving, trying to push myself to hard.  On the way to the start line, my friend, Sherri Purnell told me “Scottydog….know your limits today!”   So I guess the word was out, lol.  The Half started first, at 6:30, the 10K at 7 a.m. and the 5K at 7:15 a.m. With the early start in Texas summer, weather was pretty cooperative, in the 70s when I lined up for the 5K, although it was very sunny with blue skies, making it feel just a tad warmer; but not bad at all. This was an out-and-back course:  down the theater’s paved entrance/exit; right-turn on a paved rural country road and up an incline to a stop-sign. Right turn there, and then down a long incline to another country road we went down to get to the turn-round point.  Coming back is the hardest part of this course, as that down incline we came out on was now an up-incline on the way to the finish. It’s not really steep, just long.    I just took it nice and easy, loping along, taking all my walk breaks when my Garmin indicated it was walk break time, took some photos along the way, and chatted with friends here-and-there on the course, as I went along.  On the up incline going back, I was almost to the top when my Garmin beeped for walk break and I thought, well, I can make it to the top now nonstop; but then remembered I had promised to behave, so I took the walk break.  Then downhill to the theater driveway – and I even stopped once there too to take a photo of a friend with the flag – and back to the finish.  I ended up with a slow time of 39:18, averaging 12:31 per mile.  As there were only 2 in my age group, I managed to come away with 1st in my age group for the 5K, lol.

After My Finish:   I actually felt pretty good after the finish, but warm; so I got a bottle of water, then went and sat in my car for about 10 minutes with the A/C on, sipping the water.  Ahhh, much better.  Then I wandered around “social distancing” chatting with friends and getting a few after-photos.   There was also post-race beer and the Drive-In owner and his crew cooked up hamburgers and fries post-race for those who wanted that.  My wife, Gail, had come with me -I think she was worried a bit I was not quite yet strong enough for an actual race and  might ‘fall out” at the race – and I admit that was at the back of my mind too – so it was nice to have her there, in case I needed a driver to get home. Ain’t love grand?  She’s taken very good care of me over our 36 years together. While I was doing my event, she sat over in the porch area of the concession stand, chatting with some other folks also waiting.

Epilogue –   As noted, a very well-organized event by Athlete Guild. From what I saw, everything seemed to go well and everyone seemed to be following the guidelines and behaving themselves.  So nice to do an “actual” race again this year instead of a virtual one.  Nice post-race goodies, great location and great hosting by the theater owner and his crew; I’ve been an ‘acquaintance’ of the owner for a couple of years now, since I did my first race here, and he and his family are such nice people.  Great place to go if you are looking for something to do during these COVID-19 shutdowns, since this is a drive-in and you will be in your own car watching the movie.  Very nice quality race shirt and race medal in the goody bag.  I would definitely do this event again.

Mucho thanks to all the folks who did all the hard work and coordinating to make this one happen for we participants:  Athlete Guild; all the volunteers and sponsors, and anyone else I may not have mentioned here.

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2020 Race Number 16 Run For the Hills 5K/10K

Photos are here:   https://photos.app.goo.gl/V9NMsgrUuRX3TVGp8

 BEFORE MY START:     My 16th race of 2020 was the Run for the Hills 5K in Bulverde, Texas on June 20, 2020.  There was also a 10K. This event supports the Bulverde Spring Branch Activity Center, which facilitates active aging and enhance the quality of life for older adults. Nice turn out, with 113 5K finishers, and 44 finishers for the 10K. There was also a 1-Mile walk, not sure how many did that.   Race time of 7:30 a.m. and already in the upper 70s and very humid. It even rained on us for about 5 minutes, right after I started.  The start was a staggered one to help with social distancing, with a few runners at a time starting off and then a couple minutes later a few more.  Since I was a little late in getting to the venue, I think I was actually the very last 5K entrant to start.  My wife, Gail, participated to, walking the 5K.  With her speedy walking pace, by the time I started she was already well ahead of me.  Also, I took a couple of photos right before I started too.

 ON THE COURSE:    This was an out-and-back course, starting and finishing at the Activity Center.  I’ve done this race in the past, so knew what to expect.  Despite the title, there really was not anything on the course that you could call a hill. More like just a few inclines.  Road camber was really slanted though, so I tried as much as possible to run right down the middle of the road where it was most level, and watching out for vehicles, as the course roads were open to traffic.  I did my usual thing of run/walk-and-take-photos along the way.   I went fairly slowly,  just enjoying myself and per my Garmin ended up with a finish time of 41:05, averaging 13:03 per mile, and was 4th in my 60 – 69  males age group.

After My Finish:    Waited at the finish line to see Gail coming in, but she did not for a while, so I thought maybe I had just missed her.  I found out later, she had walked right by the turn-point to come back to the finish, so she had to turn around and come back, and she ended up doing 3.6 miles.  My first organized race since all the COVID stuff started, so nice chatting with friends and getting some post-race photos.  Felt like old times, except the majority of post-race time I was wearing my face mask. All good though, just felt nice to be out there.

Epilogue –  A nice ‘welcome back to doing races” event for me – I guess with what’s going on again, we’ll see how long a time the authorities let organized races continue – and this was an enjoyable one to do.  As noted, have done this one in the past and would do it again in the future.   Really nice goody bag, packed with a lot of stuff a nice quality race shirt.   Mucho thanks to all the organizers, volunteers, police officers, sponsors and everyone else involved who made this race happen for we participants.

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2020 Race 15 St. Paddy’s Day 5K

Photos are here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/tpNb1JbAQNH3jhvF6

BEFORE MY START:    My 15th race of 2020 was the St. Paddy’s Day 5K held on March 14 at Rockin’ R River Rides in New Braunfels, TX,  which is right down a big hill from Gruene Hall in Gruene, Texas, for those familiar with the local area. Race start time of 8 a.m.  There was also a Kids 1K.  I was originally scheduled to do the Shamrock Shuffle in San Antonio on this day, but due to all the on-goings created by the coronavirus, events are being canceled or postponed all over the country and the Shamrock Shuffle was one of them since it was to be held in a San Antonio City Park.   Rockin’ R is privately owned, so this event went ahead, with Athlete Guild, the race company that put on the event, of course sending into to all participants on the risks, procedures, etc.  A BIG SHOUT-OUT and Kudos from me to Athlete Guild – and especially Sherry Purnell and Scott Wood – who went above and beyond to help me and my wife get registered for this event so late, after my other 5K was postponed.  We arrived onsite a little after 7:15 a.m,  got our bibs and then I wandered around getting a few pre-start photos.  For all the virus hoopla going on, this one had a pretty nice turn out, ending up with 192 finishers. The weather was fairly cooperative with overcast skies and no wind, but dang, the temp was already in the mid-70s, and the humidity was crazy. Our warm weather time started early this year.

 ON THE COURSE:    Start and finish was in the Rockin’ R parking lot.  This was a loop course, on paved roads taking us out of the parking lot and into a very nice residential area – with a hill to climb just before we event got ½ mile.  Then we had it flat for a bit, going past some nice houses.  Around a curve in the road and then up another hill; not super steep but just went up a ways.  After that a bit of flat, then a downhill; turn left at the next intersection – this was where the course water stop was – and then up another hill, a shorter one than that 2nd hill, but steeper.  That was the last hill on the course.  After that it was flat until we turned back onto the neighborhood road we had originally entered the area on – so that first uphill we started with was now a downhill – and that took us back to the road that took us back to Rockin’ R.  Pretty nicely thought-out course, with very wide roads and very little traffic.   I ended up with a time of 37:36, averaging 12+ minute miles – although I did negative splits for this one and my las mile was 11:52. I surprisingly, took 2nd in my 65-69 age group at that slow pace, so my first thought was, lol, there must be only two in my age group.  Don’t care, I’ll take it.

 After My Finish:   Got some water and a banana and relaxed and rehydrated a few minutes.  Then went back to the entrance of Rockin’ R and waited for my wife, who was walking the course. Got a photo of her as she turned in and headed to the finish line.  She finished 2nd in her age group, averaging 14:28 per mile, walking. She walks about as fast as I run.  After that, enjoyed some more water and a sausage wrap.  There was also beer which I normally enjoy post-race but decided to forego that for this event as the past 2 days before race day I was dealing with some vertigo issues, which is not fun at all.  So just water post-race and also wandering around taking some post-race photos of the happy finishers, supporter, volunteers, etc.

Epilogue – this is a very enjoyable event, one I have done in past years. Very well organized by Athlete Guild with the event starting on time after the National Anthem; a nice course – but challenging at a few points – pretty nice quality race shirt, and nice post-race goodies of sausage wraps and beer provided by Guadalupe Brewing Company, and various fruits, nutrition bars, etc.  Oh, and I don’t know how they did it with all that’s going on these days, but the Rockin’ R restrooms all had full rolls of toilet paper In the stalls, nice.  Everyone also got a finisher medal.  I would certainly do this one again and would recommend it to others. 

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2020 Race 14, Krispy Kreme 5K and 10K Donut Dash

Photos are here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/bgaQpFU89PfRQefs7

BEFORE MY START: My 14th race of 2020 was the Alamo Krispy Kreme 5K held on March 7th, 2020.  There was also a 10K.  These two races were part of the Alamo Marathon and Half race series, with the full and half marathon being held on Sunday, March 8th.  The beneficiary of the 5K/10K races was Sam’S Adventure Camp, a therapy program for kids with developmental disabilities. The start/finish location was a La Villlta in downtown San Antonio. Weather was pretty cooperative for we 5K and 10K folks, with overcast skies, very little wind, and a temps in the mid-50s.  Packet pickup was only on race day; a bad decision in my opinion, as the lines were pretty long; but, to give them credit, the organizers and packet pickup volunteers did go fairly quickly for as many people as were there.  Even so, I got my packet about 7:15 a.m. – with the race starting at 7:30 a.m., or shortly thereafter – so had just enough time to get my bib pinned on, get a few pre-start photos, and then head over into the start crowd.   We did not start right on time, but it was close enough.  A lady beautifully sang The National Anthem with several participants joining in; then a countdown, and we were off and running – or walking, if that was your personal choice.

 ON THE COURSE:    We started just outside of La Villita – I don’t remember the name of the street we were on, I think it was King Phillip, but it was just right outside of La Villita, then went down Nueva to Santa Rosa.  From Santa Rosa we went up a back street past the HQ area of Bill Miller BBQ.  We briefly went onto Presa, back toward Nueva.  On Nueva we went down onto the San Antonio Riverwalk, heading toward the Canoe Club and going behind H-E-B headquarters,  the “Old Armory” of San Antonio history.   With as many people there were doing this event it was quite crowded and a bit of slow going on the Riverwalk portion.  Everyone seemed okay with it though and where I was ag any given time I never saw anyone fall and everyone seemed to take in all in stride – no pun intended.  Before we got to the Canoe Club, we went back up to street level, crossing an iron bridge and going over to the King William Historic District sided of the river, and then back onto the Riverwalk on that side.  Back up to Nueva Street, where we proceeded to go up and across Alamo Street and into HemisFair Park, where we did a little loop-around.  This brought us back to Alamo Street, which we crossed, and then back down Nueva.  5K folk soon after that made a right turn to go to their finish, while the 10K folks continued on as their course was 2 laps of the 5K course.  I ended up 9th in my age group with a time of 37:51, averaging a 12:20 pace.  About what I expected as I knew this would be a large participant race, so I just kicked back for this one, had fun and even made a few more photo stops than I normally do for a race. All good.

After My Finish:   Every participant got 2 free Krispy Kreme donuts, one glazed, one chocolate.  I enjoyed my donuts, drank some water – no post-race beer, darn the luck  😉 – and then wandered around chatting with friends and getting photos of the happy finishers, volunteers, supporters, etc.

EPILOGUE:   For as many participants as there were – 1,218 combined finishers for the 5K and 10K – the course was pretty well thought out with lots of wide roads and maneuvering room – the only narrow part being the part on the Riverwalk, but all the participants seemed pretty accommodating about that. It’s also a nicely scenic route with views of Tower of the Americas and portions of the Riverwalk, and of some various sculptures and statues as we went through the Hemisfair Park portion.  Nicely organized finish with bottled water right near the finish so you didn’t have to go looking for it – wish ALL race directors would do their post-race water like that, makes it so much easier for the participants.  Pretty nice quality race shirt too.   Too bad we didn’t have The Alamo view like we did for this one in the past, but I get it for this year; safety issues with all that construction/renovation going on now at The Alamo. The only thing this year I did not like about the event was the Race Day only packet pickup.  Someone told me it was because the cost to rent the venue building at La Villita is too expensive to rent it for more days than the races are on; umm, if that is true and the actual reason – and I don’t know that it is, this is just what I heard from grapevine rumor –  then my question is why not just have the packet pickup somewhere else, like in front of an H-E-B or Academy Sports store, or someplace like that?  This is often done by other local race companies and H-E-B – one very community supportive organization – and Academy Sports don’t seem to mind helping with that – especially as they probably get some customer business simply from having the pickup at those locations.  Another option is just mail the packet to participants.– just include it in the online registration with a ‘deadline date” for  for those that register early enough for the race and have to do it ‘by this date’ to get  a packet mailed. I would sure do it, paying an extra fee to have my packet sent right to my door.  This is a really nice event and one I enjoy doing but, quite frankly, if the packet pickup next year is going to be like it was this year, I am going to do some serious thinking about whether I want to do this one again with all that going on.  From what some of my race friends told me as we chatted, they pretty much feel the same way.  So I sure hope the organizers can make the packet pickup next year a lot better than it was this year.  Aside from the packet pickup everything else was all good – although there was a problem with the race medals not arriving in time for the race, but I think that was beyond their control, probably an issue with their supplier.  The bottom line though is the race itself is a pretty nice one with a pretty nice course and lots of friendly participants of all levels, walkers, and even runners, dogs – yes, this is a dog-friendly event, but this is a crowded race, so if your doggie gets nervous with crowds, probably not for him/her – and several of the sponsors post-race had some nice freebies for participants.  Packet pickup aside, I’d recommend this one to others and probably will do it again sometime in the future.

MUCHO GRACIAS to all the people who made this one happen for we participants, including Athlete Guild who did the timing and results; Krispy Kreme and all the other sponsors and vendors; the law enforcement folks out there for us at all the intersections to keep up safe; and anyone else I may not have mentioned

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2020 Race 13, Get Your Rear in Gear 5K

Photos are here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/EZZZZxqXvpNz1MEW9

BEFORE MY START: My 13th race of 2020 was the San Antonio Get Your Rear in Gear 5K held on March 1st.   There was also a kid’s walk/run.  The event is put on in cities across the US by the Colon Cancer Coalition to raise funds for colon cancer research, with the funds helping organizations in each of the host cities.  Race location was Morgan’s Wonderland , a park designed for access to people of all abilities.  Race start time of 8 a.m., with local race management company iRun Texas doing the course set-up, timing, results, etc.   I live quite close to Morgan’s Wonderland, so got to sleep in a bit, arriving at the park with about 40 minutes until start time, and got a few pre-start photos.

 ON THE COURSE:     Starting inside the park, we looped around the park’s man-made lake.  Just before exiting the park, participants went through a “colon” tunnel, nice touch for this event. After exiting the park, a right turn that took us past Morgan’s Wonderland splash park, and then out to Heroes Stadium, an event venue for various sports and other functions.  We did a kind of “loop-around’ of part of the stadium, and then headed back to the finish the way we’d come out, going back around the park’s lake to finish up.  I ended up with a chip time of 36:02, good enough for 3rd in my male 60-69 age group.

After My Finish:   Got a few photos around the finish line area and then went and found some water and sat quietly for a few, just rehydrating and relaxing.   After that, wandered here-and-there getting random photos of the happy finishers, supporters, volunteers, etc.

EPILOGUE:   This 5K is a really well put on event – at least in San Antonio, which is where my only experience with it is, but I am sure the other cities probably do a bang-up job too – with lots of activity going on, such as awards for top fund-raisers, recognition of various survivors, and so forth.  Also, former San Antonio Spurs NBA basketball player Antoine Carr was there, graciously sharing his family story of cancer and kindly allowing participants to get autographs and photos with him.   Nicely designed, good quality race shirt; lots of post-race goodies; great race venue; nice age group awards medals.  I have done this in the past and will continue to do it in the future. It’s personal for me, as a survivor, although my cancer was found so early I actually had a pretty easy time of it.   Same thing too for when my skin cancer was found several years later.  I am one lucky dog, counting my blessings, and I really don’t think of myself as a true survivor, since I had it so easy.  I think more of myself as an Early Warning System, lol, shouting to you “GET CHECKED EARLY!” if you even suspect you have any type of cancer. I truly believe this is what saved me and that’s what I tell people when they ask me about my race shirts.  To me, though, the TRUE survivors those who really did have a fight on their hands, stayed determined, fought hard and went through hell at times, but they WON.  These folks have my true admiration.  This event  – and probably any cancer event – gives you a lot of interaction with survivors like that, all with their own stories, and also with people who lost loved ones to this horrible disease and were running or walking in their memory – cancer sucks, no matter what kind it is.  This can be a very emotional event as you chat with some of these people and hear their stories, but it is also one of the most inspiring races of the year that I do.  Cancer not only affects the person with it, but also the family members too and all these people – survivors, family members, and surviving family members of those lost – every day truly live Never Give Up, honoring their loved ones that are battling or did battle this insidious disease.    I certainly will continue to do this one and would recommend it to others.  Just be prepared though…you may tear up once or twice.

MUCHO GRACIAS to all the people who made this one happen for we participants, including iRun Texas race company, the Colon Cancer Coalition folks, all the sponsors and volunteers, law enforcement folks, Morgan’s Wonderland for use of the venue, and anyone else I may not have mentioned.  Thank you all so much for what you do so we participants can have this event

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2020 Race 12, UTSA Diploma Dash 5K

Race photos are here:

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

BEFORE MY START: My 12th race of 2020 was the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Diploma Dash, an event put on  annually by the UTSA Alumni Association to raise funds for student scholarships.  I am an employee of UTSA – 23 years now – so do this one just about every year whenever I can.  Race date of Feb 29th, with the location on the university campus.  This is a very popular event and always gets a really good turn-out. Race start time of 8 a.m.   Also, a dog friendly event, and runners with dogs even have their own awards category.  It’s normal from Dec – Feb to not know daily what the weather in Texas is going to be – it can be 70 one day and the next day be in the 30s, good grief – but Mother Nature was kind to us for this event, sunshine and blue skies, temp in the low 50s for start time, and no wind. Sweet.  I arrived about an hour before start time and wandered around getting a few pre-start photos.

 ON THE COURSE:     Start-and-finish in front of The Convocation Center – which also used to be the old-time gym when I first got to UTSA before the Campus Rec Center was built. We then did a loop route around the campus, – a route I am quite familiar with as I do several training runs on the campus before/after work – with a couple of small hills, but nothing you could call a major hill.  The finish tooks us back in font of the Convo Center from the opposite direction of the way we had gone out.  Lots of ongoing construction on the campus right now, so well-thought out course with wide roads roomy enough for everyone to maneuver around each other.  I ended up finishing in 35 minutes and change, placing 6th in my 65 – 69 age group.

After My Finish:   Got a few photos around the finish line area and then went and found some water and sat quietly for a few, just rehydrating and relaxing.  Then went and saw the EMTS to get my BP taken. I had a pacemaker implant done in August 2019 and my cardiologist is having me monitor my BP for a while. The EMTS were like….dang…. 118/77, heart rate already down to around 79, and blood oxygen of 97%.  They asked if I run a lot.  Ummm, yeah, a little bit, and I have another race to do on Sunday, March 1.   :p  After getting that done, I then went and enjoyed a cold beer, courtesy of Freetail Brewery – good beer too! – and some post-race goodies, and wandered around happily munching and getting some photos of some of the happy finishers, supporters, etc.

EPILOGUE:   Really nice event on a well-laid out course, and lots of activity both pre-and-post race.  There are all kinds of vendors here; Kiolbassa –  in San Antonio – provided sausage wraps; H-E-B, a Fortune 500 grocery company also HQ in San Antonio provided a ton of various types of foods and snacks; and there were several vendors giving away lots of free foodstuffs to the student participants and volunteers there – because of course, those young hard-working studying students are ALWAYS hungry at that age, right? So that is a very nice touch for this event.  There was also a company giving post-race massages and there were also so many other sponsors at this event, I can’t remember them all. However, I do remember the Major Sponsor for this event was Credit Human (formerly San Antonio Credit Union) so a huge thanks to them. Nice quality race shirt for all entrants and volunteers.   I really enjoy this event; will continue to do it in the future; and would certainly recommend it to others.  Also, you don’t have to be a runner; walkers are quite welcome too; and the course is also stroller friendly, for those with kids.

MUCHO GRACIAS to all the people who made this one happen for we participants:  UTSA Alumni Association that does the work to get this event ready for everyone; all the sponsors and vendors,  volunteers, law enforcement officers, EMT folks out there for us; and anyone else I may not have mentioned here.  Thank you all for what you do so we participants can have this event.

 

 

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2020 Race 11, Sauerkraut Bend 5K River Run

Photos are here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/kGe3RvPxb1Hx3hKK9

 BEFORE MY START:    My 11th race of 2020 was the Sauerkraut Bend 5K River Run held on Feb 23rd starting and finishing in San Antonio’s historic King William District. Race start time of 9 a.m. so got to sleep in a bit.  Arrived at the location with about 30 minutes to go to start time and got a few pre-start photos.

 ON THE COURSE:    We started near the gazebo in the little park at King William Park, made a left turn onto Washington Street, and then went down to the iron Arsenal Bridge, making a right turn to cross over the Riverwalk. Once on the other side of the bridge, we took the path down to the Rivewalk, went by the Canoe Club and continued down the Riverwalk, going past Blue Star, crossed over another bridge near Brackenridge High School, and then continued to our turn-round point on this side of the Riverwalk.  After the turn-round we went back the way we had come out.  Just before the Canoe Club, we climbed a short ramp to go back onto paved streets, then made a left onto Guenther Street, passing the Steves Mansion, then making a left turn to head back to the finish.  After a 5K on Saturday where I pushed myself a bit, for this one I just had a lot of fun with it and ended up with a finish time of 37:09 – 10th in my 60 – 69 age group – and probably killed my finish time, lol, by stopping several times when I was on the Riverwalk to hand out some treats to doggies who were out there walking their humans.  :p  All good though, really enjoyed myself.

After My Finish:   Got a few photos around the finish line area and then went in search of the goodies.  Found the beer and hot dogs, relaxed and enjoyed those and then wandered around getting photos of the happy finishers, volunteers, supporters, etc.

EPILOGUE:   This was the first time I’ve done this event but won’t be the last.  This is a really fun event with a scenic course, lots of folks in costume, and lots of fun people.  Really nice quality race shirt, a small finisher medal for all finishers, and jars of sauerkraut to the 1st place age group winners.  Also a costume contest in which the winner(s) got free entry into next year’s event. Really nice after-party too, with lots of vendors, beer, hot dogs, and other various goodies.  This after party was like a mini-Scallywomus party, lots of fun and lots of stuff, just on a bit smaller scale.  Definitely will be doing this one again, and certainly would recommend it to others.

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