2021 Race 20 Run To Remember 5K/10K

Race photos are here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/odDiY1dTRkaY244N8

BEFORE MY START:   My 20th race of 2021, held on June 20th, was the Run To Remember 5K and 10K, an event raising funds for the Alzheimer’s Association. This was an event done in conjunction with The Longest Day 5k, held on June 19th, also raising funds for Alzheimer’s, and part of the fund-raising Beards vs Beans friendly rivalry going on between brothers Matt and Miguel. As with The Longest Day event, this event was also held at Wheatley Heights in San Antonio. Wheatley Heights is a very nice events facility that has a football field and running track with stadium seating, and nearby off-road paved trails that are part of San Antonio’s Greenway Trails System.  10K start was at 7:30 a.m. and the 5K followed at 7:45. After the main events, there was also a .5 beer run, in which participants had to run or walk, or both, .5 miles with a full mug of beer, trying not to spill any of it.  I arrived on-site with about 40 minutes or so before my 5K start time and got a few pre-start photos.

ON THE COURSE:  Starting behind the stadium bleachers we proceeded out a back gate, did a short jaunt through the parking lot and then made our way to the trailhead of the paved trails. Both the 10K and 5K were out-and-back.  Weather felt a bit more humid than Saturday’s 5K, and I could tell I was going a bit slower for today’s 5K, as my walk break starting points were a bit less far out than my walk breaks for Saturday’s 5K had been.  Also, I made a couple of ‘unscheduled’ walk break stops to get a couple of extra photos, so that may have had something to do with it too. Yesterday’s event was bright and sunny, today’s event had a bit more cloud cover, and the temp, around 79 or so, was a couple degrees higher than yesterday at this time, and it felt a bit more humid today too. The trail is pretty nice with lots of shade along the way.  The majority of it is pretty flat, with just a few inclines along the way, nothing you can really call a hill.  Yesterday I finished this course in 37 minutes and change.  Today, it took me 39:18 chip time, and I had positive splits for this one, instead of negative splits like yesterday’s event.  Also got a tad dizzy at the finish after I stopped; but with my A-Fib heart, this happens once in a while, so I am used to it.  Found myself a shady spot – thanks to the Beer folks who let me sit on the cooler under their tent – and drank some water, ate a banana and watched my heart rate numbers start lowering pretty quickly as my pacemaker went to work getting me back to normal.

AFTER MY FINISH:  After rehydrating and eating the banana and just sitting a few minutes, felt much better and was off to do my usual thing of getting some post-race photos.  Several of the 10K folks were still out on their course. I saw a few of them coming in, including my friend Don, and the guy who carried the US Flag for the whole 10K course, something he had done for Saturday’s 10K too.  Also enjoyed watching the .5 Beer Run contestants do their thing. And even though today I was slower than a turtle’s spit dribbling down his shell, somehow I managed to place 3rd in my age group.

Epilogue:  Originally scheduled to be done the last Sunday of Fiesta in 2020, this was delayed quite a while due to the pandemic.  So long that I actually forgot I had registered for it, until Miguel sent me a reminder, lol. Glad he did.  This is a nice quality event with a really nice quality race shirt, Fiesta finisher medal from each race, and a coupon for a Whataburger free Taquito.  I am probably one of the few Texans – well, I am a transplanted Texan – who actually does not like Whataburger burgers, but I love their taquitos, good stuff. Lots of nice post-race goodies, including fresh fruits, sausage-on-a-stick, choice of spicy (with jalapenos) or not spicy; and Lone Star beer.  The Beans vs Beards brothers put on these two really great quality events, well worth doing. I definitely will do them again in the future and would certainly recommend them to others. MUCHO THANKS TO: Brothers Miguel and Matthew for putting on a quality event and always making it fun; all the organizers and sponsors, including e-Dragon productions for doing their usual great job; River City Produce for the fresh fruits; Wingstop;, Network Funding, Alzheimer’s Association,, and e-Dragon Productions. Also thanks to iaap race management company for the timing, results, etc.  Thanks to any others I may not have mentioned here. Thank you all!      

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2021 Race 19, Longest Day 5K and 10K

Race photos are here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/GPd3eHcTJLPDGig38

BEFORE MY STARTMy 19th live race of 2021 was the Bears vs Beans Longest Day 5K, held on June 19th at Wheatley Heights, an events location in San Antonio for various athletics events, football games, and more. Nice football field stadium with a really nice running/walking track that goes around the field.  There was also a 10K and a .5K beer run/walk, where participants had to do the .5 carrying a full mug of beer and finish with beer still in the mug. Put on by two brothers, Miguel and Matthew, it is a fundraising event supporting ENDALZ, to help raise funds for finding a cure for Alzheimer’s. If I remember correctly, one brother likes to be clean-shaven and the other does not like beans.  So whichever brother raises the most funds, the other brother has to either eat a plate of beans or grow some face-hair. I originally registered for this race in 2020, but due to the pandemic, it got delayed until now.  I arrived with about 45 minutes to the 7:45 start time for the 5K – the 10K started at 7:30 – and got a few pre-start photos.

ON THE COURSE:  This course started and finished at the stadium, with the majority of the course being done on one of off-road paved trails of the San Antonio Greenway System of trails.  These trails are pretty much all over various parts of the city and some connect with each other, so you can go a long way on some of these trails. For a summer morning run, the Wheatley Heights trails are very nice as this trail system has a lot of shade. Bright, sunny day for us for this event, so the shade was appreciated.  Temp was around 77 degrees with humidity around 88%.  As noted previously, 10K participants started at 7:30, 5K at 7:45.  So, at my slow pace, with a 15-minute lead for the 10K folks, the front-runner 10K person would probably already be halfway done or more, lol, by the time I started my 5K. This 5K course is pretty flat, with just a few small up-and-down inclines, nothing you can really call a hill. Out-and-back for both 5K and 10K.  I did my usual 8-min run/2 min walk thing (stupid arthritis, can’t run nonstop anymore) and took some photos during my walk breaks.  I ended up finishing in 37:14, averaging about 12:03 per mile, and I had negative splits too, nice; Mil 1: 12:04, Mile 2, 12:11, and my fastest mile was Mile 3 at 12:02. I am pretty consistent, lol. My pacemaker behaved itself and I felt pretty good the whole way.  I ended up 2nd in my 60 – 69 age group, so I think there were only two in my age group, lol.

AFTER MY FINISH: Got a few photos of some others finishing, then got a banana and some water and sat in some shade consuming those as I waited for my pacemaker to zap my heart back down into my normal range, which did not take long. Then I went on a walk-about, chatting with friends and other particpants, watching the beer run, and getting some photos of the “Happy Finishers.”  I call all of them that since more participants are usually smiling after the race is done, not before and during, lol.

Epilogue:  This is a keeper event for me.  Have done this one several times in the past and will continue to do it in the future.  Most definitely would recommend it to others. Very nicely organized by Erik and Kristina Burciaga of e-Dragon Productions and timing well-handled by race management company Athlete Guild. Nice post-race goodies, including Lone Star beer.  Always nice too, to have a location with indoor restrooms instead of porta-potties. Nice quality race shirt too.

MUCHO THANKS TO: Brothers Miguel and Matthew for putting on a quality event and always making it fun; all the organizers and sponsors, including e-Dragon productions for doing their usual great job; River City Produce for the fresh fruits; Wingstop;, and Catamount Constructors; Athlete Guild for its usual great job too; all the race volunteers, of course; and any others involved I may not have mentioned here. Thank you all!          

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2021 Race 18, e-Dragon SA Summer Series 5K, Race 1

Photos are here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/Tfc6U1tqehZDdYXR6

BEFORE MY START:  My 18th live race of 2021 was the first event of the e-Dragon SA Summer Series 5k, held on June 13th at McAllister Park in San Antonio.  This is the first of a series of 4 races held over the summer.  You can sign up for each individually or you can sign up for all 4, which gives you a discount of getting 4 races for the price of 3.  This event supports scholarships for local deserving athletes.  Race start time of 7:30, which is really nice, given how quickly it gets hot in San Antonio during the summer. Temp was still in the 70s’ with a high dewpoint, making it feel very humid, but the early start did help a bit. I arrived with about 45 minutes to start time, got my packet and then got a few photos before the start.

ON THE COURSE:   We started at the Becken Pavilion – named for Al Becken, a runner and community activist who did a lot for our local running community and for this particular city park. One of the friendliest people I ever had the privilege of meeting. The course was pretty much off-road paved trails, with about a half-mile of it being on one of the park roads that was closed to the public.  The course is very flat, making it an opportune one for those who want to shoot for a PR.  There is also plenty of shade in this park.  Just about the whole course was under tree cover at any given moment.  I live very near the park so have run numerous 5Ks in this park over the years that had various course routes.  This 5K, in my opinion, had the best laid-out 5K course I have ever done in this park, very well thought out.  Definitely going to use this course on training runs in the future.  I did my usual 8-min-run/2-min-walk thing (my darn arthritis won’t let me run nonstop anymore) and took photos along the way.  Very enjoyable time on this course, chatting with friends, getting photos, seeing several deer, and also not falling down or running into something – I can be a klutz at times, lol.  I ended up with a 37:57 finish time, averaging 12:15 per mile, and had negative splits too, nice. I might have finished a tad faster if I had not taken a couple of on-course stops to give a treat to some doggies I encountered along the way, lol, but it’s all good. I got 2nd in my age group.  I think there were only 2 in my age group, lol.  I’ll take it. 

AFTER MY FINISH:   Got some water and enjoyed a post-race banana and rested a few minutes while my pacemaker took my heart-rate down to normal level again.  After that, enjoyed myself chatting with friends/other runners, and getting some post-race photos.  Age group awards were handled nicely, with each placer getting a nice medal and a professional photographer took a photo, with an e-Dragon backdrop behind each person who placed.

Epilogue:   Very nice event and, as noted previously, really nicely laid out course by Race Director Erik. Entry price of only $15, which is great, with an option to also purchase a Summer Series 5K very nice quality race shirt, reasonably priced. The first 100 who register for the whole bundle (all 4 races) get a free shirt.   Post-race goodies included various fruits, water, etc.  Very nice race venue, with nearby restrooms, water fountain, shaded park pavilion, etc.  I would certainly do this one again and recommend it to others.

MUCHO THANKS TO:   e-Dragon Productions, which pretty much picks up the whole cost of this event.  Thanks to the Park Police officers who were out there for us at the two places were we were on an open park road and intersection crossing for just a few minutes.  The trails we used were still open to other public users of the park, so thanks to them for their patience with all the 5k participants they may have encountered.  And, of course, thanks to all the volunteers that worked with e-Dragon to make this one happen for all we participants.

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2021 Race 16, Cibolo Crossing Stampede 5K

Race photos are here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/eA2wkQx7MQnTRKF88

BEFORE MY START:    My 16th race of 2021 was the Cibolo Crossing Stampede 5K, held on May 29th at the Cibolo Crossing area of shoppes, stores, etc., anchored by the Santikos Entertainment center. Race start of 5 a.m.  Was not sure if this one would be postponed, as our area had some major thunderstorms the night before, with one heck of a lightning show. However, although it was drizzling a bit when I left for the race, the lightning was gone and hardly any wind at all, so we got lucky.  After I got to race site, someone told me the 5K in Bulverde this same morning had to be canceled because of road flooding; and in Cibolo the night before, a house got its roof struck by lightning and caught on fire.   So we were extremely lucky that for our 5K, things were pretty mild.  Cibiolo Crossing is a nice shopping venue that includes not only Santiko, but Dunkin Donuts – who provided post-race goodies for us – Magnolia Pancake Haus and Venetian Nails.  This is a growing shopping center, with others coming.  For post-race, there were several vendors setting up barbecue and food areas for a celebration of the opening of this center.   Santikos kindly allowed participants access to its entertainment center for the use of its very nice indoor restrooms.  There are also several covered patios in this center, so during the early drizzle, we were able to pretty much stay dry.  I had picked up my race packet the day before, so after arriving I chatted with friends and participants and got a few pre-start photos.

ON THE COURSE:  For what they had to work with, Athlete Guild – the company that did the course setup, timing, results, etc – did a pretty good job laying out the course. We started near Santikos and headed out to the shopping center’s access roads. We pretty much stayed on these roads the whole time. Turned right onto one road, down to a turn-round point, back the way we had come, this time on the other side of the road. Right turn and then out to a turn-round point, which included a fairly long hill to get up to the turnround. Back down the hill – which got us to Mile 1 along the way down – then up another hill to another turn-round point, passing in front of the walkway we had come out of to start. Then back the way we had come – toward that first turn-round hill, but did not have to climb the hill again.  Instead, just near the bottom of this hill was Mile 2, where we turned round again and went back the way we came. One more time up that hill again, back to the turn-round after that, and then, finally lol, a turn onto the pedestrian walkway that took us to the finish line.  Since we participants passed each other going so many ways, the slower runners like me were able to see the speedier runners doing their thing, and some of these folks were really speedy. Since we passed by each other at so many various times, we were also able to cheer each other on, and see friends on the course on occasion. I ended up with a time of 37:30, finishing the dreaded 4th in my age group; which was 61 – 99, lol.  There were only 4 in my age group, loll, and the other 3 guys in my age group all did 8-minutes and-change miles. I met my personal finish goals: finish standing up and have no ambulance waiting for me.   😊

 AFTER MY FINISH:  Got a couple photos of some other finishing, Indulged in some of the Dunkin Donut goodies, drank a bit of Gatorade, and then got a few post-race photos .   There were 130 finishers, 64 male and 66 female. From what I saw at any given moment post-race, everyone seemed to have enjoyed being here. Pretty nice turnout for a small inaugural event. 

Epilogue:  Mother Nature cooperated with our race today so we did not have it too badly at all, other than being pretty humid with all these storms up and down the Austin-San Antonio Corridor. We were at one of the lucky events that did not get canceled/postponed.  As noted, for what Athlete Guild had to work with, the course was laid out fairly well.  Parts of the shopping center is under construction, as is a nearby neighborhood being built up. My friend Scott of Athlete Guild told me as the center gets more completed, the course will probably change somewhat to reduce all those out-and-backs and maybe include one of the nearby neighborhoods.  I only see this one growing, as word gets out.  I would do this one again and would recommend it to others.  Also, it is walker friendly and dog-friendly.     

MUCHO THANKS TO: The Athlete Guild Team for putting this on; the Law Enforcement officers who were out there out there on the course keeping us safe, as some of these access roads did intersect with public roads; all the volunteers out there for us; all the sponsors of this event – especially big thanks to Santikos for use of the facilities, sure beats porta-potties; and anyone else involved I may not have mentioned here. Thank you all!       

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Photos are here:  https://photos.app.goo.gl/64uo6jdZGtqYYm9c8

BEFORE MY START:    My 14th race of 2021 was the Helotes 5K held in Helotes, Texas, on May 15. Helots is a a small city that borders on one of the San Antonio city limit borders. Helotes is a pretty little town with friendly people, nice neighborhood areas, and lots of hills if you ever want to get some hillwork in. Depending on traffic, it is about a 25-35 minutes-drive from where I live near the San Antonio airport.  Since this was early Saturday morning, I got there pretty quick, arriving with about 45 minutes until the 8 a.m. start time.  I’d picked up my packet the day before, so after arrival I wandered here-and-there chatting with friends and other participants, and getting some pre-start photos.

ON THE COURSE: This is the first ‘live’ race since the pandemic shutdown started, so Lisa Soler of Soler Sports took advantage of the permission to have a live race here and put this event together.  The course was in historlc “Old Town” Helotes, laid out in similar fashion to past live races done here.  We started on a dirt-and-gravel road in a commercial area of stores, restrooms, a little patio area with picnic tables, and more.  A very nicely done ‘comfortable’ area.  We started on a dirt/gravel road, exited onto the street, left turn to a traffic circle and then down a paved road for about ¾ of a mile to a turn-round point. This part of the course was very flat. Back the way we had come, going around the traffic circle – we were past Mile 1 at this point – and this is where the hills began.  First a down incline – not my favorite, since I have spinal arthritis and downhill is actually harder on my back than uphill is – then an up incline.  We made a left turn near a church, bringing us to another downhill that got us to Mile 2.  Once down the hill, we had a slight up incline and then some flat road to our next turn-round point.  From this turnround, back the way we came, with that incline now being uphill.  Right turn onto the ‘main drag” of Old Helotes Town, so that uphill incline we came out on was now downhill, and then we finished by going up another incline, and then making the turn back on the dirt road to cross the finish line.  At my age (67) I met both my primary race goals:  Finish standing up and no ambulance waiting for me specifically at the finish.  Distance: 3.3 (course was a tad long, but no big deal), time: 39:39, averaging 12:17 per mile, while doing my 8-mm run/2 minute walk thing – can’t run nonstop anymore because of my arthritis – and taking photos on the course; which probably did not help my time any, lol, but what the heck, I enjoy myself.

 AFTER MY FINISH:  Got a couple of photos near the finish line and then went to get some water and banana and relax for a few minutes.  My pacemaker implant (I have an A-fib) is very good and after I finish it does not take my heartrate long to go back down. During the run it went up to about 142 and about 10 minutes after I finished, it was already down to 72 after about 5-10 minutes, so good pacemaker, good boy!  😊  So I relaxed for a bit, enjoyed some post-race goodies and then wandered around chatting with friends, getting post-race photos, and treating canines to doggie treats.

Epilogue:  Nicely done by Lisa Soler with the help of her “assistant” Tony Garcia, and all her volunteers.  Nice to be doing a race again in Helotes.  This is a dog-friendly event too, so there were a few dogs out there too. Finisher medal to all finishers, and a very nice quality tech tee race shirt. The road was open to traffic but I did not see any problems.  Where I was on the course at any given moment, the drivers went slowly and cautiously, and were pretty polite about it all.  There are a lot of runners, walkers, and cyclists in Helotes on any given day, so I guess the residents and drivers are used to active people being in their burg and take it all in stride, no pun intended. Definitely would do Lisa’s 5K again and would recommend it to others.  Pretty nice turn-out for this one too, especially considering that on this day there were about 5 other races within the driving area of San Antonio.

MUCHO THANKS TO:  Lisa Soler and all her volunteers for getting this one put together; the City of Helotes for approval of this live event; all the vendors/sponsors that were out there for us on race day and who also helped this one happen; the timing/results company; and anyone else involved that I may not have mentioned here.  Also thanks to the Helotes citizens in the areas we ran or walked through for their patience.   

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2021 Race 13 Cinco de Mayo 5K

Race photos are at this link:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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2021 Race 12 Spring Thing 5K

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

Race photos are at the above link.

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

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

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

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

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

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2021 Race 11 Life is Good 5K/10K

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

Race photos are at the link above.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Race photos are at the above link.

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

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

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

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

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

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2021 Race 9, Run With A Purpose 5K

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

Race photos are at the link above.

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

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

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

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

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

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