On Saturday, December 8th, 2012 I participated in the Jingle Bell 5K in Gruene, Texas, put on by Comal Independent School District and benefiting St. Jude’s Ranch for Children.  Below is the link to my report and photos.  Please feel free to share the report and photos.

http://forums.runnersworld.com/forums/runner-communities/beginners#plckforumpage=ForumDiscussion&plckdiscussionid=Cat%3ARunner%20CommunitiesForum%3A608106477Discussion%3A03499f23-ec1e-43e2-b2fe-8ed3c04d3113

 

INTRO

I am Scott aka Scottydog, runner since 1983, cancer survivor, retired Air Force, friend of dogs, fun-runner, and all-around goofball.  In 2003 I had spinal arthritis flare up and ever since then I’ve done the run/walk method since it hurts my back too much now to run continuously with no walk breaks.  I’m on what I call my “2F Plan” which stands for Fun and Finish.  At events that I now do for fun I carry my camera, chase “Great Legs” to help motivate my slow old man self to keep moving forward, and take pictures before, during, and after the race. Sometimes I even get a nice post-race sweaty hug from one of the Great Legs ladies.   I then do a pictorial race report of my events.  I also carry dog biscuits with me to treat any dogs I may meet at a run, hence my nickname “Scottydog.” Here is yet another of my Race Reports With Photos, and my thanks to all the people I interacted with for their graciousness and good humor in letting me take photos of them.

SHORT VERSION REPORT

This was Race #71 for me for the year 2012. Supporting St. Jude’s Ranch for Children, a home for neglected and abused children – http://www.stjudesranch.org/ .  Organized by Comal Independent School District – http://www.comalisd.org/ – of Comal County, Texas. Race set up, route, timing, etc, by AthleteGuild – http://www.athleteguild.com/ .

When I first moved to Texas in 1994 and did this event, it was held in Landa Park in New Braunfels and had about 200 or so participants.  The 2012 event had  1,600 – 1,800 participants and the location has moved to Gruene, Texas, to accomodate all th growth of this event.  Even with all these people and my photo stops along the route, I managed to finish in 32:52.

LONG VERSION REPORT WITH LOTS AND LOTS OF PHOTOS

BEFORE THE RACE

Your host for this race report:  Me, on the left, here with my good pal Luke.  Someone asked me how I knew Luke and I jokingly said in my best Darth Vader voice “Luke, he is my father.”   Luke is a great guy and, at 78, just keeps on going and going and going.  He is one of my running inspirations.

The race started in Gruene (pronounced ‘green’)  front of historic Gruene Hall, where a lot of music folks sang to help start their careers long ago, including folks like Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, George Strait (who happens to live down the road from where I work) and The Fabulous Thunderbirds.  Built in 1878, Gruene Hall is the oldest continually running dance hall in Texas.

Our event MC

These lovely ladies were helping with Race Day Registration inside the Hall.

Some of the great volunteers and supporters there for we participants

 

Santa Claus was there

Lots of folks were getting photos with Santa

I see this lovely lady on the left at quite a few of the local area events I do. Here she is with her “sister”, another lovely lady

And some of their friends and family

This guy ran the whole way with this hat on.  In the 77 degree, 92% humidity, his head muvst’ve been quite warm!

Others waiting for the start

In the start crowd, looking ahead of me and behind me

 

ON THE COURSE

A little past the half-mile mark

Past the halfway point, heading for Mile 2.  We ran this part through a very pretty neighborhood and business called “Cotton’s Crossing.”   Since this is an annual event, all the area knows when it is held and several of theCotton Crossing residents and employees of local stores were nicely out there for us, cheering everyone on.

In this neighborhood we passed by several colorful houses like this one decorated for the holidays

After this, I ran non-stop back to the finish line.  I figured I would finish in 35-something and was surprised to see the clock reading 33-something. I guess during my running segments of my run/walK, I run faster than I realize, lol.  Gun time, 33: 48, chip time 32:52.

AFTER THE RACE

Apologize for some of the photos, with blurry spots.  I actually DID remember to wipe my camera this time, but between the high humidity and me sweating so much – hey, I’m a fat guy, I have to sweat or I’ll explode cheeky – condensation still got on parts of my camera lens at times.

 

I made it!  And got a nice after-race finish with this lovely lady

 

And then enjoyed one of the post-race goodies available, a cold beer.

There was also breakfast tacos to go with the beer, as my friend Walter demonstrates

Me and Walter, happy finishers.  Walter set a PR for himself today.  Way to go Walter!  The lady I asked to take our photo asked me how we knew each other.  I said “We’re twins, can’t you tell?” cheeky

Luke and friend. Here, Luke is wearing the race shirt for this event from a previous year.

Luke and another running bud of ours, Ed, with friend.  Ed is another inspiration for me.  He turned 80 this year and also was a finisher of the San Antonio Rock n Roll Half Marathon.

Luke and Ed both got medals in their age group

As did this also-inspiring 83-year old gentleman, whom I see at a lot of our local events.

Santa and his Helpers were giving out the medals

Hat Guy made it all the way with the hat on and was still wearing it for the post-race festivities.

These two young men finished in 17-something, zowie!   I think at 17 I was just past the halfway mark,lol.

I jokingly told this lovely young lady I’m going to have to get my wife to get an outfit like this.

 

More Happy Finishers and Supporters

EPILOG

Tech tee race shirt for participants, with close up of the design

 

This event is one of the most fun races of the year for me, and continues to be on my calendar each year.  Great course, lots of friendly folks at the event,  nice post-race goodies and atmosphere.  Kudos to Comal ISD and Scott Wood and his co-workers of Athlet Guild, and al the others who help organize this each year into such a good event.  If you are a runner and ever happen to be in San Antonio for this one, definitely do it, you will not regret it.

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