Photos are here: https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipO5xgYk5LlrCf-crt854GhtROPIG60cj6n_oW0nR2jCq3SZxh_d5DzM4MtOAp9w_w?key=OGVYeUhLVHZwOVYxaVJXMnRlVGNKYWduYk5OQ2pR
BEFORE MY START: My 2nd race of 2019 was the River Road Run 5K held in New Braunfels, Texas. The main event was a half-marathon and there was also a 10K. This event is part the series of 4 Texas Hill Country races put on my local running/race company Scallywompus. River Road in New Braunfels runs alongside the Guadalupe River in Comal County. These are very popular events and the half sold out. There was quite a nice turnout also for the 10K and the 5K. The half started at 8:01, the 10K started at 8:31 and the 5K started at 9:01. By the time I got there the half folks had already gone, so I wandered around and took a few pre-start photos of some of the 10K and 5K folks. For this event, we had what weather forecasters call “abundant sunshine”, but for while it was still a little chilly for we South Texans, with the temp at 7:30 a.m. hovering around 37 – 38 degrees. By the time the 5K started, the temp had reached the lower 40s, so before I started the race I dumped my top long-sleeved layer shirt and ran in a short-sleeved shirt and felt fine.
ON THE COURSE: This series in not called Texas Hill Country for nothing. First half-mile or so was fairly flat, with a slight down incline as we crossed a bridge over the Guadalupe River. After the bridge we then began to climb a bit. That leveled off after a while, but having done this event last year I knew there was a 2nd part to this hill after we went around an upcoming road curve. That second hill climbed us up to another level part of the road where we 5K folks then went to our turn-round and headed back. The half and 10K folks, having longer courses, kept going ahead and they had several more hills than we 5K folks did. After the turn-round the return trip to the finish was now mostly downhill – which I do not prefer, as downhills are harder than uphills on my spine arthritis – but I managed to do okay. The last ½ mile, or maybe just a tad under ½ mile, is all flat to the finish. I ended up with a 34:14 chip time, good enough for 4th in my 60 – 65 age group, and I did negative splits for this event, with my last mile being 11:06. Slowly but surely, me and my pacemaker are getting back to where my times were before my pacemaker. The road was open to traffic. Where I was at any given moment, we were all helping each other out with call-outs of “Car Back” and so forth, and the drivers for the most part were pretty patient about it all. That may have been helped by the presence of several police vehicles also driving and parked on the course, with the officers keeping eyes open for the safety of us all.
After My Finish: The motto of Scallywompus is “Come for the race. Stay for the party.” They sure live up to it. Really nice after-party with pizza slices, sausage-on-a-stick, beer provided by Alamo Beer, and Bloody Mary’s with vodka. There was also water and various other drinks for the non-alcohol drinkers. Scallywompus has everyone covered. Between sausage bites and beer swallowing, I wandered around getting some after-photos of the happy finishers, supporters, volunteers, vendors, etc.
EPILOGUE: This is the second time this event has been at this location and it is a pretty nice one. I much prefer this location to the old location at a place called The Ice House, where there was a MONSTER hill all participants wend down at the start and then had to climb up right before crossing the finish line. The hills at the newer location – at least for the 5K anyway – are not that bad and also there are some really nice views of the Guadalupe River along this course. There was on the old course too, but I just like this one better. Really nice finisher medal for everyone and a nice quality long-sleeved tech tee. Usually the Scallywompus shirts run a bit large for me, so I got a medium. However, this one actually was a bit tight. My wife did not mind at all, though, and was glad to claim the tech tee as her own. I must admit she does look better in it than I do. MUCHO THANKS to all the people who made this one happen for us, including Race Director Tony; MC Lana; music guy Paul; bike guy the other Paul; iaapweb for the course setup, timing, and results; Dan-The-Man and the Munster Squad for the post-race sausages-on-a-stick; all our volunteers, sponsors, and law enforcement folks out there for us; anyone else I may not have mentioned here. Thank you all so much for what you do so we participants can have this event.