Photos are here:
BEFORE MY START: My 3rd race of 2020 was the Hays Highstepper Hot Chocolate 5K, held in Buda, Texas on Jan 11th. There was also a .5 Kids Run/walk. This event supports the Hays Highstepper varsity dance team of Hays High school. Buda is about an hour’s drive from San Antonio, so was up early for my oatmeal breakfast and then hit the road, arriving about 40 minutes before the 8 a.m. 5K start. Got registered and got my packet and then got a few pre-start photos. My long-time running friend, Bernadette, was supposed to do this one too, but her sore knee finally came to the point where it gave out, so she passed on this one, so no photos with her. Felt weird not seeing her at an event, as we do a lot of the same races over the year. Heal well and speedily, my friend. As you can see from the photos, lots of people are bundled up. When I left San Antonio, it was 54 degrees and pretty pleasant. After driving across what I call the Invisible Weather Line at San Marcos and the Hays County line, I watched my vehicle’s outside temp indicator drop like a stone from 54 to 43. In the winter, it is always colder after that Hays County line as you move north toward Austin. Also, the wind was blowing like crazy in Buda, making it feel even colder. 43 may not feel cold “real winter” people in places like Minnesota, Michigan, etc., but for we South Texans – considering our temp the day before was in the 70s – really feel that weather when the temp drops 30 degrees.
ON THE COURSE: This is a fairly small event, but a fun one, with 162 finishers. A really nice course, laid out with NO hills thankfully – and around this area there are plenty of hills – going through a really nice neighborhood called Whispering Hollow, if I remember correctly, and the start-and-finish was at Whispering Hollow Pool and Pavilion. Nice wide streets, and all the housing gave us a nice windbreak for most of the way of the course. It was quite pleasant in the subdivision we went through. I figured I would feel a bit warmer after I got started, so laid my long-sleeve shirt aside to use for post-race, and then ran in my short-sleeved shirt, and I did feel comfortable the whole way. I did my usual 8-min run/2 minute walk thing – have to take walk breaks because of my arthritis – and took photos during my walk breaks. I actually stopped a couple of times too during my running segments to get a couple more photos. I ended up with a chip time of 36:19, 4th in my 60 – 69 males age group.
After My Finish: First thing I did was get my long-sleeved shirt back on, that darn wind was really blowing around the start/finish area. Then enjoyed some post-race water and Chik-Fil-A biscuit from the Chik-Fil-A people there. Other goodies include some various fruits, nutrition bars, and so forth. No post-race beer darn the luck. 😉 I then wandered around getting some photos of the happy finishers and their companions/supporters.
EPILOGUE: This is the first time I’ve done this race but won’t be the last. Even with that stiff wind, it was very enjoyable. Pretty nice quality goodie bag with a nicely designed quality tech-tee. Even the goodie bag itself is pretty high quality, very nice durable plastic, waterproof bag with closure. Very nice start/finish location with indoor restroom facilities; and nice for this old arthritic guy to be able to use one of the pool chairs to relax in for a few minutes after the finish. Very nicely laid out loop course, my favorite kind of course. Most 5K are out-and-back, which is okay since you get to cheer friends on that you see coming back; but when you are as slow as me, you see those other folks coming toward you on their way back to the finish, you just want to be on that side already, heading back too, lol. So mentally, a loop course just works for me better. Yeah, I know, I got no discipline, lol. Anyway, would definitely recommend this one to others and will certainly do it again myself in the future.