Photos are here:
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