Photos are here:
BEFORE MY START: My 14th race of 2020 was the Alamo Krispy Kreme 5K held on March 7th, 2020. There was also a 10K. These two races were part of the Alamo Marathon and Half race series, with the full and half marathon being held on Sunday, March 8th. The beneficiary of the 5K/10K races was Sam’S Adventure Camp, a therapy program for kids with developmental disabilities. The start/finish location was a La Villlta in downtown San Antonio. Weather was pretty cooperative for we 5K and 10K folks, with overcast skies, very little wind, and a temps in the mid-50s. Packet pickup was only on race day; a bad decision in my opinion, as the lines were pretty long; but, to give them credit, the organizers and packet pickup volunteers did go fairly quickly for as many people as were there. Even so, I got my packet about 7:15 a.m. – with the race starting at 7:30 a.m., or shortly thereafter – so had just enough time to get my bib pinned on, get a few pre-start photos, and then head over into the start crowd. We did not start right on time, but it was close enough. A lady beautifully sang The National Anthem with several participants joining in; then a countdown, and we were off and running – or walking, if that was your personal choice.
ON THE COURSE: We started just outside of La Villita – I don’t remember the name of the street we were on, I think it was King Phillip, but it was just right outside of La Villita, then went down Nueva to Santa Rosa. From Santa Rosa we went up a back street past the HQ area of Bill Miller BBQ. We briefly went onto Presa, back toward Nueva. On Nueva we went down onto the San Antonio Riverwalk, heading toward the Canoe Club and going behind H-E-B headquarters, the “Old Armory” of San Antonio history. With as many people there were doing this event it was quite crowded and a bit of slow going on the Riverwalk portion. Everyone seemed okay with it though and where I was ag any given time I never saw anyone fall and everyone seemed to take in all in stride – no pun intended. Before we got to the Canoe Club, we went back up to street level, crossing an iron bridge and going over to the King William Historic District sided of the river, and then back onto the Riverwalk on that side. Back up to Nueva Street, where we proceeded to go up and across Alamo Street and into HemisFair Park, where we did a little loop-around. This brought us back to Alamo Street, which we crossed, and then back down Nueva. 5K folk soon after that made a right turn to go to their finish, while the 10K folks continued on as their course was 2 laps of the 5K course. I ended up 9th in my age group with a time of 37:51, averaging a 12:20 pace. About what I expected as I knew this would be a large participant race, so I just kicked back for this one, had fun and even made a few more photo stops than I normally do for a race. All good.
After My Finish: Every participant got 2 free Krispy Kreme donuts, one glazed, one chocolate. I enjoyed my donuts, drank some water – no post-race beer, darn the luck 😉 – and then wandered around chatting with friends and getting photos of the happy finishers, volunteers, supporters, etc.
EPILOGUE: For as many participants as there were – 1,218 combined finishers for the 5K and 10K – the course was pretty well thought out with lots of wide roads and maneuvering room – the only narrow part being the part on the Riverwalk, but all the participants seemed pretty accommodating about that. It’s also a nicely scenic route with views of Tower of the Americas and portions of the Riverwalk, and of some various sculptures and statues as we went through the Hemisfair Park portion. Nicely organized finish with bottled water right near the finish so you didn’t have to go looking for it – wish ALL race directors would do their post-race water like that, makes it so much easier for the participants. Pretty nice quality race shirt too. Too bad we didn’t have The Alamo view like we did for this one in the past, but I get it for this year; safety issues with all that construction/renovation going on now at The Alamo. The only thing this year I did not like about the event was the Race Day only packet pickup. Someone told me it was because the cost to rent the venue building at La Villita is too expensive to rent it for more days than the races are on; umm, if that is true and the actual reason – and I don’t know that it is, this is just what I heard from grapevine rumor – then my question is why not just have the packet pickup somewhere else, like in front of an H-E-B or Academy Sports store, or someplace like that? This is often done by other local race companies and H-E-B – one very community supportive organization – and Academy Sports don’t seem to mind helping with that – especially as they probably get some customer business simply from having the pickup at those locations. Another option is just mail the packet to participants.– just include it in the online registration with a ‘deadline date” for for those that register early enough for the race and have to do it ‘by this date’ to get a packet mailed. I would sure do it, paying an extra fee to have my packet sent right to my door. This is a really nice event and one I enjoy doing but, quite frankly, if the packet pickup next year is going to be like it was this year, I am going to do some serious thinking about whether I want to do this one again with all that going on. From what some of my race friends told me as we chatted, they pretty much feel the same way. So I sure hope the organizers can make the packet pickup next year a lot better than it was this year. Aside from the packet pickup everything else was all good – although there was a problem with the race medals not arriving in time for the race, but I think that was beyond their control, probably an issue with their supplier. The bottom line though is the race itself is a pretty nice one with a pretty nice course and lots of friendly participants of all levels, walkers, and even runners, dogs – yes, this is a dog-friendly event, but this is a crowded race, so if your doggie gets nervous with crowds, probably not for him/her – and several of the sponsors post-race had some nice freebies for participants. Packet pickup aside, I’d recommend this one to others and probably will do it again sometime in the future.
MUCHO GRACIAS to all the people who made this one happen for we participants, including Athlete Guild who did the timing and results; Krispy Kreme and all the other sponsors and vendors; the law enforcement folks out there for us at all the intersections to keep up safe; and anyone else I may not have mentioned