Photos are here:
BEFORE MY START: My 15th race of 2020 was the St. Paddy’s Day 5K held on March 14 at Rockin’ R River Rides in New Braunfels, TX, which is right down a big hill from Gruene Hall in Gruene, Texas, for those familiar with the local area. Race start time of 8 a.m. There was also a Kids 1K. I was originally scheduled to do the Shamrock Shuffle in San Antonio on this day, but due to all the on-goings created by the coronavirus, events are being canceled or postponed all over the country and the Shamrock Shuffle was one of them since it was to be held in a San Antonio City Park. Rockin’ R is privately owned, so this event went ahead, with Athlete Guild, the race company that put on the event, of course sending into to all participants on the risks, procedures, etc. A BIG SHOUT-OUT and Kudos from me to Athlete Guild – and especially Sherry Purnell and Scott Wood – who went above and beyond to help me and my wife get registered for this event so late, after my other 5K was postponed. We arrived onsite a little after 7:15 a.m, got our bibs and then I wandered around getting a few pre-start photos. For all the virus hoopla going on, this one had a pretty nice turn out, ending up with 192 finishers. The weather was fairly cooperative with overcast skies and no wind, but dang, the temp was already in the mid-70s, and the humidity was crazy. Our warm weather time started early this year.
ON THE COURSE: Start and finish was in the Rockin’ R parking lot. This was a loop course, on paved roads taking us out of the parking lot and into a very nice residential area – with a hill to climb just before we event got ½ mile. Then we had it flat for a bit, going past some nice houses. Around a curve in the road and then up another hill; not super steep but just went up a ways. After that a bit of flat, then a downhill; turn left at the next intersection – this was where the course water stop was – and then up another hill, a shorter one than that 2nd hill, but steeper. That was the last hill on the course. After that it was flat until we turned back onto the neighborhood road we had originally entered the area on – so that first uphill we started with was now a downhill – and that took us back to the road that took us back to Rockin’ R. Pretty nicely thought-out course, with very wide roads and very little traffic. I ended up with a time of 37:36, averaging 12+ minute miles – although I did negative splits for this one and my las mile was 11:52. I surprisingly, took 2nd in my 65-69 age group at that slow pace, so my first thought was, lol, there must be only two in my age group. Don’t care, I’ll take it.
After My Finish: Got some water and a banana and relaxed and rehydrated a few minutes. Then went back to the entrance of Rockin’ R and waited for my wife, who was walking the course. Got a photo of her as she turned in and headed to the finish line. She finished 2nd in her age group, averaging 14:28 per mile, walking. She walks about as fast as I run. After that, enjoyed some more water and a sausage wrap. There was also beer which I normally enjoy post-race but decided to forego that for this event as the past 2 days before race day I was dealing with some vertigo issues, which is not fun at all. So just water post-race and also wandering around taking some post-race photos of the happy finishers, supporter, volunteers, etc.
Epilogue – this is a very enjoyable event, one I have done in past years. Very well organized by Athlete Guild with the event starting on time after the National Anthem; a nice course – but challenging at a few points – pretty nice quality race shirt, and nice post-race goodies of sausage wraps and beer provided by Guadalupe Brewing Company, and various fruits, nutrition bars, etc. Oh, and I don’t know how they did it with all that’s going on these days, but the Rockin’ R restrooms all had full rolls of toilet paper In the stalls, nice. Everyone also got a finisher medal. I would certainly do this one again and would recommend it to others.