Race photos are here:
BEFORE MY START: My 18th race of 2020 was the Remember the Alamo…Beer 5K on August 8th, held in La Vernia, Texas, which is about a 40 minute drive from my residence in San Antonio. There was also a 10K event. Put on by running organization Scallywompus, this was an actual in-person “live” event, not a virtual race. I have done virtual races this year, but I only include in my year’s race count the ‘live” races because, let’s be real here, a virtual race is really only a training run that you are doing to support a good cause. They are enjoyable, but just don’t have the same ‘vibe’ as a “live” event. I arrived at race site with about 45 minutes to go before the 5K start. The location was at “The Den” in La Vernia. I had already picked up my packet the day before, so wandered around getting some pre-start photos.
ON THE COURSE: The 10K participants started first, doing 2 loops of the course. The 5K started shortly after the 10K folks. Start was ‘social distancing” staggered start with runners and walkers lining up on social distance markers, nicely spaced out from each other, and then a few runners each started out, with the next group of runners following a few minutes after that. Scallywompus did a nice job with the social distancing start, well-controlled with nobody crowding each other. The course was a loop course of paved roads that went out for a brief time on the shoulder of a local FM road, and then into a very nice neighborhood housing area with very wide streets. Plenty of room for everyone and from where I was at any given moment, I never saw anybody crowding anyone else. All the participants were very accommodating with each other. I did my usual 8-min run/2-min walk, taking some photos on my walk breaks. After I got past the half-way mark, some of the faster 5K folks, who were doing 2 laps of the course, started lapping my slow running self, lol. In the last mile of the course, we did a loop around a local school near the start/finish area, then headed up a small incline to a public road, and then back down to a driveway entrance of the parking lot where The Den was located, and back to the start/finish line. The course was just a tad long at 3.2 miles, but all good. I finished in 38:19, averaging JUST under 12 minute miles at 11:59.
After My Finish: First off, walked back to my car and got my mask back on and my own water bottle and sat in the car a/c for a few minutes cooling down. Then back to the race site where I enjoyed a Kiolbassa sausage and drank my water to rehydrate. After that I got my ‘treat’ of an Alamo beer and also wandered around getting some post-race photos.
Epilogue: Packet pickup the day before the event was a very well-organized drive-thru pickup – I think I was there for all of about 10 minutes before getting my packet – and race day packet pickup was well organized too. Post-race sausages and cups of water were set out on tables, so no “handing off”, to help maintain social distancing. Finish medals were also in a box on a table, so you just went and got your own. Alamo Beer did serve beer post-race and they also did it very nicely, wiping all the cans ‘clean” and then putting the beer on the counter for you – I think because of TABC regulations, the servers had to open the beer for you – and then just stepped back and you picked your beer and went on your way. Very efficient and quickly served. For Age Group winners, a unique Scallywompus glass was the age group award. These glasses were in boxes and each winner just picked it up himself/herself from the box; no handoff from anyone.
Mucho thanks to Scallywompus and Tony Garcia, Bart Childers, and all the other people/volunteers who put this together for we participants, and to all the sponsors supporting the event. Everything was done very efficiently with the safety of everyone involved in mind. Very nicely laid out course. Nice finisher medal for all finishers and a very nice quality race shirt too. In these crazy times we are living through, this was really planned well and from what I saw, it seemed to me everything went off without a hitch. Very enjoyable event.