Photos are at the above link.
BEFORE MY START: On Dec 5, 2020, I did my 31st race of 2020, the Wild Bill Cowboy Gallop 5K in Pleasanton, Texas. This event was put on by staff of The Pleasanton Express, the city’s local newspaper. Start and finish were at Atascosa River Park, also known as Veteran’s Park. Start time of 8 a.m. I arrived with about 40 minutes to start time, got my packet and then wandered around for a bit, chatting with friends and getting some pre-start photos. It was a bit chilly with some drizzly rain, so I was thankful I had a hat in the car to keep my head warm and dry before the start.
ON THE COURSE: By race start time, no more drizzle or rain, so we did not get rained on during the event, thank goodness. Temp was in the 40s, so chilly for we South Texans, but thankfully no wind. We started at one end of the park and went down a paved park trail with the Atascosa River to our left. Exiting the park, we made a right turn and went up to Main Street, turning right onto that. We went down Main Street for quite a way before turning left onto Virginia Street, which took us into a really nice subdivision of nice homes and wide streets. Cheered on by barking dogs in their yards, we made a loop through this area before getting back to Main Street, farther down than were we had started on it. Once back on Main Street, we returned to the road that took us out from the park and went down that road to get back into the park. Once back in the park we proceeded the last ½ mile of the course to the finish at a large pavilion in the park. This was a pretty laid-back event and “old school’ too, with a clock timer and cards on which we put our name, age and finish time, and dropped it into the appropriate age group box. At my slow-and-easy pace of 12-something minute miles, with 8-minute run/2 minute walk breaks, I was just about way behind everyone else. I mostly ran with my friend Ralph and another gentleman – whose name went right out of my head – who I recall telling me he is an obstetrician doctor. During my walk breaks, they would continue on and after my walk breaks I had to catch back up to them. I ended up with a finish time of 37:33, averaging 12:07 per mile. I did, however, manage to do negative splits: Mile 1, 12:48, Mile 2: 12:44, and pushed Mile 3 a bit, 11:18. This was good enough for 2nd in my 65 – 69 age group. I think there were only 2 in my age group, lol.
AFTER MY FINISH: Mother Nature was kind; the rain started again, but after we were finished, and by then we were all under a nice covered pavilion. For a smaller event, some really nice post-race goodies that included about 5 kinds of breakfast tacos, hot coffee (for me, blech; I can’t even stand the smell of the stuff, lol), bottled water, and some other items. I enjoyed a taco and some water, while wandering around taking some photos of the happy finishers, volunteers, etc.
Epilogue: Really nicely done event with a very good course; pretty darn flat course too, so all you speedy runners out there – heck even all we slow ones like me – this is a really good course to shoot for a 5K PR if you are so inclined. My friend Woody did ii in the 20s and he’s an Old Dog like me. Unlike me, he is a SPEEDY old dog. Nice award medals to the age group winners, and really nice quality race shirt for all. Would definitely do this one again and would recommend it to others.
MUCHO THANKS TO: Pleasanton Express News and all the volunteers that were out there for us; all the sponsors that helped fund the event to make it happen for we participants; all the volunteers there for us, and the local police officers out on the course for our safety; and to the local residents along the route, as we invaded their space for a while. Also, to anyone else involved I may not have mentioned here. Thank you all for what you do so we participants can do this event.