2021 Virtual Martin Luther King 5K, Jan 18

Photos are here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/jPJWiGUo49gW23my5

Introduction:  I am Scotty aka “Scottydog”, called that because I carry dog biscuits when I run and treat the doggies I meet along my way – or throw them in the other direction if a dog wants to chase me. I actually register for all my events as Scotty Dogg and this is the name all my running friends know me by.  I became a runner during my Air Force career, on April 15, 1983, when I was stationed at Incirlik, Turkey. I always remember the exact date since I started on Tax Day, lol. And as all we runners know, sometimes running can be very taxing. 😉  As a cancer survivor, I have this superstition that as long as I keep running I won’t have a recurrence – so far so good! – so that is why I had my running shirts printed up; every time I get lazy and don’t feel like going for my run, all I have to do is open my shirt drawer and remember why I keep on running. That, plus I love to run anyway, lol. As I’ve gotten older I’m dealing with a few challenges – as we all usually do as we get older – with some spinal and hip arthritis – which is why I now do run/walk these days – and I’ve had a few surgeries, including 4 knee surgeries, and still have the screw that goes all the way through below my knee, holding my left kneecap in place.  Never-the-less I manage to do okay and complete quite a few races over the years; 91 races in 2018 is my all-time high so far.  Never give up!

BEFORE MY START:  On January 18, 2021, my friend Albert and I did the Martin Luther King 5K in San Antonio.  I have done this 5K ever since it started. I grew up in the Washington DC area – where Martin Luther King did his “I have a dream’ speech in 1963, when I was 9 years old – and my mom, who worked for the Washington Post, was very into civil rights and equality for all.  She was a great admirer of Dr. King.  So I do this one every year in her memory and for the way she raised me – to accept all, and to look at not WHAT a person is, but WHO a person is.   Normally this 5K is an in-person event,  a “live” race, but this year it was virtual due to the pandemic.  Albert and I met at 9 a.m. at Martin Luther King Park in San Antonio – the usual venue for the race.  There was a large police presence at and around the park. The MLK Walk – of which San Antonio has the largest one in the country, numbering in thousands of participants, usually – was also supposed to be held Jan 18, MLK Day, but that also went virtual.  However, the police were there to help with traffic control, etc, in case several people showed up to do the walk.  Local city workers were also present in the park.  One of them kindly took a photo of me and Albert before we started.

ON THE COURSE: Albert and I started on the main road in front of MLK park and headed in the direction of Wheatley Heights, a local sports stadium venue. We diverted onto the Wheatley Heights paved trails and did an out-and-back on this trail, doing run/walk.  We both had garmins and Albert at one point told me we were currently pacing at a 10:48 mile.  I thought he was kidding, since I haven’t done under an 11-minute mile since before my pacemaker implant, but my garmin had the same thing.  I jokingly told him okay, if I keel over here in the next minute or so, you keep running to bring the medics back.  Our walk breaks did slow us down some, and we ended up, by my Garmin at 37:42, averaging 12:05 per mile per my Garmin.  Albert was a bit ahead of me, so probably had a faster time and finish.  My fastest mile was 12:15 for Mile 2.       

AFTER MY FINISH:  After we were done, we did a little walk-about in MLK Park, and I got a few photos.  Albert had to go to work, so he left, and I wandered around some more, getting a few more photos.  There actually were some people out on Martin Luther King Boulevard doing the walk – not the thousand that usually do this one, but quite a few were out there – and there was also an event going on at a local church across from the local area school. I got some photos around this area too, and also met the Pastor of the church, a very nice lady.  The mural on the outside wall of this church is just…  AWESOME.

Epilogue: This has become one of my favorite events to do each year – especially when it is ‘live.’  It usually sells out every year and it is really well organized by the race hosts. The staff of the Young Men’s Leadership Academy, overseen by Dr. Brown, whom I consider a friend, after seeing him year after year at this event, and it’s always great chatting with him at packet pickup and at the race. He is one truly inspiring individual.   Really nice quality long-sleeved race shirt too, with a unique design this year.

MUCHO THANKS TO:  Even though this was a virtual event this year, someone still had to support it. So thanks to all sponsors for this race that included The Markson, the primary sponsor, if I remember correctly; Britton Orthodontics; Chamberlain Hrdlicka attorneys;  Gonzaba Medical Group; NuStar; SAISD Foundation; and many others. Thanks to all the volunteers out there for the packet pickup times, and thanks to anyone I may not have mentioned here.  Without all of you, no event for we participants.

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