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, and in Aug 2019 I had a pacemaker implant. 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, and I even managed to get in 35 live races in 2020.. Never give up!
BEFORE MY START: On Jan 30th, I did my 3rd “live” race of 2021, the Freedom Fighters 5K. The event was held at the Regional Park of Castroville, Texas. As the online race event page put it: “The race is a salute to our most honored infantry soldiers.” Start time of 9 a.m., so got to sleep in a bit. Arrived at the park with about 40 minutes to go, picked up my packet, and got a few pre-start photos. Not sure how many participants there were, but it was a nice turn-out for a smaller event.
ON THE COURSE: We started by doing a loop through the park and just as we were going out of the park on a road leading into an adjacent neighborhood, that road was where the 1-mile mark was. 12:21 first mile for me. We then did an out-and-back on a very nice flat road in a really nice neighborhood. The halfway turn-round point was marked on the road in green but I was not paying attention and kind of missed it and kept going a little before I realized I’d gone too far. Being retired Air Force, I joked with some of my Army friends post-race, I needed them there to give me directions, lol. Back the way we had come out. Mile 2 for me was 12:43. Back into the park and looped around the way we had come out, heading to the finish. I guess I got a little motivated here to be done, Mile 3 was 11:44, and I finished in 37:13, averaging 12:15 per mile.
AFTER MY FINISH: After I finished, I stood near the finish line and got a few photos of others finishing the course. I then went to my car to put my dry shirt back on – I did the race in a singlet – drank some water and ate my protein bar and then went back to the main race area, enjoying chatting with friends and other participants and getting a few after-photos.
Epilogue: Small event, but nicely done and had the feel of a group of friends all getting together to enjoy a running/walking outing. Kudos to whomever laid out the course, that was really nicely done. I have not been in the Castroville Park for quite a while, and I remember it being a lot smaller; it has been very nicely renovated since I was last here, and really has some nice trails, sports grounds, and so forth. Definitely will be coming back here once in a while to explore some more. If I remember correctly, awards to the Top 3 male and female finishers. The race shirt is pretty nice quality too. I would definitely do this event again, and would recommend it to others.
MUCHO THANKS TO: The race sponsors, Tartan Construction; Run Local; e-Dragon Productions; and Jypsy Jane Botique. Thanks to the race volunteers out there for us; to the lady who beautifully sang The National Anthem; and to our race director – I think she was the Race Director – Alliclare – and to anyone else involved that I may not have mentioned here. Happy running and walking to all!