2021 Race 13 Cinco de Mayo 5K

Race photos are at this link:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/GeuQoNtgDQ67w5PV9

BEFORE MY START:   My 13th race of 2021 was the Cinco de Mayo 5K held on May 8th in New Braunfels at Cypress Bend Park, start time of 8 a.m.  There were 127 finishers for this event,  44 male and 83 female. Picked up my packet the day before, so when I arrived at race site got a few pre-start photos.  Cypress Bend Park is a small park, but a nice one with the river going along right beside it. 

ON THE COURSEI ran this event a few years back, but since then the course changed a bit from the last time I had done it. One thing that had not changed was hills.  This course had several climbs along the way.  They were not very long hills, but they sure did give you a workout. We started near the park pavilion, did short part down by the river, came back up past the pavilion the park road, then up an incline before going out the park gate.  Passed by a cemetery – the next-door neighbor of the park grounds; incentive that makes you want to keep on moving; – then a left turn to take us into a nearby neighborhood – and here was the first challenging hill.  Up that, down a short incline, left turn, up another hill, and we also had an ‘off-road’ part f the course on a road that was undergoing renovation.  As you can see from the phots, a few challenging parts. As noted, not super-large hills like you find in Helotes and places like that, but challenging enough for an old dog with a pacemaker, lol.  Even so, nice course overall and Race Director did include several flatter parts for us all to catch our breath, lol.  Instead of a usual “out-and-back’ 5K, this one was more of a loop course that took us through a nice neighborhood – nice wide streets, with plenty of room for everyone to maneuver – and then back to a point where the last part of the course was a couple of streets we had come out on and those took us back into the park – so we got to pass the cemetery twice, for double motivation.  Once we got into the park, we diverted down to a small parking area that took us onto a grassy area of the park and crossed over that.  This brought us to the road we had started out on, and we did a slightly different path to the finish than the way we had started out – with, of course a last small incline to climb before we went on a flatter part to the finish line; that race director has a wicked sense of humor, lol. . I ended up with a time of 38:53, averaging 12:31 per mile – and I guess it didn’t help my time that I stopped occasionally to give treats to a couple of neighborhood dogs out in their yards, ‘cheering’ us all along.  I was 4th in my age group. Finisher number 3 beat me in my 1 minute 58 seconds. Guess I should not have stopped to take that last photo.  All good though

AFTER MY FINISH:  Stuck around the finish line for a couple of minutes getting a few photos of others finishing, including some of the other participants I had interacted with on the course.  Enjoyed some post-race goodies, which included tacos, Gatorade, water, various nutrition/protein bars, bananas, and a bit more. Wandered around chatting with friends and other participants, getting photos of the Happy Finishers and some of their supporters who were there cheering them on. 

Epilogue:  As noted, somewhat challenging course, but very thoughtfully laid out; I enjoyed not doing a ‘direct’ out-and-back course for a change. Awards to the top 3 in each age group, and finisher medals for all finishers.  Nice quality race tees too.  I would definitely do this one again – and hope they keep this course for a while – and would recommend it to others.

MUCHO THANKS TO:  Two Rivers Running Store in New Braunfels that hosted the packet pickup and was one of the sponsors. Nice little store on Comal Avenue in New Braunfels, only recently opened.  They offer some really nice tech-tee shirts and singlets; I ordered a few. Check this place out when/if you go to New Braunfels. Very friendly staff. And, since they are in a ‘neighborhood’ area, if you are looking at getting running shoes, you don’t have to give them a trail run in the store, you can go outside and try them on the road in front of the store in this peaceful and quiet neighborhood, nice touch. Thanks to other sponsors that included Athlete Guild, Corner Tubes, Cycle Bars, the water bar, Hotworx, La Cocinta Taqueria, e-Dragon Productions, and Guadalupe Brewing. Thanks to all the volunteers that were there for us, and the Junior ROTC Marines color guard that was there for the National Anthem; and to the police officers at the public road intersections, keeping us all safe; and anyone else involved I may not have mentioned here.  Thank you all!  

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