Race photos are here:
BEFORE MY START: My 19th live race of 2021 was the Bears vs Beans Longest Day 5K, held on June 19th at Wheatley Heights, an events location in San Antonio for various athletics events, football games, and more. Nice football field stadium with a really nice running/walking track that goes around the field. There was also a 10K and a .5K beer run/walk, where participants had to do the .5 carrying a full mug of beer and finish with beer still in the mug. Put on by two brothers, Miguel and Matthew, it is a fundraising event supporting ENDALZ, to help raise funds for finding a cure for Alzheimer’s. If I remember correctly, one brother likes to be clean-shaven and the other does not like beans. So whichever brother raises the most funds, the other brother has to either eat a plate of beans or grow some face-hair. I originally registered for this race in 2020, but due to the pandemic, it got delayed until now. I arrived with about 45 minutes to the 7:45 start time for the 5K – the 10K started at 7:30 – and got a few pre-start photos.
ON THE COURSE: This course started and finished at the stadium, with the majority of the course being done on one of off-road paved trails of the San Antonio Greenway System of trails. These trails are pretty much all over various parts of the city and some connect with each other, so you can go a long way on some of these trails. For a summer morning run, the Wheatley Heights trails are very nice as this trail system has a lot of shade. Bright, sunny day for us for this event, so the shade was appreciated. Temp was around 77 degrees with humidity around 88%. As noted previously, 10K participants started at 7:30, 5K at 7:45. So, at my slow pace, with a 15-minute lead for the 10K folks, the front-runner 10K person would probably already be halfway done or more, lol, by the time I started my 5K. This 5K course is pretty flat, with just a few small up-and-down inclines, nothing you can really call a hill. Out-and-back for both 5K and 10K. I did my usual 8-min run/2 min walk thing (stupid arthritis, can’t run nonstop anymore) and took some photos during my walk breaks. I ended up finishing in 37:14, averaging about 12:03 per mile, and I had negative splits too, nice; Mil 1: 12:04, Mile 2, 12:11, and my fastest mile was Mile 3 at 12:02. I am pretty consistent, lol. My pacemaker behaved itself and I felt pretty good the whole way. I ended up 2nd in my 60 – 69 age group, so I think there were only two in my age group, lol.
AFTER MY FINISH: Got a few photos of some others finishing, then got a banana and some water and sat in some shade consuming those as I waited for my pacemaker to zap my heart back down into my normal range, which did not take long. Then I went on a walk-about, chatting with friends and other particpants, watching the beer run, and getting some photos of the “Happy Finishers.” I call all of them that since more participants are usually smiling after the race is done, not before and during, lol.
Epilogue: This is a keeper event for me. Have done this one several times in the past and will continue to do it in the future. Most definitely would recommend it to others. Very nicely organized by Erik and Kristina Burciaga of e-Dragon Productions and timing well-handled by race management company Athlete Guild. Nice post-race goodies, including Lone Star beer. Always nice too, to have a location with indoor restrooms instead of porta-potties. Nice quality race shirt too.
MUCHO THANKS TO: Brothers Miguel and Matthew for putting on a quality event and always making it fun; all the organizers and sponsors, including e-Dragon productions for doing their usual great job; River City Produce for the fresh fruits; Wingstop;, and Catamount Constructors; Athlete Guild for its usual great job too; all the race volunteers, of course; and any others involved I may not have mentioned here. Thank you all!