Photos are here:
BEFORE MY START: My 26th race of 2021 was the Winter In July 5K/10k, originally started by my friend Rebecca B. For career purposes, Rebecca now lives in another state, but she kept this event in San Antonio where it started, and she drove down from where she lives now to San Antonio to attend to this event. Held on July 24th. I did the 5K. Held at Wheatley Heights in San Antonio, this race benefits St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. This race is also kind of personal to me as, during my Air Force Days long ago, I was a volunteer for a short while at St. Jude’s, where I had the privilege to meet some of the most courageous kids I have ever known. This has been a true blessing for me as I am now being treated for prostate cancer; so when I get a little frustrated or maybe start feeling sorry for myself for a few minutes, all I have to do is take a moment, close my eyes and think about those kids and it hits me that I really don’t have it so bad. After all, I got to grow up and have a life, some of these kids did not. Race start time of 7:35 a.m. for the 10K and 7:45 a.m. for the 5K. There was also a 1K Kids run before the two main events got started. I arrived about 40 minutes before start time, chatted with friends and got a few pre-start photos.
ON THE COURSE: Start/Finish line was in the parking lot near Wheatley Heights Stadium. The course for this one was out-and-back. We did a very short distance in the parking lot, turned left onto an access road, and then turned right onto the Wheatley Heights off-road trails, part of the San Antonio Greenway Trails System. Nicely paved trails, and lots of shade on the course. A couple of up and down inclines along the way, but nothing you could really call a hill. We also crossed a couple of short bridges that took us across parts of Salado Creek, I think. Because of my spinal arthritis, I did my usual 8-minutes running/2 minutes walking thing and got some on-course photos during my walk breaks. I felt pretty good and did my usual 12-something minute miles, with my last mile on the way to the finish being a negative split, nice. I ended with a chip time of 37:44, averaging 12:09 per mile, and was 5th out of 10 in my 60-69 males age group. Got a few photos of others coming into the finish.
AFTER MY FINISH: Got my finisher medal and there was also a nice ice-watered down cloth given to each finisher, nice, to help with cool-down. Got some water and just sat for a while, sipping my water, and eating a banana, waiting for my pacemaker to bring my heart-rate down to ‘normal” level, which did not take long at all. After I got myself rehydrated a bit, I then enjoyed a post-race beer and Kiolbassa sausage wrap, and wandered around getting some after-photos, and chatting with friends, participants, and supporters.
Epilogue: Very nicely done event with local company e-Dragon Productions (race management; shirt-printing, running gear, etc) laying out the course and friend Erik doing duties as Co-Race Director with founder Rebecca. Local resident Mark Purnell did his usual great job as Race MC, and Athlete Guild did their usual excellent job of timing and results. Unique age group nicely designed “tile” awards for the top 3 finishers in each age group, and nice quality race shirts and finisher medals for each finisher. Lots of vendors/sponsors at this one too and a bouncy Moon Castle for the kiddies. This is a really good quality event I will definitely do again and again. I would certainly recommend it to others. Walkers welcome too, and this is also a dog-friendly event.
MUCHO THANKS TO: All the people that made this one happen for we partcipants, including e-Dragon Productions; Team RWB San Antonio; Fleet Feet San Antonio; Kiolbassa Smoked Meats for the post-race sausages; Bloody Buddy (bloody mary with vodka); 20’s Moon Castle; wear blue: run to remember; Camp Gladiator; Como Familia; Delgago Realty Group; Trail Toes (anti-chafing products); Performance Republic Physical Therapy; Team Beef; and any others I may not have mentioned here. Thank you all!