Photos are here:
BEFORE MY START: My 34th race of 2021 was the Helotes Oktoberfest Beer Garden 5K held on Sep 18 in Helotes, Texas, a small city bordering on San Antonio city limits. This event was limited to 800 participants. They sure came close to that, with 785 finishers, wow. Start time of 8:30 a.m. I arrived with about 45 minutes until start time and got a few pre-start photos between chatting with several friends. There were a few dogs at this event too. Since I am known by the running community as Scottydog – and I actually register for all the races I do as “Scotty Dogg” – since I carry dog treats with me when I run, the pooches did great treats from me, with the permission of their humans.
ON THE COURSE: Course started on a dirt/gravel in a no-outlet area where Pete’s Place and other breweries and business places are located. We proceeded onto Old Bandera Road, making a left turn and going up an incline toward the El Chapparal restaurant. We did a turn-round by some cones there and the went back down Old Bandera Road through Old Town Helotes. At a traffic circle, we made a left turn and did an out-and-back on this road. Back at the traffic circle, we did another short out-and-back, then headed back to the traffic circle, and once more went onto Old Bandera Road. This time we climbed up the incline to the cones in front of El Chapparal, looped around those, and then back to the finish the way we had come out. Nicely thought-out course but pretty much no shade on it, and I had not really hydrated adequately enough, so did a bit more walking than I had intended to. I finished in 38:36, averaging 12:34 per mile. Tired, lol. Even so, enjoyable event, saw many friends on the course, and ran with a few of them at various times. Being treated currently for prostate cancer, but having very few side-effects, so that did not affect me all that much, maybe just contributed to the tiredness a bit. Even so, all good, I am still able to get out there and keep doing what I love.
AFTER MY FINISH: My two race goals are always: Finish Standing Up and No Ambulance Waiting Specifically for Me at the Finish. Anything after that – finisher medal, age group award, etc – is a bonus. Goals met, lol. After finishing this one, first thing I did was go find some water and then a shady place to sit down for a few minutes to rehydrated and relax. Being a heavy sweater – one reason my wife really loves me in winter 😉 – I was pretty drenched from my run/walk. Good thing I keep towels in my car. After just relaxing for several minutes and enjoying the music two DJs – is that even a term anymore? – were playing, I felt mucho better, so time to wander around, enjoy some goodies and get some post-race photos.
Epilogue: Kudos to Race Director Lisa Soler and her crew for putting on a really fine event, especially with this many participants, so a lot of work for her and her volunteers, and the race setup and timing folks. There was also one heck of an after-party that kind of reminded me of the Scallywompus events. Even the packet pickup the day before was a party atmosphere, being held at Stout House, a very nice local pub, where I also enjoyed chatting with friends I saw there. Post-race, there were all kinds of beer vendors there, so those who enjoy beer could wander around sampling all these different beers – I did a couple myself – and other vendors offering all kinds of items from give-away souvenirs to various drinks and food, such as brisket tacos, giant soft pretzels – I love these things and got one of those – and much more. Very nice quality race tee, and the age group awards were these really nice glasses and mugs. Sometimes people leave early from an event, but from what I saw, not this one. The post-race activities were so enjoyable, and so many friends there, I did not even leave myself until almost noon. When I finally did get going, there still were several people there, enjoying all the goings-on. Would definitely do this event again and would recommend it to others. One very good event.
MUCHO THANKS TO: Lisa Soler and all her crew of volunteers, timers, sponsors who helped pay for all of this; the police officers out there on the course for our safety; the Helotes officials who allowed this “live’ event to happen; all the breweries and businesses that participated and helped make this a really enjoyable event; and anyone else I may not have mentioned here. Thanks so much to all of you!