Photos are here:
BEFORE MY START: My 38th race of 2021 was the Battle of Hillotes 5K, held on Oct 9 in Helotes. This is one of the races in the Alamo Beer Series, a series of 4 events put on by local running company Scallywompus, with Tony Garcia as race director. Participants can sign up for each one individually or sign up for all 4 as a bundle of races and get a nice discount. For this one, the 3rd in the series, there was a half-marathon, a 10K, and a 5K, with half-marathoners starting first; then the 10K; and then the 5K. Start/finish line was in a large open field in front of El Chapparal restaurant. I planned to get there early to get some photos of my friends doing their respective races, but after left home to go to the races, the brain light bulb clicked on and I realized I had left my race bib at home. Insert here Homer Simpson doing his “DOH!” thing. So back home to get my bib. When I did get to the race area, the half marathon folks had already started, so I chatted with, and got some photos of, some of the 10K and 5K folks before we all started.
ON THE COURSE: A noted, started on a field near Chaparral eatery. The ground in front of the start/finish area was paved and then we had to negotiate a short -and-rocky area before getting onto paved roads. 5K and 10K were out-and-back. Half marathoners did a kind of loop course and then came back the way everyone had gone out, but near a water-stop on the course, we 5K and 10K folks went straight and back to the finish the way we had come out. The half folks turned left to go on a road that had some pretty sizeable hills. The 5K course had a couple of hills too, but not as many as the participants doing the 10K and 5K. I felt pretty good on the course and ran well and I did manage to do all the hills fairly strongly. Glad I do hill work once a week, that definitely helped. Did my usual run/walk thing and during my walk breaks got a few on-course photos. The overall winner of the 5K did it in a blazing 18:32, averaging 5-something minute miles. I was a bit slower, lol – jeez I was not even to mile 2 by his finish time – finishing in 37:23 chip time, averaging 12:02 per mile. 3rd out of 4 guys in my age group. The first guy in my age group did it in 26-something. Anyway, I was pretty happy with my time and how I ran for this one.
AFTER MY FINISH: Scallywompus motto is “Come for the race. Stay for the party.” They truly mean it too. DJ playing music for us. Post-race goodies included Alamo Beer – the sponsor company of this series of races – bloody marys and various other drinks, including water, tea, soda, etc. All kinds of vendors at this event giving away various free stuff. Really nice drinking glasses awarded as age group awards and ‘jugs’ to the overall winners. Finisher medals for all finishers. Not sure what the race shirt looks like since I stupidly waited too long before I registered, as I was monitoring myself to see if I would even be able to do it with my ongoing prostate cancer treatment and if I would have any side effects. Well, I was able do it and felt good too; but just will have to wait on the race shirt; which is okay; as many races as I do I have quite a few race shirts, lol.
Epilogue: Scallywompus events are well-organized and they certainly do try to give you some challenging courses. Builds character, right? 😉 However, they certainly ‘pay’ you for taking the challenge with those great finisher medals, really nice quality race shirts, unique age-group awards, and a great after-party. Also, their races support good causes, such as Marrow Match, a bone-marrow transplant organization, and other nonprofits. Definitely worth doing, these events, and I will continue to do so in the future. I certainly would recommend them to others also.
MUCHO THANKS TO: Much thanks to Race Director Tony Garcia;, our great MC Anthony Zamora who did his usual fantastic job for this one; all the volunteers that helped make this one happen; our Music and Sound guy; the First Aid folks out there for us – they had a tent onsite – any police officer out there patrolling for our safety; and, of course, all the sponsors, vendors, and others who helped fund this event and make it happen. Also, shout-out to Chapparal folks for letting us invade their space for a while; and a thank-you to the residents of Helotes for their patience as we invaded their space for a few hours – especially those living along the race routes, as the roads were still open to traffic, so thank you for watching out for us. Apologies if I missed anyone, and thank you also!