Photos are here:
BEFORE MY START: My 40th race of 2021 was the Purple Run 5K held on Oct 16 at Our Lady Of the Lake (OLLU) University in San Antonio. October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This race supported raising funds for domestic violence awareness. This event, per the race website is “designed for the entire family to run/walk/roll in honor of victims, survivors, and all those who lost lives to domestic violence.” I chose to do this one in honor of my daughter, Lorrie, who has overcome many personal challenges to become the wonderful, giving person she is today; and for my granddaughter Amrita, who also dealt with many issues. Race start time of 8 am but was delayed a bit as part of the packet pickup time the day before had to be delayed due to inclement weather in the late afternoon, so there was quite a line for race day packet pickup and registration. All good. Since I had gone early to get my packet, I was already ready, and so just used the extra time to chat with friends and get some pre-race photos. The inclement weather was definitely gone. Race day morning was a nice, sunny day, with very low humidity and a sweet temperature of 58 – 61 degrees. Prior to the start, there was an opening ceremony in which proclamations addressing domestic violence were read; one of our City Council members, who partnered with the Mayor, and one by Governor Abbot, read by one of his staff members. There were also comments from San Antonio Police Chief McManus and from County Sheriff Salazar. The San Antonio Police Officers Association was one of the event sponsors. The 5K began after that at 8:30 a.m.
ON THE COURSE: This course, for those who have run 5Ks at OLLU just about matched the usual 5K course on the campus. There was some ongoing construction near the front road of the campus, so we did the start a bit differently by going onto the sidewalk by the street in front of the university, and then turning back onto a campus road. Making our way between some campus buildings, we then went around a traffic circle and followed a road out to a campus gate that put us on a sidewalk along Commerce Street, just for a short bit. Cutting across the grass, we went down a short grassy hill. This put us onto the trail of the man-made lake. We went along this for quite a while, getting some nice views of the lake, until we came to the end of the lake and then crossed a bridge to the other side. From here we went onto the paved lake trail on this side of the lake, proceeding to a bridge. Crossing over this bridge, we then turned back toward the campus back to the short grassy hill, going up this time, and proceeding to the finish the way we had come out. Nicely thought-out course, and slightly different from the usual 5K course. A nice touch along the course: many signs with names of loved ones affected/lost by domestic violence. There were quite a few, so sad; really makes you think. This is a dog-friendly and baby-jogger friendly course but felt for the people pushing wheeled vehicles who had to negotiate that short little hill, which was pretty short in distance, but went almost straight up-and-down. Everyone had to kind of be careful of their footing. I ended up with a chip time of 38:30, averaging 12:25 per mile and ended up in my age group (65-69) 4th out of 7. I might have done better if I’d kept steadily running during Mile 3, but this was the mile I kept encountering non-participants on the course walking their dogs, so I kept stopping to give each dog a treat, lol, if its human gave me permission. Most of them accepted and thought it was funny I carry dog biscuits when I run, and a couple of them said I “made the day for them” for their morning walk, lol, giving them a laugh. So 4th, what the heck; I had fun.
AFTER MY FINISH: Lots of vendors giving various marketing ‘freebies’ and lots of post-race goodies, including several kinds of breakfast tacos. First though, did a cool-down walk and drank some water while waiting for my pacemaker to take my heartrate down – which did take long at all – and then reported to the medical tent to get my blood-oxygen level taken (96), as my cardiologist wants me to record it once in the morning, once at night, and also after I do a run/race. All good at 96, sweet. Also, thankfully still not having any major side-effects from my current prostate cancer treatment. Overall, feeling pretty good. With that done, went to enjoy some post-race goodies, chat with friends, and get some after-photos.
Epilogue: Domestic violence is a very serious concern so this is a serious issue, as we are all aware, especially when you or your loved ones are personally touched by it. Even so, this was a very enjoyable race with a really nice course, wonderful people participating; dog-friendly; lots of pre-and-post race activity, including a kid’s run; a wonderful and scenic race location; pretty nice race shirts that also carry a message; and actual indoor restrooms courtesy of our OLLU staff hosts. I definitely would do this one again and certainly would recommend it to my runner/walker friends.
MUCHO THANKS TO: All the people who made this one happen for we participants – apologies if I miss any here – all our sponsors, OLLU administration for allowing the event to be held here; the police officers out there for our safety; UT-San Antonio Health medical folks who were out there to provide medical assistance if needed; Athlete Guild race management company for the course setup, timing, results, our sound-and-music guy; our race director; and as, noted, anyone I may not have mentioned here. Thank you all!