Photos are here:
BEFORE MY START: My 42nd race of 2021 was the Halloween 5K and Lil Monster 1K put on by race management company Athlete Guild on October 30, 2021. Start/finish location was in New Braunfels, Texas, on the company property of Rockin’ R, a toobing company business providing toobing access to the nearby Guadalupe River. The 1K for the kids started at 8 a.m., with the 5K starting after the 1K was done. True Autumn weather had come in for a few days, so when I arrived at the race site, it was a chilly 54 degrees – chilly for me anyway, lol; I prefer warm weather. I got my race bib and then wandered around chatting with friends and getting a few pre-start photos.
ON THE COURSE: There were 137 finishers for this event. Lots of the participants did the course in costume. Starting from the Rockin’ R, we proceed off the grounds and onto the road in front of the Rockin’ R building. Up this road for a short bit and then a right turn that took us up a middling-steep uphill. After that, the course was flat for a while, as we went underneath a train bridge, and then made a right turn that took us into a really nice neighborhood area. Going through here took us to the other side of the neighborhood where we then had the pleasure of doing what the online course description called a ‘gently rolling hill.” Right. This thing made for quite a good climb. After that, downhill to a turn that took us to the course water stop. Passing this, we then made a left turn to head up to another fairly steep but mercifully short hill. Once we crested this, the flat road took us back to the road we had started on, and we headed back to the finish in reverse of the way we had come out, so that first hill we climbed was now a downhill on the way to the finish. I ended up with a 37:21 finish, averaging 12:01 per mile, and had negative splits, with my last mile being 11:21, sweet. I ended up 2nd out of 3 in my males 69-99 age group, in which there were only 3 of us. Even so, after 9 days so far of radiation therapy for my prostate cancer – 19 more days to go! – I was happy with my results and felt I had run fairly well. Felt good the whole way.
AFTER MY FINISH: Post-race goodies included various pastries, protein bars, bagels, etc. Enjoyed a post-race bagel and enjoyed post-race chatting with friends and fellow participants, and also getting some post-race photos. I call these the “Happy Finishers” photos since more people seem to be smiling after they are done versus before the start and on the course. A really nice-and-friendly group of participants and supporters at this event.
Epilogue: I enjoy Athlete Guild events. One of the best local-area race management companies, they always provide really nice quality events. Their staff is great and I am proud to call them friends. In all the many years I have done Athlete Guild events, they have never disappointed me. This event is really well done and the course – which I’ve done before as it is used for other events too – is really well-thought out, with a couple of ‘challenges” – especially that 2nd hill, lol – along the way. Nice quality race shirt and a really nice age-group award medal. Definitely would do this one again, and would recommend it to others.
MUCHO THANKS TO: Rockin’ R for the use of the grounds; Athlete Guild for their usual great job; all the sponsors that supported this event so we participants could have it; law enforcement officers out on the road for our safety; all the race volunteers involved; the residents of the neighborhood we went through and the patience of the drivers on the course roads, these roads were open to traffic; and anyone else I may not have mentioned here. Thank you all!