Photos are here:
BEFORE MY START: My 43rd race of 2021 was the Monster Dash 5K, held on Sunday, October 31 at Lady Bird Johnson Park in San Antonio. Thee was also a 10K, a 1-Miler and a 1-Miler wheel chair event. Race start time of 9:30 a.m., so got to sleep in a bit extra, which was nice, as this was my 2nd 5K of the weekend, after having done one in New Braunfels on Saturday. This event supports the Now You See Me Foundation, which raises funding for critically injured athletes and spinal cord research. They also help rebuild the lives of cyclists and runners who have suffered traumatic injury. At packet pickup the day before the race, I had the pleasure of meeting founder Monica and her husband, two very inspirational people. I encourage you to check out the foundation website and read her story; truly amazing. I wear my Never Give Up shirts as personal motivation for myself. This lady lives Never Give Up every darn day. I live quite close to LBJ Park so arrived on-site with about 40 minutes to race time. There was a really nice turn-out for this one, parking lots were quite full. 100+ finishers in the 5K and about 45 doing the 10K. Add to that the people doing the wheelchair and walking events, so a very nice turn-out indeed; and lots of supporters and volunteers showed up too. I found a place to park and then got some pre-start photos.
ON THE COURSE: All the distances were basically on the same course, the off-road paved trails in the park, with everyone starting in the parking area near the dog park, doing a loop around a grassy area there and then hitting the trails. The 5K was a single-time out-and-back, as were the 1-mile events, while the 10K folks did the out-and-back route twice. My legs were feeling Saturday’s 5K – which had a couple of pretty good hills to climb on the course – so I just took it nice and easy, behaved myself and took my walk breaks – I run 8 minutes, walk 2 minutes due to my spinal arthritis – and took some oncourse photos during the walk breaks. The course took us out past the Los Patios area, and then to the Loop 410 frontage road, where we made our turn-round and headed back to the finish. I finished 3rd in my 60 – 69 age group with a chip time of 37:45 and I had negative splits along the way too, nice. I was happy with this result, especially as I am currently undergoing some radiation therapy for prostate cancer, so nice to know I still able to do my run/walk thing. Slower than I used to be, but I’ll take it! My friend Patrick walked the 5K and he averaged 14-minute miles walking, jeez. Speedy walker!
AFTER MY FINISH: Got some water and a banana, relaxed a little, and then wandered around chatting with friends and other participants and getting some “happy finisher” photos. Everyone seemed in a pretty good mood and, given what this event is for, there were quite a few inspirational people out there. Makes you really reflect on just how lucky you might be, even if you do have your own issues to deal with. Age group awards to the top overall finisher in each category and overall awards to the top man and woman finisher and the top Master’s man and woman. All finishers did get a finisher medal. Great weather for it too; sunny, around 60 degrees at start time, low humidity. Felt like Fall was actually here; for a couple days anyway.
Epilogue: Very nicely done event. Nice venue, nice course, nice quality race shirt, finisher medals for all, and lots of post-race goodies that included a couple types of breakfast tacos, water and Gatorade, a selection of various fruits, and other items. Several vendors there also giving away freebies and there was a raffle drawing for various prizes, including the top prize of a $100 H-E-B gift card. I got nada, that’s the way my luck goes, so probably a good thing I don’t gamble anymore, lol. There was also a costume contest. This is the first time I’ve done this event. I would definitely do it again and would recommend it to others.
MUCHO THANKS TO: Now You See Me Foundation for this really inspiring event and for all the work they and their volunteers must have put it to get this one done; the park police officers out there for our safety; all the sponsors that supported this one so we participants could have this event; iaap race management for its usual great job of course setup, timing, results, etc.; all the food preparation folks – nice goodies, thanks! – and anyone else involved I may not have mentioned here. Thank you all so much!