Photos are here:
BEFORE MY START – Written Feb 12, 2022. My 5th race of 2022 was Cupid’s Chase 5K in San Antonio, held on Feb 12th at O.P. Schnable Park in San Antonio. Put on by nonprofit Community Options, Inc. the 5K is a fundraiser in support of persons with disabilities at one of 34 USA Track and Field certified race locations across ten states. The event takes place in February at various locations and dates in ten states across the country. I know this is primarily for those with various mental disabilities, but even so I try to do this one whenever I can because I was a disabled kid – a March of Dimes baby born with a birth defect of dislocated hips – and I had to wear for a while a pair of shoes with that bar that connects the two shoes – you may have seen that at times on some babies, young children – and then braces. So I try to do as many events for as possible for causes that support the disabled. My wife tells me not to use the term ‘disabled.” She says use the term ‘differing abilities’ instead. We all have differing abilities. I like it. I showed up for packet pickup at 8 a.m. and was ready to start at 9 a.m. However, my friend Sherri from Athlete Guild informed me it started at 10 a.m. I said, wait, I went to the Cupid’s Chase website and it said 9 a.m. She said, no, Athlete Guild announced it as 10 a.m., per the San Antonio office’s request. I checked my phone and found out she was right; and that when I looked it up, I had actually looked at the Cupid Chase info of a different state….duhhh. So I just hung around – and thankfully had some Cliff Bars in my car, so I could give myself a bit more ‘fueling” before the start – chatted with others there and sat in the car a bit to keep warm because Mother Nature had given us temps of 50+ degrees, but also wind gusts up to 22 mph, so it was darn chilly out there. I am currently being treated for some prostate cancer and for some reason – I think is’d because of the hormone therapy injections I am taking – I always seem to feel colder these days than I used to. That, and also probably because I’m older than dirt, lol. There were quite a few other races on this day, so we got a pretty nice turnout with a total of 115 finishers.
ON THE COURSE – So, 10 a.m. finally rolled around and we all got lined up. Mother Nature even blessed us with some sunshine but kept the wind going too. Once we got started though it was okay. The route was on paved trails in the park. it took us on an out-and-back in the park ad there are plenty of trees and off-road trails in the park, so the trees served as a pretty good windbreak for us for most of the course. We started from the park’s primarily pavilion, went up a long but not-too-steep incline. At the top, right turn and then down an incline for a bit. Left turn and down a steep hill, then flat for a bit, then another down incline. Then another up incline and another down incline. After that it was pretty much flat to the turn-round point. We rounded the cones and went back the way we had come out. This meant, of course, that now we had to climb up that first steep hill we’d come down, and then had a pretty steady uphill incline until we finally made the turn onto the first pavement we’d come out on. This got us back to the finish going downhill. I managed finish with a chip time of 38:51, averaging 12;30 per mile and was first in my male 65 – 69 age group; mainly because I was the only one IN my age group, lol. Even so, I’ll take it. I felt pretty good out there and did okay; I even managed to get negative splits. After I finished, I got a few finish photos of others that I had been running with and interacting with at various points on the course.
AFTER MY FINISH: Went to the car and got on a dry base layer, that wind was still going pretty strong and once I stopped moving, started getting a bit cold again. Then wandered here-and-there, chatting with friends/other participants and getting a few “happy finisher” photos. I call them happy finisher photos because more people seem to be smiling after they are done than before the start and on the course. A very nice group of people and enjoyed interacting with old friends and also making new friends. This event is also pretty close to University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), where I work. This was nice because it was only a short drive away, so I was able to stop at the UTSA gym and get a nice hot shower and change into the dry clothes I had brought, so did not have to drive home all wet-and-sweaty. Yes, even in cold weather I sweat like crazy when I run. That hot shower felt great too, after all that wind, lol.
Epilogue – Very nicely done event put on by some great volunteers and staff of the local office of Community Options. Really nice quality short-sleeved race shirt, very nice finisher medal and nice age group medal. Overall male and female runners got a nice trophy and each “first in age group’ got a nice medal. A friend told me they were planning to go 3-deep for the age group awards, but someone came along to the pavilion and took one of the bags of medals right off their table, jeez, how sad is that? Even so, the organizers pressed on, and did a great job with this event. As previously noted, I’ve done this one before and will do it again. I certainly would recommend it to others. MUCHO THANKS TO: Athlete Guild for their usual great race organization skills, course set up, timing, results, etc. Thanks also to the many volunteers out there and the Community Options folks there – made some new friends there, really nice people – and a big thank you to all the sponsors who helped make this event happen. We also had a park police officer on-site and a medical team – at my age, I appreciated that, just turned 68 a few days ago – and anyone else involved that I may not have mentioned here. Thank you all so much!