Photos are here:
BEFORE MY START – My 6th race of 2022 was the Be My Valentine 5K held on February 13 at McAllister Park in San Antonio, with a start time of 9 a.m. This was my 2nd 5K of the weekend, after doing the Cupid’s Chase 5k on February 12. The weather for this one was much better than Saturday’s race weather, which was overcast and very winding, making it feel cold. Be My Valentine 5K had sunny skies and no wind. It was still chilly, with a temp around 41 degrees at start time, but all that sunshine sure made it feel better. I arrived at race site around 8:20 am, after a long drive of 10 minutes or so – I live 3 miles driving distance from the park. I’d picked up my race packet the day before so was good to go. Before the start I chatted with friends, got some pre-start photos, and sipped my water off-and-on. Even in cold weather, you still have to keep hydrated. This event is put on by local race management company iaap/Hurache Turbo which, in my opinion, is one of the top two race management companies in San Antonio, along with Scallywompus. This event is very popular each year and sold out this year. I don’t know if everyone showed up – it was pretty chilly, but the event had 284 finishers, per iaap’s online results listing, so a nice turnout on a chilly Sunday morning.
ON THE COURSE – For those of you familiar with McAllister Park, we started from the pavilion across from the soccer fields and down the street from the youth baseball field. After passing the baseball stadium area we went straight up the adjacent park road, heading toward Becken Pavilion. Before we got to Becken pavilion we made a left turn onto one of the off-road paved trails, then a quick right, and then a left onto another trail just down from Becken Pavilion. We followed this trail for a short distance until we came to our turn-round point and then went back to the start/finish the way we had come out. McAllister Park roads and trails for the most part are pretty flat – there are some hills in the park but you have to go find them – and we had no hills at all on this course, which was nice after my hilly 5K course on Saturday. Due to me currently being treated for prostate cancer, my medical team had recommended to me to stay as active as I can but also not to do 2 races in a weekend, during my treatment as it just might wear me out a bit too much; the hormone therapy I am receiving now, after having finished my radiation therapy, does wear me out a bit sometimes, so I get where they are coming from. However, this is one of my favorite races, so I did get permission to do this one – and the drive home for me is not long at all, lol – as long as I took it easy. So for this one I planned to shoot for positive splits, maybe take a few extra walk breaks – I do 8-min run/2 min walk due to my arthritis, can’t run nonstop anymore, tears me up too much – and get a few extra photos. This went pretty well for Mile 1 and Mile 2, and then I said to myself okay, I am ready to be done and got a negative split for Mile 3, lol. I ended up finishing in 39:59, averaging 12:52 per mile and finished 4th in my 60-69 males age group. Overall, I felt pretty good and am feeling a lot better these days than when I first started my radiation and hormone therapy. Once I finally finish my treatment – in Sep 2022 – I am hoping I will start getting back to my old running self again and then start doing a whole lot of races each year, like I used to do. Until then, I am just happy I can run at all and will take what I can get. Never give up! be
AFTER MY FINISH – First, got a bit of water. Then enjoyed a post-race Kiolbassa sausage and an Alamo Beer ‘Golden Ale”, nice. After that, wandered around chatting with friends and participants and getting some “Happy Finishers” and supporters photos. I call them “happy finishers’ because more people are smiling after the race than before and during, lol. Also had a pocketful of doggie treats, as this is a dog-friendly event, and those went pretty quick. I was quite popular with the dogs, lol. I also entered the costume contest. I may not have placed in my age group, but I did come out winner in the costume contest and got a nice little box of Valentine’s Day treats, sweet, and there was a cash prize too, which I did not expect at all, so a pleasant surprise.
Epilogue – Race Director Cecy throws a really nice party at her events. Entertainment included some dancers, and goodies included Kiolbassa Sausage and Alamo Beer. Very nice quality race shirts, really nice goodie bag and a nice finisher medal. Music played by a DJ and some sponsor tables and booths giving away a few freebies. If you have never done an iaap race, I encourage you to check out their online race calendar and give one a try. No doubt in my military mind that you won’t regret it. Also, their events are walker friendly and usually dog-friendly too.
MUCHO THANKS TO: All the people involved that made this one happen for we participants. Thanks so much it iaap, our MC Anthony Zamora; DJ Paul’, race director Ceci, who also was the official photographer at the finish line; the iaap crew out there who did the course setup, timing, results, etc. the park police officers out there for our safety; all the event sponsors; and anyone else involved that I may not have mentioned. Thank you all.