Photos are here:
BEFORE MY START: My 9th race of 2022 was the Chocoholic Frolic held on Saturday, March 5, 2022 at the grounds of River City Community Church. This venue, long ago, used to be the Verizon Amphitheater grounds where concerts and various other functions were held. I saw Aerosmith in concert here, way back when. Race start time of 9 a.m. Weather was cloudy/overcast and pretty windy, with a temp of 65 degrees at the start time. Forecasters predicted it might drizzle on us a bit, but that did not happen. After we started the sun actually came out, making for a warm, humid run/walk. I arrived with about 45 minutes to go until start time and got a few pre-start photos.
ON THE COURSE – The 5K started exactly on time. We ran on asphalt surfaces, with the route taking us on a kind of winding course through the church parking areas. We started near the amphitheater on the grounds. Our first mile took us down a long but not-too-steep hill. We then made a turn onto one of the parking areas and did a little winding around that. This took us out to one of the church parking lot access roads. After going along this road we made a turn and did an out-and-back on another road. Going to the turn-round we went right into a wind that was gusting off-and-on – like a big invisible hand pushing against your face; made for some tough running at times. This would be the way it was for just about all the course, as we threaded around the church parking lots and access roads, sometimes with the wind at our backs, sometimes with it right in our faces. Even so, I was just happy it was not cold; I am not a fan of cold weather and this was the first race I did not have to dress in layers, after doing for 4 weeks in a row before this race, 4 weekend 5Ks that had temps of around 37 degrees at the start. Yeah, give me this 65-degrees anytime over that cold stuff. I felt pretty good the whole way and did my usual run/walk thing, taking photos during my walk breaks. I don’t go fast, averaging about 12 – 13 minutes per mile. Used to be faster (10 min miles) but this prostate cancer treatment (radiation, injections, etc) I am currently getting has slowed my body down a bit as I deal with it. So, slow or not, just happy I can be out here at all. For this one, I was on track to finish at around 37 minutes; but along the last half-mile there were a few horses with their colts along the way, watching us proceed along, so I took a couple extra walk breaks to get photos. These were horses penned near the local Retama Horse Racing stadium, so I wonder if, as race horses, they were watching us and thinking “Huh, these humans THINK they are running” lol. Anyway, extra stops affected by time, but what the heck, I had fun, and I met my two primary goals when I do a race: finish standing up and no ambulance waiting for me at the finish. I ended up with at time of 39:10, averaging 12:34 per mile. After I finished, I stood near the finish line and got a few photos of others coming in.
AFTER MY FINISH – Got some water and enjoyed a post-race Krispy Kreme chocolate donut, and just relaxed for a few minutes. After that, enjoyed wandering around, chatting with friends, and getting some ‘after’ photos. No age group awards for this one, awards to the overall finishers, if I remember correctly. I was surprised they did not have awards for the Masters overall winners too, but I don’t think they did. I may be mistaken on that, though. Anyway, enjoyed my post-race time with current friends and made new friends; lots of smiles and fun for me.
Epilogue – They had a pretty nice turn-out for this one. I’m not sure how many actual finishers there were, but it was quite a large crowd at the start line. I am estimating maybe anywhere between 100 – 300 participants. Very nice finisher for this one and a very nice long-sleeved zip-up pullover shirt too. I would do this one again and would recommend it to others.
MUCHO THANKS TO: All the people that made this one happen for us; all the sponsors, the many volunteers out there for us, local race management company iaap for course set up, timing, results, etc; Race Roster for the timing and results; Mary, our contact person for this event and I think the overall Race Director; the pro photographers out there taking race photos – much better than mine, I am sure, lol – and our race director Tony Garcia, who gave us a new course route this year which, in my opinion, is mucho better than the old one, so I hope they keep using this one. If I missed anyone involved, my apologies. Thanks to everyone who made this one happen for we participants!