Photos are here:
BEFORE MY START: My 13th race of 2022 was the Diploma Dash 5K held on March 26, 8 a.m. start, on the UTSA 1604 campus. We got beautiful weather for this one, with blue skies, sunshine, low humidity and a temp at start time of just around 60 degrees. Put on by the UTSA Alumni Association, this event supports scholarships for students. Very nice turn-out for this one too – 833 finishers. Start and finish was in front of the Convocation Center. I arrived with about 30 minutes to go to the start time and got a few pre-start photos.
ON THE COURSE: We started in front of the UTSA Convocation Center – primarily the university ‘arena’ for sporting events like basketball, volleyball, etc. – and then went onto a road heading in the direction of UTSA Boulevard. Just prior to UTSA Boulevard we made a left turn, going up a semi-long incline, and then made a turn onto a road that would take us toward the Alvarez College of Business building. However, before getting to that building, we had a diversion, going up the hill – in the direction of Valero Headquarters – that leads to the campus upper parking lot. We did not go quite all the way up the hill, but pretty darn close. At a turn-round point, we came back down the hill, mad a right turn, passed by the Main Building on our left, and then went down a service road, with the ACOB on our left. Right turn at the end of the service road, taking us past the UTSA ROTC building and North Paseo Building on our right, and then a turn that took us past the UTSA Campus police station, where a water stop was located. No beer, just water. 😉 . After that, right turn, and another fairly steep – but short at least – hill to climb, heading in the direction of the 1604 frontage road, with the Road Runner Café parking lot on our left. At the intersection after the hill, a right turn started us down this road, going in the direction that would take us near the area where UTSA HR is located on the western part of the campus. Another left turn and our route took us past the UTSA baseball field on our left, and another water stop (no beer there either 😉 ). We now had just a tad over a ½ mile to go….but wait…another hill to climb as we headed toward the traffic circle that is just up from the Child Center. Once we got up this hill, down to the traffic circle, a left turn, and then it was flat to the finish. The last part of the course took us on the road going past the parking lots near Campus Rec Center (on our left) and student housing (on our right). We turned left on the road that went past Campus Rec and just about right across the street from Campus Rec, we turned right – back into the Convocation Center parking lot – and headed for the finish line. Whew! I ended up with a 40:01 finish time, averaging 12:53 per mile. I was 9th out of 16 in my 65-69 males age group. I was one happy dog though, as I have been dealing with some ‘crud” in my system (non-contagious per my doc) and this is the first run in a couple of weeks that I actually felt almost like my old self again, so yay! The course is ‘challenging’ at certain parts, but well thought-out, with lots of room to accommodate everyone.
AFTER MY FINISH: I stood near the finish line for a few minutes and got a few photos of somoe of the people finishing that I had interacted with on the course. After that, went and got a dry shirt on, and then wandered around the post-race area enjoying some of the post-race goodies – and there were quite a few too; Kiolbassa sausage wraps (I smell my running friend Anthony’s hand in this, lol; he is a VP at Kiolbassa); Yeungling beer (I indulged in half a can), all kinds of drinks like orange juice, milk, chocolate milk, and more; and just lots and lots of various kinds of eats from chips to nutrition bars, cookies, and more. Diploma Dash folks throw one heck of a nice after-party. There was also a “DJ” playing tunes for us; Rowdy was there, letting people have photos with him – me included – and my friend April Ancira was our ‘host’ who did the post-race awards ceremony. There was also this ‘selfie’ camera where you got together for a photo, then pushed a button on it, and it would take a ‘selfie’ of you, your group, whomever. That was a very popular race feature, lots of people lining up for that. While enjoying all this, I also was wandering around taking photos here-and-there – including one of our department VP, Karl, and friends, and had to laugh because he got photo-bombed by Rowdy, lol, and didn’t even realize it at first. Fun stuff. And an enjoyable time was had by all.
Epilogue- One of my very favorite 5Ks to do during the year. I usually do a lot of 5Ks over the year. I did 50 last year and my all time high was 91 in 2018. I am only at 13 this year, mainly because my current prostate cancer treatment has slowed me down a bit – even though I did manage to do six 5Ks during my radiation treatment – but it’s all good, just happy I can still be out here running in any way, shape, or form. Out of the many 5Ks I complete each year – and I have never been DNF for any race I started in 37 years of running – I would rate the Diploma Dash right up there in my Top Ten. Very nicely organized, really nice people – volunteers, sponsors, and participants – dog-friendly and stroller-friendly event, nice quality race tee, very nice age-group award medals, and great race location. Definitely will keep on doing this one and long as I am able, and certainly would recommend it to others.
MUCHO THANKS TO: All the people that made this one happen for us: Alumni Association people – kudos to Steve Woodalll and his crew and all his volunteers – all the many sponsors for this event; UTSA campus police for being out there for our safety; April Ancira for being our MC for this one; local race management company iaap for the course set up, timing, results; and anyone else I may not have mentioned here. Thank you all so much!