Photos are here:
BEFORE MY START – My 17th race of 2022 was the Poteet Strawberry Festival 5K held on April 16th in Poteet, Texas ant the Poteet Fair grounds, about an hour’s drive from where I live in San Antonio. Race start time of 8 a.m. There was also a Kid’s Run, and a 1-Mile Berry Walk, and also a 5K Wheelchair division in which members of “Ainsley’s Angels” participated.. Since I am ‘directionally challenged”, even with directional devices lol, I made sure to leave pretty early to arrive on time. I arrived a little after 7 a.m., with plenty of time to drink a bit of water and get some pre-start photos. The event is held on the Poteet Fairgrounds, a week before the actual Strawberry Festival starts. Iaap, a very good San Antonio-based race management company, did the course set-up, timing, and results. 126 finishers, including 3 in the wheelchair division.
ON THE COURSE – Weather was humid (81% humidty) and overcast, no wind, with a temp of 70 degrees. The course was interesting, kind of a mix of loop and out-and-back, all done on paved roads. We started by going down a paved road toward one of the access gates, did a very short stint on part of a sidewalk and then went looped around one of the park’s paved roads, going up a fairly long but not too steep uphill. After coming to an intersection it was a right turn that took us down an incline to a long road as we headed to a turn-round point. We wound around this road for a while – and had another uphill incline along the way – finally getting to our turn-round point. We then headed back on this road the way we had come out. As we headed toward the finish, we now went up the down incline that started us on this road, passing by the street that had gotten us onto this road. After we crested the top of this incline I was then a flat and straight path to the finish line. My friend Ian and I had run a bit together on the course, and then he surged ahead of me on the finish line, letting me eat his dust, lol. I also ran for a bit towards the finish with my friend, Lizzie – the Race Director of the very popular San Antonio Confetti 5K – who is nice company on a run, enjoyed chatting with her as we went along. Out of the 8 people in my 60-69 age group I was dead last with a chip time of 39:56, which is okay, I met my two primary race goals: Finish standing up and have no ambulance waiting specifically for me at the finish.
AFTER MY FINISH – First, walked around a bit to cool down, and got some water in me. Got a few photos of some other finishers coming in, and then wandered around chatting with friends and getting more post-race photos. Two very nice lady volunteers let me sit for a bit on one of their chairs, relaxing, and gave me a very tasty “protein cookie” as a post-race treat. I am going to get some of those, that was one nice cookie. After my short break, more post-race photos and watching the awards ceremony – very unique age group awards for this one – and then went exploring around the fair grounds for a bit. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
Epilogue – This is a very nice venue for a race. Nicely paved road course, lots of pavilions, lots of restroom buildings, and lots of things to see, with the fairgrounds, the amusement park rides, several buildings with drawings on them, and so forth. There is a very nice finisher medal to all finishers and a nice quality race shirt. As noted, the age-group placers got some very unique awards. This is also a dog-friendly event.
MUCHO THANKS TO: the Poteet Fairgrounds staff for their hospitality; iaap for another quality event; the color guard for a nice presentation of the colors for the National Anthem; our excellent race director (his name went right out of my head) and all the race volunteers and all the sponsors that made this one happen for we participants; the police officers out there for our safety – there were work vehicles on the grounds as we were running – and anyone else involved I may not have mentioned here. Also, thanks to the EMT I talked to – I am supposed to take my blood oxygen level after I run, as I keep a log for my cardiologist, but forgot to bring my oximeter, but it was okay my pacemaker behaved well – I had a very enjoyable chat with him and his wife who was there; very nice guy. Thank you all so very much!