Photos are here:
Before The Start: My 19th race of 2022 was the Gift of Life 5K on April 24th. There was also a 10K. This event benefits Transplants for Children San Antonio, which provides programs and services for families and children dealing with pediatric transplantation. This was my 2nd 5K of the weekend, after having completed The Witte Museum Dino Dash 5K on Saturday, April 23rd at Brackenridge Park in San Antonio. The Gift of Life 5K/10K was held at Lady Bird Johnson (LBJ) Park in San Antonio, with a 9:15 a.m. start for both. A top local race management company and running store iRun Texas did the course set-up, with timing and results provided by Split Second Productions. I live fairly close to LBJ Park, so was able to sleep in a bit. I had previously picked up my race packet so when I got to the park I wandered around chatting with friends and other participants and got a few pre-start photos.
On The Course: Sunny morning with some cloud cover, a temperature of 70-something degrees with humidity to match. 10K and 5K all participants all started together. Got some course instructions from Mitch Allen of iRun Texas, and then we were off. Both courses were out-and-back. We did a loop around the circular road near the park’s pavilion and then headed down an incline to access the park’s paved trails (concrete). The course did have non-participating users in the park, other cyclists, walkers and runners, so we had to be aware of those. At any given moment where I was, the cyclists I encountered all called out as they were coming up behind me so I could move over, so that was nice. Hopefully everyone got that courtesy from them. We followed the paved trails, with a couple of inclines along the way – nothing you could really call a hill, at least for the 5K; I know the 10K folks did have a couple of hills since I’ve done races before on the route they would be on. Both 5K and 10K participants proceeded on the trails, going past the Los Patios area and then to the 410 frontage road. This was the turn-round for the 5K participants. The 10K participants proceeded across the frontage road and did the trails on the other side, taking them down to a turn-round near Austin Highway, and then they came back the way they had come out. After having done a 5K the day before, I went at a fairly slow pace for this one – behaving myself per my instructions from my oncology doctor, lol, as I fight my prostate cancer. He told me back-to-back events for the weekend were okay, but take it easy for at least one of them, so I tried to behave; tried being the operative word, lol. Between having my pacemaker implanted in Aug 2019, and my cancer treatment starting back in Sep this year, I pretty much do between 12 and 13 minute miles, and do an 8-minute run/2 minute walk thing due to my spinal and hip arthritis. So, since I pushed my Saturday 5K a bit, decided to shoot for 14 minute miles for this one and be a “Clairol Runner” – nice and easy, and stop a bit more to take a few more on-course photos than I usually do. Mile 1: 12 minutes and change, uh oh. Mile 2: 13 minutes and change, better. Mile 3: 13 minutes and change too, but it was a negative split….bad dog, bad dog! Even so, I felt pretty good overall, so don’t know if I am just getting stronger again as I beat this cancer – which I am doing – or I simply just can’t behave, lol. Probably a combination of both. Anyway, finish time of 41:22 per my garmin (my chip time may be a bit faster but have not seen the chip-time results posted yet) averaging 13:18 per mile….so I kinda behaved.
After My Finish: I got a few photos of some others coming into the finish line and then sat with a friend for a few moments, relaxing and chatting and then did a walk-about, chatting with other participants and friends and getting some “Happy Finishers” and supporters photos. Also treated several doggies to the dog biscuits I carry with me when I run and made several new 4-legged friends, lol. Awards were overall male and female in each age group, If I remember correctly. All participants did get a finisher medal. Some nice eats too; there was a local eatery – I think it was El Chapparal Restaurant – providing a nice plateful of food to those who wanted it; and one lady had popsicles, nice. Also, lots of water, various fruits, etc. Several vendors had give-aways and there was also a raffle for San Antonio Spurs tickets, including a prize of season tickets. Post-race was pretty nicely done. Right near the start/finish area there was also a dog park at the LBJ park, and our music guy cracked me up when he played “Who Let The Dogs Out.” Well….my wife, for one. 😝
Epilogue: Participant-wise, this was a fairly smaller event – maybe 100 or so? – but very nicely done. Pretty nice course with lots of shade along the way – nice on a warm day – water stop on the course (what, no beer? 😉 ) and the Los Patios area even had indoor restrooms available if you needed a ‘pit stop’ at that point. As noted, finisher medals to all, and the race shirt is very nice quality tech tee. I hope this one grows – and grows enough where they might even have to move to a venue for a larger crowd – because it certainly is a great cause. I would definitely do this one again and would recommend it to others. Mucho thanks to iRun Texas, all the sponsors for this one, and the vendors who purchased tables to support this one, the park police officers out there for our safety, all the many volunteers, our music guy, and anyone else I my not have mentioned here. Thank you all!