Photos are here:
Before The Start: My 22nd race of 2022 was the District 4 Heroes 5K held at Palo Alto College. This was the series finale 5K of the year of San Antonio Sports Family Fitness 5K, a series of 5K events put on over the year by San Antonio Sports in coordination with various local city elected district councilors. These are free races for those who want to do it untimed and only $5 for those who want a timed result, so pretty reasonably priced, and very popular. District City Councilwoman Dr. Adriana Rocha Garcia, Ph.D., hosted this event, with San Antonio Sports doing the administrative duties for race registration, packet pickup and more. Top-notch local race management company iaap did the timing and provided the results for the timed 5K. San Antonio Sports provides the community a whole series of various events over the year, including not only running and walking, but also soccer, basketball, volleyball, and more; and also provide various training videos with a purpose to “transform the community through the power of sport.” They are very good at what they do. I arrived a bit late – should have gotten my lazy dog-self up earlier, lol. – arriving at Palo Alto around 7:30 a.m. – race start time of 8 a.m – do the parking lot was pretty much full-up. Thankfully I had picked up my packet before race day. I finally did find a spot and got down to the start/finish area – jam packed with participants, vendors, sponsors, etc – and got a few photos before start time.
On The Course: I chose to do the timed 5K. The course was two laps via various campus roads and parking lots. I am not a big fan of 2-lap courses, especially after you start doing the 2nd lap all you think of is ‘where is that darn finish line?” lol, but after seeing the campus, I understood the reason for it. In the 28 years I’ve lived in San Antonio this is the first time I’d ever visited Palo Alto. It is a fairly small campus so San Antonio Sports had to lay out the course with whqt they were given to work with and they did a good job with that. With as many people as were registered, the course was well-laid out to accommodate all these people, with plenty of maneuvering room for everyone, which the faster front-runners probably appreciated as on their second lap on the way to their finish, they had to pass several slower participants – like me, lol – who were still doing the first lap. The overall winner did this course in something like 16 minutes and change, which is amazing considering how many runners and walkers he must have had in front of him on that 2nd lap. So, well done, San Antonio Sports, well done. As for me, between my current prostate cancer treatment and an adductor muscle issue, I ran slower than butter being melted on an ice cube, lol. Since my pacemaker implant – which my body is still adjusting to a bit, I’ve usually done 11 – 13 minutes miles; today it was more like 13 to 14 minute miles, as I forced myself to go slower and took a couple extra walk breaks than I normally do so I did not make that adductor worse. I’ve had a torn adductor muscle in the past it is NOT fun and has a fairly long recovery time.. It was pretty darn warm and humid out there too. May is usually our Spring weather in Texas, but today the temp was predicted to get pretty close to 100 – crazy – and it was in the upper 70s when we started. Also, very little shade on the course but, as noted, S.A. Sports had to lay out the course with what they were given to work with. The only “hill” we had on the course was basically just a not-too-long up incline; mostly the course was pretty flat. There were speed-bumps on the course – which S.A. Sports warned us about in message traffic and on race day so we were aware; from where I was at any given moment I never saw anyone trip over any of them. I managed to eke out a chip finish time of 44:05, averaging 14:11 minute miles, better than I expected, I figured pre-start it would take me about 48 minutes with all my ongoing stuff I finished 11th in my males 60 – 69 age group out. At 68 years old, I also made my 2 primary race goals whenever I do a race: finish standing up, and no ambulance waiting specifically for me at the finish, lol. There were 548 total timed finishers for this one (I counted them all in the listed results, lol).
After My Finish: FIRST, get some hydration back in me and something to eat. I got a banana and a Gatorade and a bottle of water and then found a nice place to sit without the sun shining directly on me and just relaxed for a bit. When I hear music behind me, I realized I sitting at the back of the ‘trailer” which was serving as the MC and awards stage. A young lady came and near me on the other end of the ‘bench” I was on and I recognized her as our Race Director – had met her at an event last year. She was busy writing and I saw she was filling out the names of the age group winners for the awards, so I did not bother her. We each just sat there quietly doing our own thing and it saw quite peaceful and relaxing. After I got my intake, felt much better and then went wandering around chatting with friends and getting various post-race photos an watched the awards given out. Thanked every volunteer and San Antonio Sports person I encountered. We participants get up fairly early to do the events, but these people have to be there super-early to get everything ready for us. So I always try to thank them when I encounter them.
Epilogue: Very well-organized event at a nice location. San Antonio Sports did their usual great job with this event, as they do with all their events, iaap quickly provided race results. Lots of vendors/sponsor tents, etc., at this one, so some nice post-race goodies and some nice freebies from the sponsors. I would certainly do this one again – hopefully with cooler weather next time, lol – and would recommend it to others. Mucho thanks to everyone who made this one happen for us: San Antonio Sports, iaapweb, the many sponsors, all the police officers out on the course for our safety, the EMT folks that were there (I think I saw two), Palo Alto staff for the use of the campus grounds; the musical group there that entertained us, and anyone else I may not have mentioned here. Thank you all.