Photos are here:
Before The Start: My 27th race of 2022 was the La Paleta 5K held on May 28th at Mission County Park in San Antonio. Put on by Andiamo Race Productions, this event had a total of 225 finishers. Nice and early race start time of 7:30 a.m. on a San Antonio warm-weather day, with the temp already heading to the 70s as all the participants began to gather. I had picked up my packet the day before so when I arrived with about 40 minutes to go until race time I wandered around chatting with other participants and getting a few pre-start photos. Before the start there was a warm-up session put on by Camp Gladiator and then a young lady beautifully sang the National Anthem. We then lined up to get going.
On The Course: The course was an out-and-back along the San Antonio Riverwalk. When you access the Riverwalk at County Mission Park 1, there are two ways to go. If you turn right, the usual 5K course this way is a bit less hilly and it is a bit more ‘open’ – not as much overgrowth along the banks of the river so you get some nice views of the water and spaces along the riverwalk. If you turn left, you go onto the very hilly 5K round. There are some nice views of the river, but there is also a lot of brushy growth along this way that does block some of the river views. There was a ‘staggered’ start, letting about 10 – 15 participants head onto the course about 1 minute or so apart, since the Riverwalk path can get a bit crowded when there is a bunch of people on it. From my viewpoint in the back of the pack I could see participants turning left so, oh yay, the hilly course. I did my usual 8-minute run/2-minute walk thing and took photos during my walk breaks. I was a little worried about “side effects’ as I’d had my prostate cancer treatment on Thursday with an injection in my stomach, but none occurred thankfully, and I actually felt pretty good. I did better than I expected and actually did a negative spilt for Mile 3, which I have not done in quite a while. Mile 2, which was primarily where the steepest hills were, was my slowest mile. I ended up 2nd out of 6 in my 60-69 males age group with a chip time of 40:20, averaging 12:59 per mile, so slowly starting to get under my usual 13-minutes-and-change miles. I’ll take it.
After My Finish: First, get a bottle of water and then just walked around for about 5 to 10 minutes, slowly sipping my water and cooling down. After that, went back on the side of the course near the finish line and got some photos of others coming in and cheering them on. Then got some post-race goodies and sat with friend Keys as we enjoyed some of that. Those goodies were nice too; included 3 kinds of breakfast tacos, nice and tasty cold paletas (popsicles) and there was even some beer I also wandered here-and-there, chatting with friends, treating any doggies there to the dog biscuits I had and, of course, getting some post-race photos. Age group awards were given to first mane and female in each age group and to the overall male and female. My friend Keys, 70+, was first in his age group.
Epilogue: Really well-done event put on by Andiamo Race Productions, with a somewhat challenging course – we had to go downhill to start and then, of course, climb back up that hill just before turning to the finish line – but also several scenic views of the river from those hills. Really nice after-party as described above and there was also singer performing post-race – The Reen – and he was really good, very enjoyable. Finisher medals to all and a really nice quality race shirt. Even the race timing bibs were quite nice. Mission Park 1 is always a nice place to have an event as it has shaded pavilions, indoor restrooms, water fountains, and lots of room for everyone. Definitely enjoyed this event and I certainly would do it again and recommend it to others.