2022 Race 38, BryceStrong 5K

Photos are here:


Before The Start:  My 38th race of 2022 was the Walk, Run, Have Fun BryceStrong 5K held on July 16 at the D. W. Rutledge Stadium in Converse, Texas. Put on by the Bryce Strong Foundation, this event is named for Bryce Wisdom, a young man and former Judson football player, who sadly died of kidney cancer at age 17.  He fought courageously and really touched the hearts of several people during his battle. Being a UTSA staff member, I knew of Bryce from his association with his brother, Rashad, a member of the UTSA football team. I also had the pleasure at packet pick-up of meeting Bryce’s oldest brother, Sean, a really great guy, and ended up staying at the pickup for a while as we chatted.    The stadium is an athletics/events facility of Judson Independent School District.  Nice early start time of 7:30 a.m.  Weather actually cooperated for us a bit and was a little cooler on this race-day than a few previous races I’ve done this year during a very very hot Texas spring and summer – we’ve already had over 35 days this season where the temp has been 100+.  I had picked up my packet the day before so after arriving, I wandered here-and-there chatting with other participants and getting a few pre-start photos, including one with my new friend, Sean.

On The Course: Start/finish was on school grounds, just outside one of the stadium access gates.  This was the 2nd year of the event. Considering, this was on the same day as the very popular San Antonio Road Runners women’s 5K and 10K, a pretty nice turn-out with 102 finishers.   Our route took us out to the front parking lot of the stadium,, then to the side parking lot, and then we proceeded on sidewalk off the stadium grounds.  We went up a long incline, then into another parking lot, circling around another building – which I think was a school property building, but not sure of that – and then back down the sidewalk the way we’d come out. Right turn back onto school grounds, putting us behind the stadium. This road took us to the course water-station and the halfway mark.  After passing the district buses parking lot, we went down another road that brought us to the soccer fields. This part of the course was natural grass, as we wound around the fields, which brought us back to a concrete walkway that took us back to the stadium.  We then entered a stadium gate to do one loop around the stadium track that surrounded the football field– really nice track, by the way – and then we took an exit gate – which was where the 3-mile marker was – and that put us back onto the stadium parking lot for the last short bit to the finish.  I was first in my 51 – 77 age group with a chip time of 41:49. I think all the others in my age group were walkers.

After My Finish:  Did a short cool-down walkabout and then went around chatting with other participants and friends and event supporters and got a few after-my-finish photos, including some of others coming into the finish.  My friends from Athlete Guild did the course setup, timing, and results.  It was nice to see them on this race day.

Epilogue: This is a smaller event right now – hopefully it will grow in the future – and very well done.  Easily accessible packet pick -up area and race area with plenty of parking for both – the stadium grounds are really large, which makes sense as Judson ISD is the 4th largest school district in Bexar County. The course was well thought-out, with both route and the safety of participants in mind. Really nice quality tech-tee race shirt. Lots of parking and great facilities with the use of the stadium – indoor restrooms, yay! I will definitely do this one again and certainly would recommend it to others. As a cancer survivor myself, and someone who is currently fighting a bout of cancer, I sure hope this one does grow.  It is a very worthy cause and the foundation makes a real effort to help those in need. Sean was telling me after the race about some of the things the foundation does to help people and it really is amazing how they try to connect and reach out to people in need. Give this one a try, I bet you will not regret it. Much thanks to all those who were involved in giving we participants this event; all the volunteers, Judson ISD authorities, Athlete Guild race management company, and of course, all the many sponsors; and anyone else involved I may not have mentioned here. Also a huge thanks to the Wisdom family and the Foundation-associated people who founded this event.  My heart goes out to the Wisdom family for their loss and my admiration goes out to them for turning this sad happening into something positive to help others. I bet Bryce in Heaven was right here along with us in spirit, cheering us all on.  Thank you all!           

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