Photos are here:
Before The Start: My 39th race of 2022 was the Winter In July 5K, held on July 23 at Martin Luther King Park in San Antonio. This event featured a 10 miler, a 10K, a 5K, and a Kid’s Run. Start time of 7 a.m. for the 10-miliers, followed by a 7:30 a.m. start for the 10K and 5K. Early start time appreciated as Texas has been having one heck of a heat-wave this summer; we’ve already had over 30 days this Spring and Summer where the temp has been over 100 degrees for the high. I do this event a lot, not only because my friend Rebecca puts this one on but lso because is raises funds for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis, TN. Back in my Air Force days when I was stationed near Memphis I did some part-time volunteering with St. Jude’s; some of the most courageous kids I’ve ever seen. These days, being treated now for my own prostate cancer, when I get a bit frustrated with it, all I have to do is think of those kids to get myself remotivated to keep carrying on. I had picked up my packet the day before so when I arrived at the course site with just under an hour to go I had plenty of time to chat with friends and other participants and get a few pre-start photos.
On The Course: All the courses were out-and-back. The 10-milers were already on their course as we 5K and 10K participants lined up for our start. Temp was around 75 degrees already. One nice think about MLK Park is the trails are pretty flat and there is a lot of shade along the way. It’s a very nice park in which to run, walk, or bike. At my slow pace, I lined up way in the back where I belonged. I did my usual 8-min run/2 min walk pacing, taking some on-course photos during my walk breaks. Even before I neared the 5K turn-around some of the speedier 10K and 5K leaders were already heading to the finish; some of those folks are really speedy! I just took it easy, enjoying myself and interacting with other participants on the course, and with one of the water-stop crews on the course. A very pleasant outing. I was 5th out of the 7 men in my 60-69 male age group with a chip time of 41:28, averaging 13:27 per mile, and met my two primary goals: finish standing up, and no ambulance waiting for me at the finish.
After My Finish: Did a cool-down walk back to my vehicle, then sat in it for about 10 minutes with the a/c one while I sipped my electrolyte water and munched on a protein bar. Ahhh, much better. Then it was back to the race area to partake of some post-race goodies – including one Shiner beer, very nice – and enjoyed chatting with friends and getting some post-race photos; what I call my ‘Happy Finishers” photos, lol, because people are smiling a lot more after they finish than before the start and on the course. There were some really nice post-race goodies too; the beer, various fruits, lots of water and a few other types of nonalcoholic drinks, Kiolbassa sausage wraps, and some of the vendors had a few goodies too like nutrition bars and various snacks. Wolfpack Running, a local running group, also had some really nice running shirts/singlets for sale too.
Epilogue: This is a very-well done event started by Race Director Rebecca, with timing done by local top-notch race management company iaap and help from e-Dragon Productions, another top-notch local race company. Great job done by them and our music/sound man Paul; our MC Tony, and the professional photographers on the course whose photos I am sure are a lot better than mine, lol. Thank you all for what you do so we participants can have this event. Also thanks to Burleson Beer Garden managers for allowing the pre-race day packet pickup to be held there. Nice quality race shirt, and a finisher medal to all finishers; a really nicely designed finisher medal. Mucho thanks to all the many volunteers, sponsors, vendors, all the people mentioned above, and anyone else involved I may not have mentioned here. I try to do this one every year and will continue to do so. I’d certainly recommend it to others.