Photos are here:
Before The Start: My 51st race of 2022 was the Closing the Gate on Drugs Young Marines 5K held on Oct 22 at Rodriguez Park in San Antonio. I was scheduled to do the Mission 4 Hope 5K at Eisenhower Park but, since I did not pay attention, didn’t realize it was a 9 a.m. start; for some reason I thought it was a 7:30 start. Well, shoot, I did not want a race start time of that late – especially as I was signed up for a 2nd race in the evening – so figured, well, guess I won’t be doing a 5K this morning, but then found this one on line. I don’t live too far from Rodriguez Park – about a 20-minute or so drive – so got some cash for Race Day Registration and then zipped on down to the race location. Nice bonus is that my friends Ed and his son Peter were the ones putting on this 5K. After I arrived, I encountered my friend Ralph, who also did this one. Got my bib and then got a few photos before the start.
On The Course: Pretty small event, with maybe 25 or so participants. I jokingly told everyone they did not have to worry about last since I was there, and I turned out to pretty much be correct, lol. Ralph and I started together behind everyone else, but he was pretty soon way ahead of me. Also, it probably did not help that I stopped to give treats to a couple of dogs that were out walking their humans. For the most part, I had the whole trail all to myself, so I just kicked back and enjoyed it. The trails at Rodriguez Park – which is located just off the Enrique Barerra Memorial Highway aka Old Highway 90 – are really nicely done ‘greenway’ trails like most of the parks now in San Antonio. The course was very wide and pretty flat, with one not-too-bad downhill. River (or creek) to our left as we went along. Lots of shade in this park with all the treelines. The loop we did on this trail brought us back to the parking lot. We went past the start/finish line, then did an out-and-back in another part of the park near some soccer fields. We then went back the way we had come – passing the start/finish area – and then went on another trail – this one off-road, unpaved, but really nice to run on. After we exited this trail, we then proceeded to the finish line. This park is fairly small – and isolated from other parks – so for what Ed had to work with to make this course a 5K, he did a very good job at it. I ended up finishing in 36:30 – woohoo, haven’t seen that time in quite a while since before I started my prostate cancer treatment – and felt pretty good the whole way. Someone told me it was a tad short; maybe, but not for me, lol. I had 3.12 – probably because I often run BACK on the course in the direction I’d just come to treat a dog or get another photo – I did that twice on this course – so I usually end up with 3.1 or slightly longer even if the actual course is a bit short. Anyway, whatever it was, nicely thought out; I liked it. We also had a couple of out-and-back, so I did get to interact with people on the course, even at my slow pace, lol.
After My Finish: For a smaller event they sure did this one up nicely. Post-race sausage wraps and beer, water, and the Young Marines were even handing out various types of candy – lollipops, candy bars, etc – to those that wanted them…Trick or Treat! There was even a music group before and after, providing us some entertainment, nice. Epilogue: Ed told me he literally put this one together in about 2 weeks, awesome! Of course, didn’t make for much time to get a lot of people registered. Even so, very nicely done event with a nice goody bag, very good quality race shirt, and reasonably priced too. Really nice race