Photos are here:
Before The Start: My 52nd race of 2022 was the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) 5K held on October 22, 2022 at 5 pm. in McAllister Park, San Antonio. This was my 2nd event of the day after doing a 5K in the morning. This is a very popular annual 5K put on by top-notch race management company iaap. This year the event had 333 finishers, which is half of 666…spooky, huh? The weather was cool for my morning 5K, but by 5 pm our Texas warmth had come back with a temp in the 80s, humidity climbing, and plenty of sunshine. I arrived with about an hour to go to start time and enjoyed chatting with friends and other participants and getting a few pre-start photos. Lots of participants and supporters dress up in all kinds of really imaginative Day of the Dead themed costumes. There was also a Kids Race.
On The Course: iaap is really good about laying out courses that often help the runners and walkers. This course was laid out so along the route we had abundant shade as we went along. Mcallister Park is full of shade trees that go alongside the majority of the trails there, making for some very nice running and walking. We could still feel that warmth but from what I saw, I think most of the participants were fairly comfortable as they went along. I did my usual 8 minutes run/2 minutes walk intervals, taking photos during my walk intervals. After we came off the trails, we then had to do an out-and-back portion on one of the park roads and then headed for the finish. I jokingly told iaap that the final out-and-back was a bit annoying, lol, as when you get to the end of the trail, mentally you just want to turn left and go to the finish, but you have to do that out-and-back first, darn the luck. Even so, the course is very nicely laid out by iaap to accommodate all the runners and walkers, trying to make us feel as comfortable as possible and give us maneuvering room. Iaap did very well with this. I ended up with a finish time of 44:25 chip time, averaging 14:18 per mile – I was trying to take this one a bit easy, after pushing myself a bit at my morning 5K – and, surprisingly, I did end up with negative splits doing Mile 3 in 12 minutes, jeez; guess I was ready to be done, lol.
After My Finish: Fun times. This is a really nice after-party event, with grilled Kiolbassa sausages, Alamo Beer, ample water, and various other goodies. I enjoyed some of the goodies as I went around post-race getting photos I call “Happy Finisher Photos” as more people seem to be smiling after they are done than before-and-during, lol. Stayed until just about everyone else had left, that is how much fun this event can be. I’ve done this one often in the past and will continue to do it in the future – and especially now, as my cancer treatment is almost done and I am feeling stronger and better a little bit more every day, thank the Lord and my great oncology doctor and staff members taking care of me.
Epilogue: One really fun and very imaginative event put on excellently by iaap. DJ music and sound from friend Paul; a really fun MC, my friend Anthony, who keeps everyone entertained; one of the best-ever MCs I have ever encountered, and the is quite the runner too in his own right, very speedy and talented; really nice quality and unique race shirt and the finisher medal for all finishers is quite unique too; very nice course at a great venue; nice post-race goodies; and very entertaining participants too. I definitely recommend this one to others. Much thanks to iaap;, our MC Anthony and DJ Paul; the park police officers out there for our safety; all the sponsors that made this on possible for we participants; and on a personal note: thanks so much to my iaap friend and co-owner of iaap, Cecilia, who put on the race bib the name of my very best running friend, Bernadette, who passed away of cancer on Dec 5, 2021. When I picked up my packet, pulled out the bib and saw that….I admit the tears flowed for a while, bringing back so many memories of the race times we had together. Every race I do, sometimes I still find myself looking around for her. I took an old race photo of her and me together and had some buttons made up with that photo on the buttons. I took some to the race to let other people have one if they wanted it; and every button was taken, that is how popular and so well-known Bernadette was in our running community. I was so touched about how her fellow runners responded…I admit the tears flowed again before I went home. I miss her every day, at every race I do, and carry her with me on the button…and sometimes I think I can almost ‘feel’ her with me as I run. Thank you, Cecilia, for the bib, and thank you, my running community members and supporters for your respect, love and friendship for my late friend.