Photos are here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/UGCdTqm7moEZeRK56
Before The Start: My 57th race of 2022 was the Endeavors Veterans Day 5K, held on Saturday, Nov 12, 2022. There was also a 2K walk and a 10K. This event was held at HemisFair in downtown San Antonio. The race supports the Endeavors Veteran Wellness Center which provides a variety of services for veterans and their families. It currently serves 105 countries via 11 center locations, including one in San Antonio on De Zavala Road, which is the corporate headquarters. This event had a nice turnout on a cold-and-windy day -by South Texan standards anyway – with 121 finishers for the 5K and 58 finishers for the 10K. Race start time of about 8:30. I am so thankful I picked up my packet earlier in the week, because race day dawned with a temp of 37 degrees – feels like 34 – and the wind was blowing like crazy, making it feel even colder. I am a cold-weather wimp, lol; when it gets below 50 degrees I layer up. This morning I was wearing 3 layers, a warmer pair of gloves, and a cold-weather cap, which is saying a lot for what the weather felt like for me because I absolutely hate wearing hats. I arrived with about 45 minutes before start time and got a few pre-start photos.
On The Course: The 5K started on Alamo Street in front of the entrance to HemisFair. After going down Alamo Street for a bit, then turned onto South St. Mary’s Street. A right on Eagleland Drive took us onto a bridge that got us on the San Antonio Riverwalk heading in the direction of the Blue Star Arts complex. We stayed on the Riverwalk, going past King William District; behind the H-E-B headquarters area (what used to be the old San Antonio Arsenal) and then up from the Riverwalk to Nueva Street and began heading for the finish. A turn onto Presa Street and then turn onto a shorter street that took us back to Alamo Street for the final turn that took us to the finish. Nicely laid-out course with some nice views along the Riverwalk. I ended up finishing the dreaded 4th in my 60-69 males group, chip time 42:21, averaging 13:38 per mile. Mile 3 was a negative split for me as I did that mile almost nonstop all the way, something I have not done in a while. Yay for the end of my prostate cancer treatment, which I finished on the Wednesday before this race.
After My Finish: Got some water, did a short cool-down walk and got some photos around the start/finish area. We gathered in the HemisFair area for the awards being given out and also heard a pretty motivating talk from retired Major General Al Flowers (over 46 years of service) and another motivating chat from an officer who was injured in an IED incident and went through one of the Endeavors program; he was quite inspiring, surviving what he went through. Enjoyed the awards ceremony, as many of my friends placed, and continued to get a few more photos post-race. Lots of military-associated people at this event and we all had a story. It was interesting to hear some of the personal military-life experiences of the participants with whom I chatted – wow, just wow – and it was nice being with a group of people who know exactly where you were coming from and can relate to what you experienced.
Epilogue: Very nice event – aside from the weather, but I don’t think we can bribe Mother Nature, lol, she’s definitely into doing her own thing – with great participants. Very nicely laid out course; really nice quality race shirt; nicely designed finisher medals to all finishers; and lots of post-race goodies available – some for purchase – as the Veterans Day Parade was happening later in the day so there were several nearby food-and-drink booths. I am definitely going to put this one on my race calendar as “Keeper” and do it again. I most certainly would recommend it to others. The people I personally met who were affiliated with the Endeavors Wellness Center were all great, and you could tell they really cared a lot about what they do, helping veterans and their families. Mucho thanks to all involved who made this one happen for we participants: Lisa Soler and her crew from Soler Sports; iaap for course setup, timing, and results; all the many police officers along the route for our safety; all the event sponsors: Loyal Source; Visionlink.org; Target Hospitality; Sendero; Securitas; USAdvisors; Victory Supply; and any others involved I may not have mentioned. Thank you all!