2023 Race 2, River Road Run 5K

Photos are here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/kguKkjQDj1QYxnReA

Before The Start – My 2nd race of 2023 was the River Road Run 5K put on by local race company Scallywompus.  The River Road run is the first in a series of 4 “Hill Country” races. One can register for each race individually or all 4 at the same time and get a nice discount on the registration price.  As I am still in the early recovery stage after completing my prostate cancer treatment, I register for each of these individually for now, as I am still dealing with a few treatment side-effects, and some days I just don’t want to do anything, lol.  Race location was in Comfort, Texas, about 40 or so miles from San Antonio.  Start and finish at the grounds of Hill Country Distillers in Comfort.  The event included a half-marathon, 10K, and 5K.  The weather was pretty cooperative, although it was very humid – 61 degrees and 96% humidity; my kind of race, lol, because I’d rather be warm than cold – causing a lot of fog to roll in first thing in the morning – the drive for me from San Antonio up to Comfort was crazy, with very thick fog all over the road; for a minute there, I thought a bunch of pirates were going to start coming out of it; and if you get that movie reference, then you are old as me, lol. I managed to make it safely IN COMFORT 😉 – arriving at race location in time to see the half-marathon folks starting off.  After that, got a few photos before next two races started.

On The Course:   As noted, all courses started and finished at the Hill Country Distillers grounds.  All were out-and-back. For the first part of the course, all events started on a fairly narrow sidewalk on the ground which took us out to a street where we made a left turn and got onto asphalt roads.  All courses then made a right turn at the first intersection, went down another road, and then made a left turn, which took us into a local neighborhood.  This road had a down incline – which was an up incline on the way back, and this was the only hill for the 5K; I think the 10K and half had some actual steep hills, from what those participants told me later. After going down this incline, the rest of the 5K course was fairly flat.  We proceeded down the road, making a right turn onto another pretty flat road – where some idiot truck drive with no patience decided he was going to get around all these participants and tried to pass everyone on the grass by the side of the road, nearly running into a couple of participants ahead of him who had moved over when everyone gave the “Car Back!” shout-out; thankfully lots of fellow runners around who warned them, so they got out of Mr. Idiot’s way safely without getting hurt.  Aside from that doofus, all other drivers on the course were pretty patient and accommodating for us.  After going down this road, we made a left turn onto another pretty flat road.  After going down this road, we made a right turn and went down a short slope – nothing you could really call a hill – where there was a water stop, and the 5K turn-round just past it.  There was a pretty good hill beyond the 5K turn-round point, and I saw one of my friends, who chose to do the 10K, coming down that hill on the way to his finish, so I assumed that was the part of the course where the hills began for the 10K and half folks. I gave a shout-out to my speedy friend as he passed me on his way to his 10K finish.  I stopped to get a photo of the water-stop volunteers and thank them; and then continued on.  The 5K course back to the finish was exactly the same way we had come out.  There were 6 people in my 65 – 69 age group and I ended up dead last in it, lol, with a chip time of 41:54, averaging 13:29 per mile. Was I happy with that? You bet! I only have two race goals: Finish standing up, and no ambulance specifically waiting for me, lol.  People often tell me if I quit stopping on the course to take photos, I might even place someday; however, can’t run non-stop any more, or I would not be able to do anything after, with this spinal arthritis, cuz I wouldn’t be able to move at all, lol; and I have fun doing the photos and interacting with the other participants out there. I am just as happy as a blind pig that found an acorn that I can still do any running at all, so it’s all good.

After My Finish:   Cool-down walk, get rehydrated a bit, and then enjoyed interacting with fellow finishers and race supporters, the volunteers, and the sponsors/vendors.  Scallwyompus always throws a fantastic after-party; lots of post-race goodies, beverages for both adults and the kiddies; and I took care of the treats for the dogs attending.  I was quite popular with the dogs, lol.  As I continued walking around, some of the dogs, when they saw me, tried to start heading my way; their poor humans holding their leashes, got some arm-lift exercise, lol. It was a very fun after-party, with lots of smiles and laughs; one reason I call my after-the-race photos the “Happy Finisher” photos; more participants seem to be smiling after the race than before it or on the course.  My friend Woody and I were just about the last participants to leave. We went across the street to the 8th Street Market and had a nice lunch on their outside porch.  The food is really good, very reasonably priced, and the staff is super-friendly.  After lunch, we wandered around for a bit in the market part of the store – mostly antiques, and some painting and sculpture, old-time furniture, etc. It has some pretty interesting – and some definitely funny and odd – stuff in there; felt like I was back in the Waltons era, lol.

Epilogue:   Scallywompus races are very popular, with nice turn-outs.  There were 122 finishers for the half-marathon; 168 for the 10K; 296 for the 5K; and 12 for the 5K walk, for a total of 598 finishers; and probably more had registered but were possibly no-shows for whatever reason. The motto of Scallywompus is “Come for the race. Stay for the Party.”  They are not kidding. Tons of post-race goodies, including Alamo beer and other adult beverages; sausage-on-a-stick, various fruits, lots of bottled water, and more. Hill Country Distillery is a nice location for an event, with large grounds, restrooms, various types of games on the grounds including the beanbag Cornhole toss, which the kids there were really enjoying; lots of seating with picnic tables, nice stage for announcing, and the awards, and lots more.  Very nice coffee shop and antiques store quite close to the Distillery, where you can get morning coffee, breakfast if you want it – my friend Woody and I had lunch there after the race – and do some shopping too, if you are so inclined. Very friendly staff.  Unique finisher medals to all, and a very nice quality long-sleeved shirt; also unique Scallywompus awards of glasses to all the placers.  If you’ve never tried a Scallywompus event, I would definitely recommend you do so, you will not regret it. Mucho thanks to all the folks who made this one happen for we participants: All the Scallywompus staff; our race Director Tony Garcia; Scallywompus co-owner Bart Childers; Paul, our music and sound guy, Anthony Zamora, our Super MC for the event; all the many volunteers for packet pickup, race day, on course, etc; Hill Country Distillers; Pushbutton Photography, police officers there for our safety – I saw a couple checking on us on the course – the lead cyclists for those speedy up-front runners; and, of course, all the sponsors whose support helped make this one happen, and anyone else involved I may not have mentioned here.  Thank you all so much!  See you at a future race, I hope!

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