BEFORE MY START – My 3rd race of 2023 was the MLK 5K held on Sunday, January 15th at Martin Luther King Park in San Antonio. This is one of my “streak’ races; I have done every one of the ‘live” ones in person since this event first started. During the pandemic the event was not held live in 2022, so none that year. Good to be back at this event this year. Put on by the MLK Young Men’s Leadership Academy, this event had a nice return to ‘live’ with 522 finishers. Smart move to hold it on a Sunday, as there are much fewer events held on that day, so less competition from other local events for getting participants. A nice race starting time of 9 a.m. too, so got to sleep in a tad longer. I arrived on-site around 8:15 a.m. and wandered around chatting with other participants, friends, sponsors, vendors, etc., and getting some pre-start photos. BTW, An MLK race is also held in various other cities on various dates.
ON THE COURSE – The course was out-and-back paved trails in MLK Park. The weather was very cooperative, with abundant sunshine, just a tad of wind, and a temp in the mid-50s. I did my usual run/walk of 8-min run/2 min walk, and took photos during my walk breaks. This course is pretty much flat all the way, with a short incline just past the course water station on the way out to the turn-round, not something you could really call a hill. The worst part of the course for me personally was crossing twice – once on the way out, once on the way back – that darn bridge that goes over the river/creek. With this many people in the race, the darn thing SHAKES as people are crossing it, making me nervous it was going to kick in my vertigo, which thankfully did not happen, as I just took it easy crossing that thing. I was feeling pretty good today and got going pretty well. I even ran the majority of Mile 3 nonstop, foregoing one of my walk breaks, I was feeling so good. Out of 15 people in my 60-69 males age group, I ended up 7th, with a chip time of 40:03, averaging 12:50 per mile. I even did negative splits for this event, with Mile 3 being my fastest at 12:38. I have not seen that time in a while, so a pleasant surprise for my 2-month anniversary of finishing my 15 months of prostate cancer treatment back in November.
AFTER MY FINISH – First thing, did a cool down walk, got some water into me, and a banana, and then changed into a base layer dry shirt that I had brought to stay warm and cozy – I always seem to feel cold now, lol, since my cancer treatments began, so maybe one of the side effects for me – and put my long-sleeved race shirt back on. The weather could be in the 60s or 70s with people wearing short-sleeved shirts, and I am too, but also have a base layer under that top shirt, lol. Oh well, it is what it is, and I seem to do okay. I wandered around chatting with friends/participants/vendors, etc., and got some post-race photos. Also, of course, I treated the doggies that were there. Some of them even recognized me, lol, knew I had treats and came hauling toward me when they saw me, sometimes to the surprise of their humans. It was all good, and the humans were very nice about it. No award for me of course – did not expect one at my pace; but I met my two primary goals: finish standing up and no ambulance at the finish waiting specifically for me. Anything I get after that is a bonus!
Epilogue – This is a really well-done and well-organized event with a really nice course – except for that darn bridge; 😉 – and a very friendly group of participants all supporting and encouraging each other the whole way. Comedian Cleto was our MC for the awards and did a great job. Very nice quality long-sleeved race shirt; age group awards for the Top 3 in each age group, and awards for the overall finishers. Lots of vendors there giving away freebies and information about their various organizations. The park has been renovated too in the past couple of years, so now has a building with indoor restroom facilities, nice. This is one of my favorite events of the year. I certainly will continue to do it for as long as I am physically able – probably mentally too, lol – and I certainly would recommend it to others. If you have friends not on FB, they can find my event photos on my blog: Scottydog Reports, which I do just for fun – no ads, won’t sell you anything, etc, just a nice clean blog with all my race reports and photos.
MUCHO THANKS TO: All the sponsors, vendors, and volunteers that made this one happen for we participants; Mr. Brown, Principal of the Young Men’s Leadership Academy – great guy, by the way; our Race Director, whose name has popped right out of my head, so apologies to her, but she did great too; iaap for the course setup, timing, results; Cleto for his MC appearance and to our sound guy and DJ who also did a great job; officer Ken who was on site for us; the Young Men’s Leadership Academy band – and big kudos to the musician who played the National Anthem for us before the start – with a saxophone I think – and he did it awesomely; and anyone else involved that I failed to mention here. Thank you all!