2023 Race 6, Stock Show and Rodeo Stampede 5K

Photos are here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/hNfnSRrM4kg36JXB8

Before The Start:  My 6th race of 2023 was the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo Stampede 5K held on February 4th, starting and finishing at Milam Park in downtown San Antonio, right near San Antonio Children’s Hospital.  . The race had  a start  time of 9:30 a.m – 0930 for we military related folks 😉 – so got to sleep in a bit more for this one.  This event; put on by the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo association raises scholarship funds for local area students. This is a very popular annual event for runners and walkers and this year was no exception, with 511 finishers.  After some miserably cold weather the previous week, Mother Nature gave us a break for this one, with sunshine and a temp in the low to mid 40s and very little wind.  I remember the one from last year was a lot colder, with a pretty stiff wind blowing, so this was a very  pleasant change.  I arrived with about just under an hour to start time and wandered around chatting with friends and other participants and supporters and getting a few pre-start photos.

On The Course:   The course was changed from the one I remember last year, and the one this year is much better. We started to the side of Milam Park and then turned right, going down Santa Rosa Street. We made a left turn onto Nueva Street.  This took us down to the intersection of St. Mary’s and Nueva. Right before that intersection, we made a right turn to go onto the San Antonio Riverwalk, moving toward the historic Arsenal, now H-E-B headquarters. Right before getting to the Outrigger Canoe Club along the Riverwalk, we made a right turn, going up a short walkway, and then crossed over a bridge to go into part of the Historic King William District – some really nice houses in here. This took us to a path that put us back onto the Riverwalk going toward Nueva. Back on Nueva – with the historic Bexar County Courthouse building behind us – we went toward Hemisfair, then making a left turn on Presa.   Once on Presa, this took us to Houston Street.  After turning left on Houston Street, we proceeded all the way down Houston – with lots of people who were out shopping, eating breakfast or brunch – becoming cheering spectators as we passed by them, which was pretty cool – and we passed by the fairly new Frost Tower, headquarters for Frost Bank, which has a pretty cool design..   Back at Santa Rosa Street, we crossed over that and there was the finish line….DONE!
I did my usual  8 min run/2 min walk for the course, taking photos during my walk breaks, so definitely never set any speed records when I do a race, lol. I ended up with a chip time of 42:31, 18th out 23 in my 60 – 69 males age group.

After My Finish  – Got some water, did a short cool down walk as I sipped that, chatted with friends, and then got some post-race photos of some of the Happy Finishers and their supporters, as well as volunteers, etc.

Epilogue –  As noted, this is a very popular race, so sign up early if you’d like to do it. The course this year was GREAT.  I like this course much better than the one we did last year, it’s a lot more scenic, and gives a nice look at some really cool parts of the downtown area. I hope they keep this course for the event.  Way back when, this event used to be a 4-miler, for which you’d take a bus from the AT&T center area to the start point and then run back to the AT&T center, going around the AT&T parking lot a bit before getting to the finish.  That was exciting – NOT, lol.  There was a Cowboy Breakfast after the race back then, so that was pretty good. However, things change, evolve, etc., and this race has done that and I think it is better for it.  Very well organized. Really nice long-sleeved tech tee race shirt, finisher medal for all participants, and very unique awards for the top age group awardees. Milam Park is also a smaller, but pretty nice inner-city park to relax in after a race, very beautifully done. Lots of various post-race goodies, including beer, nice.  I plan to continue doing this one and I certainly would recommend it to others.  MUCHO thanks to our Race Director, Carolyn and her race crew of volunteers, Stock Show and Rodeo staff, etc., they all did a great job for us. Also, thanks to Carolyn for giving me ONE HUNDRED medals for the cancer kids. When I chatted with her at packet pickup, she found out I keep a bag in my car and, since I do so many races in a year, I throw some of my finisher medals in there; when I get enough to fill the bag, usually about 30 – 50,  I them to the San Antonio Children’s Hospital and donate them to be given to the kids in the cancer ward – my preference, since I am a 2-time survivor.  When Carolyn found this out, she told me to see her before I left the race area, she would have some medals for me to donate too. So I did.  After the race I took mine and hers to the hospital and turned them in to the staff and, FYI Carolyn, they were really impressed with the amount of medals. Thanks so much to Carolyn and her staff for doing this, the two ladies I talked to at the hospital were SO appreciative.  See you next year at one my very favorite events!

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