Photos are here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/jHNnUK8CqpiFVPNW6
Before The Start: My 20th race of 2023 was the Confetti 5K on April 22, held at Our Lady Of The Lake University (OLLU) in San Antonio, Texas. This event raises scholarship funds for OLLU students. This is one of my ‘streak’ races, as I have done every one of them since it first started, which was in 2017, if I remember correctly. The course starts and finishes on the OLLU campus. It has a 9 a.m. start, so got to sleep in a tad, and then arrived at OLLU just before 8 a.m. I got my race packet, and then wandered about getting some pre-start photos. There were a lot of people at this popular event that had 561 finishers. Along with the participants there, the area was packed with the vendors, sponsor areas, medical tents, volunteers for race day packet pickup and registration, as well as friends and family members who had come to cheer their participants on. Quite a busy little place, this 5K before the start.
On The Course: We started right on time , with a cannon shooting confetti into the air in front of the start/finish line and we ran or walked below the falling confetti as we got going. We rounded the building near the start, making a left turn, and then stayed on campus for about just under a half-mile, with a little out-and-back along the way. After going out one of the campus gates we then proceeded on a sidewalk which I think is adjacent to Commerce street on our left. We then made a right turn onto a paved trail that took us to the man-made lake near the University. We went over a bridge to the other side of the lake and proceeded to do a loop around the lake, with some really nice views of the lake. We had a total of 3 bridge crossings on the lake for this event. I managed not to fall off any of them into the water; me and bridges have a past history in my running life, lol. After crossing the 3rd bridge on the lake, we then proceeded around a paved trail on the opposite side of the lake we had been on when we started around the lake. This trail took us back to the campus where we then proceeded back the way we had come out, with the exception of not doing the small out-and-back part on the way to the finish. I was feeling fairly well and managed to nonstop run just about all of the last mile, so yay, progress! I ended up with a chip time of 41:06, averaging 13:14 per mile and had negative splits too, with the last mile my fastest, yay! Loved this, as it really does make me feel I am doing pretty well post-cancer treatment (had 15 months of treatment for prostate cancer, finishing in December 2022) and am slowly – VERY slowly, lol – getting back to my old self. Not bad for an old guy with a pacemaker and some side-effect issues from the cancer.
After My Finish: First thing…get some hydration in me and get a banana, my usual first post-race eatery-thing after I finish a race. After that, wandered around in the finish area, getting some post-race photos of finishers, vendors, sponsors, etc. After that, went wandering around looking at all the event booths, tents, and whatever else was going on. I tend to do a lot of races over the year, as well as posting my reports on my blog, and always wear one of my cancer shirts when I do a race, so as I roamed about, I heard lots of “Scottydog!” call-outs, resulting in several post-race chats and lots of photos taken. This is also a dog-friendly event, so I soon ran out of the dog treats I carry with me when I do a run or a race, and made some more 4-legged friends for life, lol. The weather really behaved for us too; sunny day, clear skies, with a bit of cloud cover, not too humid, and temps in the upper 50s, low 60s.
Epilogue: One of my very favorite events. My friend Liz, the race director, really puts on a good show for this one and arranged for one heck of a really nice after party with all kinds of various goodies from the vendors/sponsors, including Kiolbassa sausage, cold beer, a food truck on site, bottled water, of course, and much more. Very nice quality race shirt and finisher medal for all finishers. Really nice course. OLLU also opened its doors to us, so we had actual restrooms too, instead of porta-potties, nice. This one will always be a keeper for me; if anyone else has a race scheduled on the same day, well, sorry, I will be at the OLLU 5K. I very well know that race calendars can get a bit crazy, as the races compete for entrants, and sometimes it happens that two really good events end up on the same day. I think all the race directors of our local races should have a big annual conference during a time when there are not that many races ongoing – like during the Christmas week for example – and divvy up everything between them, lol, so no double races on race days, lol. Doubt that will happen, though, but we runners can dream, right? Kudos and thanks to all the people involved that made this one happen for we participants; iaap for the course setup, timing, and results; Race Director Liz and her crew for packet pickup, race day registration, being out on the course at water stops and other places to cheer us on, and much more that they did; all the police officers out there for our safety; all the staff of OLLU for their patience and courtesy in letting us invade their space for several hours; our MC, Anthony Zamora, who did his usual fantastic job; in my opinion he has now elevated himself to being the #1 local area MC for our local races that he does MC duties for; he is also a pretty talented runner in his own right. Thanks also, of course, to all the sponsors/vendors for this event which could not have happened without their support; our volunteers that cooked up al that Kiolbassa sausage for us; and the post-race beer was pretty good too; and any others involved that I may not have mentioned here. Thank you all, so much!