Photos are here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/bJdyWj5DpodV4Xcm8
Before The Start – My 23rd race of 2023, and my 3rd 5K of the May 29 – May 30 weekend was the Siesta 5K put on by local running organization Sccallywompus. Held on May 30th, this was the 4th race in the Hill Country Series of 4 races, for which you could register individually or register for all 4 at once and get a nice registration discount. If you completed all 4 races, you got an extra medal after you finished the last event. This race was held at Missions County Park and included a half-marathon, a 10K and a 5K. Scallywompus events are very popular, especially as they are not kidding with their race motto: “Come for the Race. Stay for the party.” Scallywompus throws some awesome after-parties. I arrived early on race day, got my packet for the 5K I would be doing, and then wandered around getting some pre-start photos. The Mission County Park grounds and pavilion were already getting crowded, as participants, volunteers, and supports continually began showing up. How popular are Scallywompus events? There were 214 participants in the half; 245 in the 10K; 388 in the 5K and 8 in the Competitive Walker category, totaling 855 participants. I’d say Scallywompus events are very popular. Mother Nature was kind to us, also, with really good weather, sunshine, hardly any wind, a temp in the upper 50s, low 60s, and the humidity was not really too bad.
On The Course: Staggered starts for all the events, with the half marathoners going first at 7:31 a.m.; the 10K at 8:15; and the 5K at 8:35 a.m. All the courses were done on the paved trails of the Riverwalk, so it did get a bit crowded at times, but I think everyone expected that, with this many participants, and from where I was at any given moment, we all pretty much accommodated each other as much as possible, trying to move out of the way of faster participants and also lots of encouraging each other on. You just have to keep your sense of humor and not get frustrated by it all. I did my usual 8-min-run/2 min walk thing, and stepped to the side during my walk breaks when I was getting some on-course photos. At my two running paces – slow and slower – I figured I’d probably be out here for at least an hour, with the crowd the way it was. For the 5K course, we started from the Mission Park pavilion. When I saw that we were turning left to go down the hill in front of the pavilion, well, right then, because I’ve done events here before, I knew we’d be taking the hilly route. We went down a hill to start, then it was flat for about 100 good deep-breaths, lol, which you needed because then we hit our first uphill. We then proceeded down a hill, and under a bridge, and then onto a small bridge that went across the water. The half and 10K folks crossed this bridge. For the 5K folks the bridge was our turn-around point, so we stayed on the side of the river that the park was on. Of course, since we’d come downhill to the bridge, now we had to climb up this hill on our way back and it sure was no baby hill, lol. The nice thing, though, is we got some good scenic views of the river. I do hills once a week, so really had no problems with the hills; just kept plugging along and doing my thing. As noted earlier I expected to finish close to an hour, but surprised myself and ran the whole last mile just about non-stop. There were only 4 in my 65-69 males age group, so I was pleasantly surprised when I finished 2nd in my age group, with a chip time of 43:48, so almost an hour, as expected, but better than I thought I would do. The age group awards were these really nicely designed small drinking glasses. When I got my ‘award’ home, my wife loved that thing, so I graciously ‘allowed’ her to have it. Smart, right? It’s all good though; I prefer cups anyway; a klutz like me should probably not be holding a glass, lol; we lose more dishes and glasses that way.
After My Finish: First thing, get some hydration in me, and also enjoyed a post-race Kiolbassa sausage. Then wandered around taking some ‘after photos’, chatting with friends and enjoying some of the other post-race treats, and freebie give-aways from the various sponsors and vendors, and there were a whole lot of them. As noted earlier, Scallywompus events are very popular, even for the vendors; a bigger audience for them to show their wares too.
Epilogue: I really enjoy the Scallywompus events. I also like “Mr. Scallywompus”, my friend Bart, who is a class-act guy with a great sense of humor. Also, he and I were both treated for our cancers during the same time frame, so we chatted a lot with each other through that, and I can’t begin to tell you how much that helped me get through, and I hope I helped him do the same. I think we became closer through that experience, and I will always count him as a friend; and now we still continue to support each other because, even though the worst part is done, now we will be dealing with the treatment side-effects for a while – and everyone who was a cancer patient, and is a cancer patient, can certainly relate to that. We will get through this – and it is gradually getting better for both of us, I think- and we will prevail. I don’t plan on letting it stop me from being as active as possible and I keep on scheduling myself to do races, and have 7 in May for which I’ve already registered. Hope to see any of you at a few of them! I also want to throw some kudos out to all the people involved that made this one happen for we participants; Scallywompus folks; all the many volunteers, vendors, and sponsors; iaap folks for course setup, timing, results; our music and sound person; police officers and EMTs out there for our safety; the Junior ROTC guys – I think it was the Young Marines – that did the presentation of the colors ; the grill-masters that cooked those great sausages for us; and all that great fruit from my friend Gilbert; and anyone else involved I may not have mentioned here. Thank you all!