2023 Race 24, Spring Thing 5K

Photos are here:  https://photos.app.goo.gl/tWzxGH2SwxJ3J46XA

Before The Start –  My 24th race of 2023 wat the Spring Thing 5K held on May 6 at the San Antonio State Mental Hospital in San Antonio. This event supports mental health and, if I remember correctly, helps raise funds for patient activities that are not paid for by the state. The event was held on the hospital grounds and had a nice turnout, with 117 finishers, especially considering the free District 4 5K, put on by the District 4 staff, usually has a huge turnout as it is a free event. I’ve done a few of those in the past and  those get crazy-crowded.   Top-notch race management company iaap did the course setup, timing, and results for this one. Race start time of 8 a.m. I got there with about an hour to go, got my race packet, and got a few pre-start photos.

On The Course – Held entirely on the hospital grounds, this course was out-and-back a mix of flat paved roads and a few hills and inclines along the way.  The weather was pretty darn humid – about 90-something percent, with dark clouds hovering overhead as we started.  I thought it might rain on us a bit, but that never did happen, and the sun even came out for a while; could have done without that, lol,  it was warm enough already, with a temperature of 81 degrees…at 8 a.m in the morning, good grief. Gotta love San Antonio weather, lol.  I started out with my friend Sally, with us doing 8-min run/2-minute walk. On my first walk break, Sally and I walked together a bit, and I stopped to get a few photos while she continued on, and I never did catch her for the rest of the course, lol. We got a very nice tour of the hospital grounds, and on our way back to the finish, a nice panoramic view of the hospital building. We also passed by where the new hospital building is being constructed.  After the turn-round point, I had Sally in sight again, just ahead of me, but then stopped to get another photo, and that was that, she finished ahead of me quite handily. She has overcome some issues and is doing really well with her running these days and I am very happy for her.  She was first in her age group.  I ended up finishing with a chip time of 43:21, 3rd in my males 60-69 age group.  My speedy friend Luke was first in the age group with 26 minutes and change.  I met my two primary race goals, finish standing up and no ambulance waiting specifically for me at the finish, lol – and was quite satisfied, especially as I am still dealing with some side effects from my 15 months of prostate cancer treatment, which I finished in December 2022; so to be able to do any running at all is a blessing.

After My Finish – First thing, a short cool-down walk and then get some water into me.  After that enjoyed some of the post-race treats – breakfast tacos, bananas, donut holes, and more; there was quite a nice little spread for this one – and also wandered here and there getting some post-run photos of happy finishers, volunteers, and supporters. There was also a raffle, and I actually got one of the prizes, a spa outing, which I gave to my wife when I got home.

 Epilogue:  This is a really nicely done event with a good course that gives lots of nice views of the hospital campus.  Indoor restroom is nice too.  The race shirt is very nice quality and the post-race goodies were also good. As noted, there was a post-race raffle with several prizes.  Awards went given only to the top overall in each age group, with which I have no heartburn, just means more support for the patients, and the awards were quite unique items that were made by some of the hospital patients, very cool. I’ve done this one a couple of times in the past and it is always enjoyable.  The hospital staff there, the volunteers, etc., all do a great job in accommodating the participants. I will definitely do this one again in the future and certainly would recommend it to others.  Hope it grows a bit more; it certainly is for a very worthwhile cause, especially as my experience is there are not too many 5Ks overall that support mental health causes, but that support surely is needed. Mucho thanks to all the people involved that made this event happen for we participants; all the event sponsors – Methodist Hospital System, University Health, and H-E-B, were the primary ones – all the volunteers and hospital staff members that were there for us; iaap, of course; our bike lead volunteers, and anyone else involved I may not have mentioned here.  Thank you all so much!  See you next time I do this one!

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