Photos are here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/NPDByXtEdqvhb3MB9
Before The Start: My 27th race of 2023 was Race 1 of the e-Dragon San Antonio 5K Summer series held at McAllister Park on May 21st. This event is part of a series of 5 races, each held at a different San Antonio park. Participants can register for all 5 races or register separately for each event they want to do. These races are affordable at only $15 each and help raise funds for a San Antonio Running Scholarship, given to a local San Antonio runner attending college. Please visit the e-Dragon website to get all the details on these events and how to participate. Start time of 7:15 a.m. for the 5K and there is also a Kid’s run at 7 a.m., for those kids that ant to participate. There was some early morning rain on the day of this one, but Mother Nature was kind and held it off for the event. Temperature was in the low 70s and pretty humid, but at least it was not raining on us; actually pretty nice weather for me – I prefer warm to cold, lol – and lots of cloud cover. I arrived around 6:45 a.m., got my bib, and then got a few pre-start photos.
On The Course: This was a loop course laid out by our Race Director Erik, co-owner of e-Dragon, and laid out by top-notch local race management company iaap. In my opinion, this the VERY BEST 5K course for McAllister Park as it is a nice loop course with participants not having do to that out-and-back crappola right before we go to the finish line. As soon as I saw one of the turns indicated on this course, I knew it was the loop course and was one happy old dog about that, lol. I wish every race director who does a 5K at McAllister Park would always use this course. From the start at the pavilion near the lower soccer fields and youth baseball field, we headed up a paved park road. Just down from Becken Pavilion, we turned left onto an off-road paved trail that took us past a local police sub-station near the park. After going on this trail for maybe ¼ mile or so, we then crossed a road – which, if you did not know, many years ago used to be the original entrance road to the park – and this took us onto a trail just down a ways from the Turkey Roost pavilion. We then proceeded – yes, “proceeded”; I’m retired military, so I don’t “go” anywhere, I “proceed’, lol – down the park road where Becken Pavilion is located. We crossed this road to continue on an off-road paved trail. This trail took us to another trail that went behind the youth baseball stadium. This trail took us to our last connecting trail that took us back onto the road we had started on. After turning left, we passed in front of the baseball stadium and then back onto the paved road we had started on, and that took us to the finish. I finished with a gun time of 44:06 and a chip-time 43:28, good enough for 2nd in my 65 – 69 age group, as there were only two in my age group, lol. Also, I probably killed a lot of time on the course because of doggies, lol. When I saw someone coming toward me walking their dog, I stopped and offered the dog a treat, with permission of its human. After doing a VERY hilly 5K the day before this 5K, I was just “kickin’ back’ and relaxing a bit for this one – actually like I do for all my 5Ks, lol. I was pretty happy with this one, feeling pretty good, and enjoyed interacting with other participants on the course.
After My Finish – Got some water and did a short cool-down walk and then it was off to enjoy the company of my fellow finishers and race supporters and get some after photos. Awards were nicely present by Erik – although he always starts with the young people first instead of we older people who need to get home to take our nap 😉 As noted, I got second in my 65 – 69 age group. The awards were these unique designed e-Dragon coins which can be used to get a registration discount for future -dragon events, very nice. The first place finishers in each age category got a very nice cap. I enjoyed chatting post-race with several friends and other runners I had interacted with one the course and also, as usual, getting some post-race photos of participants, their friends and family members, as well as some doggie photos. This is a dog-friendly event, so I soon ran out of treats, which is all to the good.
Epilogue: e-Dragon puts on some really nice quality events over the year, including this race series, so definitely check out their offerings. Kristine and Erik Burciaga are two of the nicest people I have ever met, as well as being very accomplished runners in their own right. I expect someday at least one of their kids is going to end up in The Olympics – some of those kids are already faster than me, lol. Always enjoyable to do one of their events, and also enjoyable seeing friends from iaap, who do a great job with the timing, results, etc. I have signed up to do all 5 of the races in the series, so look forward to the next one, which well be at Lady Bird Johnson Park. See you then, if you’re signed up!
MUCHO thanks to all the people that made this one happen for us; e-Dragon for putting the series on and for the unique age group awards. Due to the registration price being so low, there are no race shirts in the packets, but you can purchase an event series shirt for a really nice price; also, if I remember correctly, if you do sign up for at least 4 of the races, you will get a shirt, and also a medal, which I think is presented at the last race of the series. Thanks also to the police officers out there for our safety – one of them moved really fast, lol, he was at two of our park road crossings on the course; to all the volunteers for packet pickup, doing course marshal duties, race day registration, etc.; and, of course, to all the race sponsors, donors to the cause, iaap for the timing and results, and everyone else involved that made this one happen for we participants. Thank you so much!