2023 Race 19, Fiesta Fitfest 5K and 10K

Photos are here:  https://photos.app.goo.gl/3DubGRT8QwdbJgH2A

Before The Start:  My 19th race of 2023 was the SATX Fiesta Fitfest 5K, held on Saturday, April 15th.  Starting and finishing at the campus of The University of Texas at San Antonio, this event was a prequel opening event for the upcoming Fiesta San Antonio, which runs from April 20th – April 30th, 2023. Start and finish was at the university’s East Parking lot, a huge area that is across the street from the headquarters of Fortune 500 company, Valero Energy.  Besides the 5K, there was also a 10K, a  kid’s run, and many other things going on. Race start time of 8 a.m. for the 10K and 8:15 a.m. for the 5K.  Presented by another Fortune 500  local company H-E-B, this was the 2nd year this event has been held and the turnout was huge:  1,081 finishers for the 5K; 442 finishers for the 10K.  I arrived with about 40 minutes to go to the 5K start, got my race packet and then wandered around taking some photos and chatting with many many friends and acquaintances I saw at this event. San Antonio Sports was the primary presenting organization for this event, held over three days with activities that included the 5K and 10K; a cycling race, and much more. H-E-B of San Antonio was the primary presenting sponsor.

On The Course:  Both the 10K and the 5K started right on time.  As I am a fairly slower runner (averaging 12-to -14 minute miles) I lined up fairly back a ways in the start crowd; probably a mistake with a crowd this size as there were a whole lot of people in front of me; it took me almost 3 – 4 minutes just to cross the start mat to get my timing chip started.  The course was a combination of paved roads and off-road paved trails.  Coming out of the UTSA campus, we turned left on Valero Way, passing in front of Valero Energy headquarters. We did an out-and-back on this road, heading toward UTSA Boulevard after we made the turn-round.  Crossing over UTSA Boulevard, we headed into an apartment complex area, but we did not going into the apartment area of the residents living there; instead, we went onto one of the off-road paved trails that led us onto the trail system of the Valero Park Trailways. We turned left onto the trails and and off we went. There were a couple of mild inclines along the way, but nothing you could really call a hill.  I kept thinking this was an out-and-back course; however, after reaching a mile with me not seen any other 5K participants coming back towards me, I knew this would be a loop course and thought “Uh oh…I see where this is going” I work for UTSA and often run in this area after work, so was familiar with it.  Sure enough, and as I suspected, we came out on the Valero Trailway head of the trail system where the parking lot is, and then went out onto a frontage road of highway 1604 – right down from the university – and proceeded to climb a long uphhill that I have run before, and it takes a while to get up this thing.  Once we did get up it, the course then turned us back onto Valero Way. We passed by Valero headquarters once more, and then proceeded to the finish line the way we had originally come out.  I did my usually 8 minutes running/2 minutes walking thing, taking photos during my walk breaks, and ended up with a chip time of 42:28, 15th out of 24 in my 60-69 males age group, averaging 13:40 per mile. Also, I had negative splits – yay! – with Mile 3 being my fasted mile as I  ran that whole mile almost completely non-stop.  One thing I thought was funny…as I was finishing my 5K, my speedy friend Max, whom I think did the 10K, passed by me – and I think that was his cool-down run, lol, after already finishing the 10K. So he did “loops” around my slow self, lol.

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 whenI 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 4-legged friends for life, lol. The Fit Fest sponsors/vendors completely filled one of the East Campus parking lot areas, so there was a ton of stuff going on from activities for the kids there right up to enjoying some post-race Michelob Ultra at the Michelob pavilion area. They even had a Texas Special Olympics area too, with activities there to accommodate the disabled, etc., which I thought was really nice.

Epilogue:  One of the very best and enjoyable events I have ever done.  This one is definitely a keeper for my race calendar.  There were so many things to chose from, and all kinds of post-race goodies and freebies hand-outs from the sponsors and vendors. There were also lots of activities going on too, including things for the kids to do, challenge things from Camp Gladiator folks, and much, much more; so many that I can’t remember them all.  This is really a well-done event.  Mucho thanks to all the sponsors and vendors; he many, many, many, race day volunteers and event volunteers; the police officers and medical staff out there for our safety, including the UTSA police force officers; our MC who did a really great job for us; to my friends at iaap race management company that did the course setup, timing, and results – they had to be there REALLY early – and were even out on the day before to get the course ready – and anyone else/all involved that I may not have mentioned here.  Thank you all so much.  See you next year!

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2023 Race 18, Get Your Rear in Gear 5K

Photos are here:  https://photos.app.goo.gl/tvrFxeL7bGadVguaA

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Before The Start:   My 18th race of 2023, and my 3rd race of the first weekend of April was the Get Your Rear in Gear 5K, put on by the Colon Cancer Coalition.  This event is held in several different cities over the year on various dates. The San Antonio 5k was held on Sunday, April 2nd at Morgans Wonderland with a start time of 8 a.m.  Very convenient location for me, as I live only about 5 miles from Morgan’s Wonderland, so got to sleep in a bit after doing two 5Ks on Saturday.   I’ve done the San Antonio event for several years, with my first one being done way back when at Brackenridge Park soon after the Air Force reassigned me to Lackland way back when during my 24-year Air Force career.  I  do this event regularly as I had colon issues way back when, at 29 years old, with aggressive malignant polyps found, which pretty much would have become cancer and a small tumor that was caught so fast, it had not spread, so I was very lucky it was found at stage zero and removed.  That was also the year I became a runner, and I have this superstition that as long as I keep running I won’t have a recurrence. Here I am still running, with my 40th anniversary of being a runner coming up on April 15th. Unfortunately, I was diagnosed in 2021 with an aggressive prostate cancer, and was treated 15 months for that, finishing in November 2022, and all is good.  Due to some side effects from my prostate cancer that I am dealing with – radiation proctitis – I got another colonoscopy in August 2022 and very aggressive malignant polyps were found and removed.  Due to this and my history my gastro doc has now move me from getting a colonoscopy every 5 years to every 3 years, which is okay by me, better safe than sorry.  All I can say is I am one darn lucky dog and my docs at BAMC have always taken very good care of me.  For the 5K, I arrived with about an hour to go and encountered my friend Woody – who had also done two 5ks on Saturday – and we got our packets for the race pretty quickly as we had pre-registered.  Woody went to get some coffee (blech! can’t even stand the smell of the stuff, lol) and I wandered around getting some pre-start photos.  Local news station KENS-5 was there, with Marvin Hurst – a fellow cancer survivor –  helping with some of the MC duties, which was pretty cool.  The opening ceremonies at the Morgan’s Wonderland amphitheater included some really good comments from a couple of survivors who have impressive stories of surviving this disease; very inspirational.  Some of the volunteers and sponsors recognized me from attending this event in previous years – I am pretty recognizable, the way I dress when I go for a run, lol – and I enjoyed chatting with them as I wandered around getting some pre-start photos.  

On The Course:  Having done several 5Ks over the years at Morgan’s Wonderland, I was  pretty familiar with the course; it’s pretty much the same route for just about every 5K done here. I started out doing my usual 8-min run 2-min walk thing, taking photos during my walk breaks. We started near the Amphitheater and just below where the water play area is.  After doing a loop around the park’s man-made lake, we exited the park with a right turn, and headed past the Morgan’s Wonderland splash-pad on our right and Toyota Field soccer stadium on our left. The route took us past the park’s basketball and tennis courts and around Heroes Stadium, a football-type stadium of Northeast Independent School District. We passed by the very recently opened Morgan’s Wonderland Multi-Assistance Center (The MAC) that assists people who have disabilities – I can relate; I was a March of Dimes baby.  This took us to the halfway point.  We then did a short stint in front of Heroes Stadium. This took us back out onto the road we had come down to get to the halfway point. After that we returned to the finish line the same way  we had come out, only in reverse, with our last bit being another loop around the man-made lake to get to the finish line.  After doing two 5Ks on Saturday, I thought today would be slow-and-easy for me; well, I AM  always slow, lol, with 12 – 14-minute miles these days as I continue to deal with these darn side-effects, but even so felt pretty good today.  I ended up running most of Mile 3 nonstop, surprising myself, finishing 3rd in my 60-69 males age group with a chip time of 41:32, and I even had negative splits, nice.

After My Finish: After I stopped, THEN, lol my legs shouted at me “OK, 3 races, we are done, sit down for a while!” lol.  Nice post-race goodies, including  breakfast tacos, so I enjoyed a couple of those and was joined by friends Woody, Carolyn, and Donald, and we all enjoyed sitting with each other and chatting post-race and just relaxing for a bit.  After that, I wandered around getting some after-photos – and several of the vendors/sponsors recognized me from previous years; had a nice chat with the Thrivewell Foundation lady; and one of the race volunteers when I got my age-group award handed me a couple of snickers bars saying she had made sure they had them this year because she remembered our chat from last year when I jokingly complained that they had all these nice candy bars, but no snickers, my favorites.  Wow, that was so nice of her.  My friend Woody was first in our age group, my friend Don was second, and I was third.  One more year, Woody, and I will be out of your age group, lol. Next year I turn 70. My strategy, since I am not speedy, is to try and outlive all the competition. 😉

Epilogue: This is always a really good quality event, with the Cancer Coalition organizing it really well; and all those great post-race goodies are a bonus.  The race shirt is a very nice quality shirt – orange this year, my favorite color – and the medals are really nicely done.  I would certainly recommend this one and will continue to participate in future ones. Lots of freebies from sponsors, and all kinds of great information handouts on this insidious disease.  Colon cancer is the 4th leading cause of cancer deaths in the US, but if it is caught early, the survival rate is very high; so please, know your family history, and get checked.  This thing can be cured and someday, hopefully wiped out altogether.  Much thanks to all the people that made this one happen for we participants, Morgan’s Wonderland, all the many sponsors – especially the presenting sponsor, Gastroenterology Clinic of San Antonio  and all the vendors; iaap web for the course setup, timing, and results; KENS-5 for being there for this one; all those survivors that told us their stories; the police officers out on the course for our safety; our awards MC; and anyone else involved I may not have mentioned here. Thank you all so much!  See you next year!

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2023 Race 17, April Fool’s 5K

Photos are here:  https://photos.app.goo.gl/C7xK4Tr4XLGV5PwS9

Before The Start:    My 17th 5K of 2023 was the April Fool’s 5K on April 1st at 5 pm. This was my second 5K of the April 1 – April 2 weekend, after having done the Northside Education 5K ion Saturday morning Put on by Soler Sports, this event was held at McAllister Park. Since it was an April’s Fool’s 5K, the event held a few surprises in the awards area. This was also the birthday of my late friend and best-est running buddy for over 20 years, Bernadette Beck, who died of cancer on Dec 5, 2021.  She would have been 66 years old  today.  In honor f her birthday, I brought some cupcakes and cookies for people to enjoy post-race. She was very well known in the running community, with lots of friends. I arrived around 4:15 pm, got my bib number and race shirt and then got a few pre-start photos.

On The Course: With it being April Fool’s Day, I was not sure if this would be an actual 5K or maybe we’d go longer; or shorter.  It turned out it was an out-and-back on one pf the park’s paved roads, and then  a short distance to a turn around point on one of the parks off-road paved trails, and the distance did turn out to be 5K.  Our MC, however, had told us before we started, to do something as we came across the finish line – jump, dance, roll, handstand, whatever – and a prize was going to be given for the ‘best’ finish.  I actually ended up feeling pretty good for this event and ran most of the last 1.5 miles nonstop.  I ended up with a 43:13 finish time in my 60-69 age group, 6th out of 9, which included my speedy friends Rex (1st) and Woody (2nd). As for a  finishing act, well I am not too flexible lol, what with arthritis and recently finishing cancer treatment, so I just did a small jump when I finished, not too impressive at all…and glad I did not hurt myself, lol. I then got a few photos of some other participants coming in, including my friends Carolyn and her dog, Lucy.  

After My Finish:   Really nice goodies post-race for this one that included beer, sausage-on-a-stick, bananas and other fruits, water, of course, and more.  Very nice post-race spread.  Being April Fool’s Day, the awards were crazy and funny, lol.  First place finishers got an award, and then there were all kinds of different awards, lol, sometimes for 5th place, sometimes for 8th place and other different places, too funny, and also awards for the best ‘finisher act; for doing such things, when finishing, like one-handed pushups, flips, dancing into the finish, and lots more.  It was lots of fun; some of these finishers were quite inventive with what they did. For being a PM race on a very busy race Saturday, with lots of local area races, this one had a pretty nice turn out, with 112 finishers.

Epilogue: This was the First Annual April Fool’s Day 5K and hopefully not the last. It really is a fun event, with lots of good people showing up.  Very well organized by race director Lisa Haby Soler with the help of Tony Garcia, MC Anthony Z, food prep guy Gilbert and his help crew; music-and-sound man Paul, and all the many volunteers out there. I will certainly do this one again.  Nice finisher medals to all and nice quality race shirt. Mucho thanks to all the people I noted above that made this one happen for us, as well as Alamo Beer Hall, listed on the back of the shirt, so I am assuming the race sponsor – good post-race beer too. Anthony Zamora did his usual great MC job; and a personal and very heart-felt thanks to Lisa and Anthony for having everyone sing Happy Birthday to my running bud, Bernadette for her Heavenly birthday; I was very touched by that, almost started bawling on the spot. All-in-all, a very nicely done inaugural event.  Hope this one grows as it continues, it really is a fun event. Also, thanks to the iaap crew for doing their usual great job of timing and results and to the park police officers out there for our safety.  Thanks also to anyone involved I may not have mentioned here.  Thank you all.

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2023 Race 16, Northside Education Foundation 5K

Photos are here:  https://photos.app.goo.gl/QLw6uWmfahgrrVaf8

Before The Start:   My 16th 5K of 2023 was the Northside Education Foundation (NEF) 5K held on April 1st  at Sandra Day O’Connor High School in Helotes, with a start time of 9 a.m and a theme of “Do Great Things”. The NEF has a “mission to foster community involvement in innovative educational programs.”  I work for UTSA and the Northside District is, like all the San Antonio school districts, one of our partner schools, and a UTSA ‘neighbor’, being right down the road from us only a short way. This 5K was a fun-run to support their efforts, so no age group awards, but participants did get a finisher medal.  Along with the 5K, there was also a family health and wellness expo, so there wrere lots of various vendors/sponsors with tables and booths.   I arrived with a little under an hour to go to the start time, got my  packet, and got a few pre-start photos.  I have never been to this high school before and was surprised to see how really large this campus is.  There was a really nice turn-out too, with over 1,000 participants of all ages, from small kid right up to old geezers like me, lol; it is also a stroller/chair friendly event.  I did not see any dogs on the course, but per the race description, service dogs are allowed.

On The Course:  With my two race speeds of “Slow and Slower”, I lined up in kind of in the near-back/middle of the huge start crowd., so it took me a while to get going to my normal pace; that and I did stop after I started to get a couple photos of this huge start crowd.  The route was completely on the campus.  It was pretty flat for most of the way, with participants heading first toward the front gate, where we did a turn-round.  We headed back the way we had come out, and then did a right turn onto another road for a second-out-and-back.  We then proceeded back towards the school building, making  a right turn onto a road before we got to the school’s main parking area.  This road took us back to the road we had started on.  Once on this road, we proceeded down to another road, making a right turn onto that.  This looked like a service area road to me, with buildings for the maintenance staff’s equipment, etc.  We followed this road around until we came to another road – from which I could see the finish line on my left – and then made a right turn onto a road that took us up a pretty fair-sized hill, kind of reminding me of Gorilla Hill at the zoo since, when we got to a curve in the road and went around that, there was another part of the hill to go up.  Once up this hill, we went downhill on a road where all the school buses were parked. At the bottom of this hill, we then made a left turn, went around a curve, and had to climb yet another hill – passing more school buses – which took us back to the first hill we had climbed. When we got on that, this time it was all downhill. After reaching the bottom, we then made a right turn, then a quick left turn and crossed over the finish line.  My garmin had a distance of 2.9 miles, not a 5K, so I checked with my very speedy friend, Rex, and he told me the same thing, he had 2.9 also; so not quite a 5K, but what the heck, it’s a fun run for a good cause, so all good as far as I was concerned.

After My Finish:   Chatted with some people near the finish line, got a few photos there too – including one lady with the only dog I saw today on the campus – and yes, it did get treats from me – and then went over to check out the post-race goodies and some of the vendor/sponsors tents, tables, etc.   There really were a lot of them, nice turn-out from them too; all very friendly and several had some free give-away stuff. One of the sponsors, Orange Theory, even had an Amazon gift card that they raffled off, along with some training classes; and Camp Gladiator, if I remember, correctly, also had a deal on training classes. Post-race goodies included lots of fresh fruits – especially bananas, lots of bananas – water and various other types of non-alcoholic drinks – probably a good thing, lol, as there was a whole fleet of bicycle officers riding on the campus before, during, and after, making sure everyone was okay – and other various sundries offered by the vendors/sponsors. Sound guys had some really nice tunes playing too – oldies and some classic rock from my growing up era, lol; enjoyed it all.  Epilogue:  For as many people as do this one, this was a very well-organized event – and the campus is so large, it had plenty of parking for everyone.   For what Soler Sports had to work with, Lisa and her team set out a very nice course for us; we got a foot-tour of practically the whole campus and the roads were nice and wide, so nobody was running into each other, we all had room to maneuver.  The organizers also had one building open for us, so we nicely had actual restrooms instead of porta-potties. Pretty nice quality race shirt too.  I certainly would do this one again, and I would recommend it to others.  If you have never done a 5K event, this is could really be a good one to start with.   Mucho thanks to all the people involved that made this one happen for we participants:  NEF; the school staff; our MC who did a great job, and our sound guys; all the many, many volunteers and sponsors; Soler Sports; all the police officers out there for our safety, and the EMTs that were there – who kindly gave me a blood-oxygen oximeter measurement  postrace (97%)  so I could log it for my cardiologist, as I have a pacemaker -and personal thanks to my friends Lisa Haby Soler of Soler Sports, and Tony Garcia, who let me know about this 5K.  Thanks, also to anyone involved I may not have mentioned here.  Happy running/walking to all! 

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2023 Race 15, Let’s Roll 5K

Photos are here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/Qzj45xbwVVwc2RLJ8

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Before The Start: My 15th  5K of 2023 was the Let’s Roll 5K held on March 26th at Morgan’s Wonderland in San Antonio.  This was my 2nd 5K of the weekend after doing the Beer Garden 5K in Helotes the day before. Let’s Roll 5K supports Project Mend, which “helps people of all ages living with a disability or other mobility issues.” Project Mend provides refurbished medical equipment to disabled people in need to help them lead better lives. As a person who was born a March of Dimes baby, events that support disabled people are one of my top personal causes when I choose my races to do, along with cancer-related events, as I am also a survivor.  Event start time of 9 a.m., so got to sleep in a bit as I live quite close to Morgan’s Wonderland.  I arrived with about an hour before start time and got a few pre-start photos.

On The Course: Starting and finished in the Morgan’s Wonderland Park, we did a loop around the park’s man-made lake, exiting the park near the park’s Lighthouse. We then proceeded down a road that took us toward Heroes Stadium, a football style stadium of North East Independent School District.  We passed by some vacant lots on our right that used to be youth soccer fields near Morgan’s Wonderland, which are currently undergoing renovation. Our route took us on a road that looped around the stadium and past Morgan Wonderlands recently built facility, the Mobility Assistance Center – The MAC – which also provides services for the disabled.  We then did a small route through the back parking lot of Heroes Stadium – reaching the halfway point here – , coming back onto one of the roads we had come out on.   We then proceeded back to Morgan’s Wonderland the way we had come out. After re-entering the park, we did a loop around the park’s lake in reverse of the way we had come out, finishing up back near the park’s outdoor amphitheater. Even with the 5K the day before – which was quite hilly – I was feeling pretty good, ending up with chip-time of 40:17, 3rd out of 5 in my 60 – 69 males age group. Slowly but surely, finally starting to get my times down since finishing 15 months of prostate cancer treatment in December 2022.

After My Finish:   Water, cool-down walk for about 5 to 10 minutes, and then off to get some post-race photos.  Very nice presentation at the parks outdoor-seating large amphitheater, where the awards ceremony was also done. I was really surprised when they called my name for 3rd in my age group, and was also very humbled when I got a short standing ovation as I received my medal, just about started crying right then. The running community has been so positive and supportive of me with not only all my photo race reports, but also this last personal battle with my second cancer – which was a lot tougher than my first one, which got caught very early – and with my ongoing dealing with the resulting treatment side-effects.  You other survivors know exactly what I am talking about. I  can’t tell you much your support has meant to me and how much it really does help me get through everything. Thank all of you so very very much.

Epilogue:  This is one well-done event put on by Soler Sports.  Lisa Soler and her crew of helpers and Project Mend folks really did a great job with organizing this, doing the course set-up, results, etc. This event had a nice turn-out for a Sunday morning, with 222 finishers; really nice quality race shirt – I got a youth medium and donated mine; I do so many races over the year, I am running out of drawer space, lol; finisher medals for all and a really nice – and large too! – age group award medal.  Morgan’s Wonderland is a very nice venue for a race, with lots of seating, indoor restrooms, lots of cool stuff to see, and the organizers also provided plenty of pre-and-post race goodies, including breakfast tacos, water, Gatorade, and much more. Mucho thanks to Soler Sports, which also was the organizer for the Helotes 5K and then did this one too the very next day. Lisa Soler and her crew rock! Thanks to  top-notch race management company iaap who did their usual great job of course setup, timing, results; to Morgan’s Wonderland for their hospitality – and race participants got to stay in the park for a visit post-race if they wanted to – and to all the many many volunteers and sponsors that made this one happen for we participants. Also, thanks to the police officers who were there for our safety; and to anyone else involved I may not have mentioned here.  Thank you all so much!  Next up for me is the April Fools 5K on April 1st   at 5 pm in McAllister Park; , my 3rd Soler Sports event in a row. I better watch out, Lisa might make the company dog mascot, lol.  Happy running, walking, or whatever your choice of exercise is, and may we all have good results and all stay safe.  See you on the roads!

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2023 Race 14, Helotes Beer Garden 5K

Photos are here:  https://photos.app.goo.gl/sKa9VqKrHiZMSrPq7

Before The Start:  My 14th race of 2023 was the Helotes Beer Garden 5K held on March 25 in Old Towne, Helotes Texas.  This even supports HOPE Hits Harder Cancer Foundation, which has a mission to improve the quality of life for children in the San Antonio area diagnosed with cancer. This is a very popular annual event which this year had 784 finishers. Start time of 8:30 a.m.  Weather was very cooperative, fair weather with sunshine, very little wind, and a nice temp in the low 60s with low humidity at start time. I arrived on site about an hour before start time. My friend Albert had picked up my packet for me the day before, thank you Albert.  There was a pretty nice crowd of people there already by the time I arrived.  I chatted with friends, volunteers, other participants, supporters, vendors, etc.,  and got a few pre-start photos.  Several participants for this one were in various costumes too, some of them quite humorous and imaginative.

On The Course: In the past for this one, the course usually takes us up a hill from the starting area, then a turn near the local church, then down a hill, and then into a neighborhood that has some humongous hills.  However, for reasons I won’t go into detail on – too darn complicated, lol – this course was unavailable, so we pretty much stayed in the Old Towne area. We started in a large field just down from where the New Year’s Day La Cruda start is.  From the start, we went onto the road, made a right turn and went up to the Old Towne traffic circle.  We circled this and then went downhill past the start/finish area, and then climbed a fairly long uphill to a turn-round point near Chaparral restaurant.  Back the way we had come out, this time going downhill; then a short uphill. Back at the traffic circle, we turned right onto the flat road of the course.  This road took us to another turn-round. We then went back the way we had come out. Back at the traffic circle, we made a right turn and went a short ways to another turn-round.  After this turn-round, back to the traffic circle and then back through Olde Towne, going for a second time on the route we had started on, climbing once more the hill that took us to the Chaparral turn-round.  Back down the hill again, then up a short incline, and then back into the field we had started on, taking us to the finish line. Lots of out-and-backs and nice wide roads to accommodate everyone, from what I could see. I did my usual 8-min run/2 min walk thing and took photos during my walk breaks. Out of the 29 people in my 60-69 males age group, I finished 17th with a chip time of 41:18, and pretty much ran most of the last mile non-stop, woohoo! The overall winner did this course in 17 minutes and change, zowie!

After My Finish:   First got some water from the C-Force water guy – love this water, nice electrolytes and nice taste too to help rehydrate  After that, wandered around taking some post-race photos, chatting with others there, handed out a few treats to a couple of dogs there, and did sample a couple of the various brews – small cups only, since I was driving, so limited myself to two – and they were quite tasty.  Besides the brewery folks, there were also sponsors with all kinds of various treats such as fajitas, and lots more.  

Epilogue:   Really nice weather for this one – and Mr. Wind graciously did not start picking up speed until after the finish – with what forecasters call ‘abundant sunshine’.  For what the event planners had to work with, the course was really well-thought out to accommodate that many participants, and all those out-and-backs resulted in lots of encouraging comments and cheers as friends, family members, etc., passed by each other coming and going. Race packet included a really very nice quality tech tee. I do so many races over a year that sometimes I donate some of my race shirts – otherwise I’d have no drawer room left, lol – but this one is definitely a keeper.  Great running/race “atmosphere” for this one and, as noted, mucho post-race goodies.  No finisher medal – gosh, with that many participants, the cost for medals would probably be outrageous, so I get it; and besides, I’d rather see the funding go to the selected beneficiary nonprofit – especially this one as I am a survivor myself and it supports kids with cancer. My wish is one day no kid ever will have to experience that. Every kid should have the chance to just be a kid and grow up. Vendors and sponsors were all great, thanks to all of them.  Thanks also to all the volunteers; race Director Lisa Soler/Soler Sports for getting this all together; the police officers on the course for our safety; and anyone else involved I may not have mentioned here.  See you at the next 5K – which for me will be the day after this one, lol, Sunday, March 26, doing the Let’s Roll 5K at Morgan’s Wonderland, which benefits an organization that supports kids with disabilities; another personal cause for me, as I was a March of Dimes baby, born with a disability; and look at me now, running races…because of organizations like this.  See you there, if you signed up for this one. If not, I am sure I’ll see at some race in the future. Good look to all of us!

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2023 Race 13, LWVSAA 5K

Photos are here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/GrRJ9qWZucu8tMVW8

Before The Start: My 13th race of 2023 was the “100 Years and Running” League of Women Voters San Antonio Area (LWVSAA) held on Sunday, March 19th at Wheatley Heights in San Antonio, with a start time of 8:30 a.m.  This event supports the League’s ongoing voter education efforts. The event had a nice turn-out with 181 finishers.  After a cold, windy, and rainy Saturday, Mother Nature was more cooperative with this one, giving us a 43 degree temp at start time, very little wind, and we even got a bit of sunshine.  I arrived with about 40 minutes to go until start time, chatted with friends and other participants, treated some doggies to a few biscuits – this is a dog-friendly event – and got a few pre-start photos.

On The Course:  The course is an out-and-back, starting behind the bleachers of Wheatley Stadium.  The route took us through part of the parking lot, then onto a road that took us to Martin Luther King Park.  After getting to the park we did an out-and-back on the park’s off-road paved trails. The course was pretty flat, with nothing you could call a hill.  There were a couple of small inclines and the longest ‘hill” was the stadium parking lot incline we had to go up right before making the final turn that took us back to the start/finish line. I did my usual 8-min run/2-minute walk break, as did my friend Sally Rios, who was ahead of me for the whole course, except right at the start when I was a bit ahead of her, as I went over the timing mat before she did.  Sally has really made some good progress with her running.  I never did catch her on the course after she passed me shortly after the start, but I did keep her in sight for just about the whole way.  I felt pretty good the whole way; so good that I even extended my running time a bit on some of my intervals.   Right near the finish, I almost caught up to Sally, but she ‘smelled’ that finish line, lol, and found a burst of speed that left me several yards behind her.  I thought I would finish in around my usual  43 – 44 minutes but surprised myself with a finish chip-time of 41:02, the fastest I’ve been in a while; making progress!  I ended up 7th out of 11 in my 60-69 males age group.  I was so happy for Sally, who finished first in her age group; congrats to her!

After My Finish:   First, a short cool-down walk, ate a banana, drank some water, and also enjoyed a free post-race sausage-wrap, which was really good.  After that, did my usual post-race photo-taking of some of the happy finishers and supporters and enjoyed chatting with friends, sponsors, supporters, and other participants, and handed out more treats to doggies.

Epilogue:  This is a very nice 5K, well done by the LWSVAA ladies and their volunteers. The sponsors were all great, with lots of freebie things, coupons, etc., for participants. Iaap did their usual great job of course set up, timing, and results, and there were several “official’ race photographers taking event photos which I am sure are my better, lol, than my amateur ones. Very nice quality race shirt.  I do so many 5K races  over the year – 65 completed in 2022 –  that I am running out of room for shirts, lol, so for this one I ordered a women’s small and asked the LWVSAA ladies to donate it to someone. This event has some really nice post-race goodies and really nice quality sponsors – including Natural Grocers, which provided the site for packet pickup, and a whole packet of discount coupons in the goodie bag for some of their products. C-force water provided bottled water – good stuff – and their rep at the event also kindly let me put my dry post-race stuff I changed into near her table. There was also a very nice backdrop for photo-ops; indoor restrooms instead of porta-potties, nice; and much more.  I would certainly do this event again and would recommend it to others. Much thanks to all the people who made this one happen for we participants: LWVSAA; the police officers at the road crossings for our safety; all the many volunteers; iaap for the course setup, timing, and results; our music man Paul; and, of course, all the many race sponsor; also anyone else involved I may not have mentioned here; thank you all so much!

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2023 Race 12 Alamo Donut Dash 5K/10K

Photos are here:   https://photos.app.goo.gl/owrMsU4SSWoUD16b6

Before The Start:  My 12th race of 2023 was the Alamo Donut Dash 5K held on March 4th at  Lion Field, a small park just off of Broadway street in San Antonio, TX.  There was also a 10K.  This  Alamo Donut Dash is a very popular local event as you ca tell from the number of finishers: 835 for the 5K and 402 for the 10K, so over 1200 finishers.  Lion Field is a pretty small area with limited parking in the surrounding area. Usually you can park in Brackenridge Park, right across the street, but some of the park roads were part of the course, so most of the roads were blocked off. The Doseum Museum was right across the street from Lion Field, so I went and chatted with one of the employees, bought 4 Doseum tickets and told him to just donate them to any kids that came in. This made me a Doseum customer, so they provided my vehicle info to their security folks so I would not be ticketed or towed; very convenient.  I arrived about an hour before the 5K start time of 7:45 – the 10K started at 7:30 a.m – and wandered around chatting with friends,  runners, walkers, vendors,  etc. and getting some pre-start photos. 

On The Course:  At packet pickup the night before race day, me and a few  other participants had our doubts about the course for this many participants, with Lion Field being a pretty small area.  However, once on the course, I found  that Athlete Guild, a top-notch local area race management company, had actually done pretty well in laying out the course, given what they had to work with.  We started on a grassy part of Lion Field then went onto a paved path that went behind the field’s main building, We turned left on Mulberry Street – and had a very wide road to run or walk on – and then turned into Brackenridge Park, crossing over the park’s train railroad tracks.  This wide road took us down near the park train station area.  Right before the end of this road, we went onto one of the park’s off-road trails, looping around this for a short bit, and then coming out onto another park road.  This road took us in the direction of  Broadway.  We did not actually go all the way out to Broadway; we turned left at an intersection, and then went down a road that took us toward the Witte Museum and past the parking garage in the park. At the end of this road, we did a turn-round and went back up the way we had come, on the other side of the road. This took us back to Mulberry, where we had first hit the road.  WE crossed over Mulberry and went back on the paved trail we had come out on.  We followed this trail down past the Brackenridge Golf Course.  The 10K folks continued on for their longer route, while the 5K folks made a turn-round just past the golf course entrance, and then back the way we had come, finally turning into the area we had come out during the start, and this took us back to the finish. In the 5K males, 65-69, I ended up finishing 2nd in my age group with a chip time of 41:18.  The guy who was first in my age group finished 31 seconds ahead of me. I was quite pleased with this time, and I had a negative split for Mile 3, making me feel pretty good that I am slowly but surely coming back from my 15 months of prostate cancer treatment that I finished in November 2022.   I did not check the results after I finished because I figured there would be some really speedy 20-somehing minute milers out there for this event; and, darn the luck, I forgot to pick up my finisher medal.  Darn old-man brain. 😉

After My Finish:   The food line was really really REALLY long, so thankfully I had brought my own protein bar to munch on post-race, as I wandered around again after my finish, once again chatting with friends, sponsors, vendors, supporters, etc., and getting some after-photos.  I was also very popular with the dogs there, as I always have dog treats with me when I run – hence my name Scotty Dogg – how I register for my races; A friend of mine  way back when nicknamed me this when she found out I carry these treats, even on training runs, so I just started using it as my running name; and the rest, as they say, is history; that’s how all my running community friends know me now.

Epilogue: As noted, this is a very popular event, as is the associated half and marathon that are done on the Sunday after the 5K and 10K.  The packet pickup on Friday for the 5K and 10K had really long lines – took me about 3 minutes to finally get to the table to get my goodie bag. Back in the day when I did this before, it really was done near The Alamo, but with ongoing construction there – and the road closures probably cost a fortune – it was moved this year to Lion Field.  I kind of felt sorry for the race organizers, this must have been at times a planning nightmare for them. However, it all did come out pretty good for we 5K and 10K participants. The only thing I would suggest is maybe have packet  pickup over a couple of days instead of just one, but other than that, everything on race day did seem to go pretty smoothly from the view I had of it.  Nice ‘donut’ finisher medals – as mentioned, I forgot to get mine, duhh – and a nice quality race tee.  I would do this one again and would recommend it to others.  I hope someday – when and if the Alamo Renovation folks ever get their act together – this will be moved back downtown and we do get to pass by The Alamo again. Until then, it is what it is, and what it was for this one was, as mentioned, pretty well done, given what the organizers had to work with. MUCHO thanks to all the organizers, sponsors, vendor, volunteers, EMTs there, law enforcement out on the roads part of the course for us, and anyone else involved that made this one happen for we participants.  Thank you all!

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2023 Race 11 Diploma Dash 5K

Photos are here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/kdZAsVxBNrMkVD7k9

Before The Start: My 11th race of 2023 was The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Diploma Dash 5K held on February 25th.  Put on by the UTSA Alumni Association, this event helps raise scholarship funds for students. UTSA Diploma Dash 5k is the largest chip timed 5k in San Antonio and serves as the San Antonio city championship, so it always gets a nice turnout.  There were at least 3 to 4 other local area races being done on this day too, so that may have taken away from the total count of participants, as several area runners, including some friends of mine, were doing some of the other events. Even so, really nice turn-out.  I arrived at UTS around 8:15 and started getting a few pre-race photos when one of my friends and co-workers told me “Scotty, you better get going; the race started at 8 a.m.”  What?  I found out later I had looked at last year’s event website on Runsignup,, not this years, duhhh . Oh well.   So off I went after getting maybe about 4 pre-start photos. The weather was actually pretty chilly for me  – in the low 50s, with a fairly good wind blowing at maybe 10 – 11 mph, making it feel a bit colder than the actual temp, so I was glad I had chosen to wear a base-layer under my regular running shirt and felt very comfortable before my start, during my run, and after my finish.

On The CourseSince the starting-pack had left 15 minutes before I did, I pretty much had the course all to myself, lol.  Also, as I started my race, the overall winner of the 5K was coming into the finish, good grief, and lol, with a time of 18 minutes and change, if I remember correctly, and my  friend Andrew was also coming in, finishing at 19 minutes.  I did not really need any of the course markers since I do this event every year. I also am UTSA staff, so sometimes after work I run this course on campus as a training run, so I knew the route exactly.  Since I was late, I pretty much had most of the course to myself until I started catching up to some of the walkers on the course, around Mile 1; some of those walker go faster than I run, lol.  I did my usual 8-min run/2 minute walk break thing and took some on-course photos during my walk breaks.  This is a loop course, starting and finishing in front of the Convocation Center. After the start, the course turns onto the road that heads toward UTSA Boulevard, passing a parking garage on our left and large parking lot, and some of the buildings housing some of the colleges.  Before UTSA Boulevard, the course takes a left turn and goes up a short incline, passing by some parking lots on the left.  This road took me to a left turn on Baurle Road. At the first intersection, a right turn that took us partway up the hill that goes to the campus Upper Parking Lot near Valero Way. Just before reaching the top of this, we did a turn-round, went back the way we had come up. After getting back on Baurle Road, we then went past the Main Building, made a left and then made a right onto the road directly in front of the Alvarez Business College building,  Left turn onto the service road next to the business building. Right turn onto the road that took us past the Physical Plant and the building housing ROTC. Left turn took us to the first course water stop and past the campus police station. At the end of this road, a right turn took us past a student housing building on our left, and up a fairly steep hill, going past the Roadrunner Café parking lot. At the top of the hill we made a left turn on Tobin Avenue.  This took us down to a left turn on Barshop Blvd. Once on Barshop Blvd, we went all the way down this to the on-campus traffic circle just up from UTSA Boulevard.  Left turn by the round-about and this took us past the Campus Rec Center, then to a left turn on Brennan, and then we entered the Convocation Center parking lot to finish in front of the Convocation Center. I felt pretty good and was clipping right along, lol, at my usual 12 – 14-minute miles pace.  Used to do 10 – 11 minute miles, but 15 months of prostate cancer treatment during 2021 – 2022 has slowed me down a bit. Thankfully, I am now cancer-free, but still dealing with some side-effect issues.  Even so, it’s all good, and I am just happy I am still able to run at all.  I ended up finishing with my watch time of 40:38, averaging 12:56 per mile, and did negative splits too, nice, with my last mile being my fastest.   As usual, I carried dog treats with me and whenever I encountered a dog on the course, doggie got a treat from me, with its human’s permission, of course.

After My Finish:   After eating a banana and getting some post-race water into me, I then enjoyed chatting with friends, other participants – several of my running friends were there – co-workers, students, other staff members, volunteers, etc., and handed out some more doggie treats. One area where this event is no slacker is in post-race goodies and amenities, wow.  All kinds of various food-and-drink, from fresh fruits to sausage wraps, beer, Gatorade, water, and other drinks, donuts, and a whole lot of other good stuff.  There was a photo area, also our sound guy playing music for us, and lots of sponsors freebie stuff. Also available was post-race massages, a compression blow-up thingy – I am so technical, lol – you could put over your legs – I think it helps with blood-flow, etc – and lots more. The convocation center is also open, so as well as porta-potties on site, you can also use actual indoor restrooms if you’re willing to wait in line for those, there usually is a line.

Epilogue:  This is a very popular annual event.  I don’t think the results are publicly posted yet, so not sure how many participants there were for this one, but it was a LOT. This is also a dog-friendly event.  Very nice quality shirt, and the goodie bag even included an extra shirt from one of the sponsors.  The goodie bag was nicely packed with lots of other stuff too. My cat’s favorite goodie back item is this little miniature hand-held fan you can hold and squeeze to make the fun blades go round-and-round – a miniature cool-down device, with my cat trying to catch the turning plastic blades., lol.  I love this event; have been doing it for years; will continue to do so; and certainly would recommend it to others. See you next year at this one if you decide to do it.

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2023 Race 10, Street2Feet 5K

Photos are here:


Before The Start:  My 10th race of 2023 was the Street2Feet 5K held on February 19th at Brooks in San Antonio, Texas.  This is one of my ‘streak’ races; I have done all the live Street2Feet 5K races ever since this event started. Brooks is the former Brooks Air Force Base which became Brooks City Base and now is known simply as “Brooks”, an open community with the mission to benefit the economy of San Antonio’s South Side. Brooks is owned and managed by the Brooks Development Authority with a board of 11 members appointed by the San Antonio City Council.  Founded in 2008, Street2Feet is a wellness program for those experiencing homelessness. Start and finish was at Hanger 9, where all the pre-race and post-race activities took place.    Lots of pre-race activities included photo ops at the Street2Feet backdrop and there was a kids run before the main event.  We also had music from our DJ Pau, and indoor restrooms, which was really nice.  I arrived with about 40 minutes to race time and wandered around chatting with participants and supporters and got a few post-race photos.

On The Course 8 a.m. start time and you better be ready because local race management company iaap, who did the course setup, timing, and results, has a good reputation for starting right on time. The course was an out-and-back on the very wide roadways of this former Air Force base, plenty of maneuvering room for everyone. It is also quite a flat course, which is nice.  After my 5K the day before, in which I pushed myself a bit, I just kind of took this one easy for a bit, finishing in 40:39 chip time, although I did get a negative split for my last mile, as I ran most of Mile 3 nonstop, instead of taking my last walk break. I was 10th out of 14 in my 60-69 males age group.

After My Finish:  Did my usual post-race cool down walk, eating a banana and getting some water into me.  After that I enjoyed wandering around the area chatting with participants and supporters, giving treats to the dogs there, and getting some post-race photos. Also enjoyed some of the post-race goodies, and there were quite a few offerings from some of the sponsors that were there.  

Epilogue:  This is a very popular annual event.  This year the 5K had 428 finishers.  Very nicely laid out course; nicely designed race shirt, and lots of sponsor freebie stuff.  Inside the hangar, there was also a photo booth, which was popular. I would certainly recommend this event to others and I will continue to do this one myself.  Our MC, Lana – and I think co-founder of Street2Feet 5K –  did a great job, and our music man Paul rocked out the tunes for us. Several local community running organizations were represented too, including Wolfpack Running, San Antonio Roadrunners, Munsters Squad, iaap, and more.  If you’ve never done this event, this is definitely a ‘to do’ race to put on your list for the future. Much thanks to all the people that made this one happen for we participants: all the sponsors, volunteers, La Gloria Restaurant for allowing packet pickup to be held there, the police officers on the course, iaap crew, of course, and anyone else involved I may not have mentioned here.  Hope to see you out there next year!

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