2020 Race 14, Krispy Kreme 5K and 10K Donut Dash

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BEFORE MY START: My 14th race of 2020 was the Alamo Krispy Kreme 5K held on March 7th, 2020.  There was also a 10K.  These two races were part of the Alamo Marathon and Half race series, with the full and half marathon being held on Sunday, March 8th.  The beneficiary of the 5K/10K races was Sam’S Adventure Camp, a therapy program for kids with developmental disabilities. The start/finish location was a La Villlta in downtown San Antonio. Weather was pretty cooperative for we 5K and 10K folks, with overcast skies, very little wind, and a temps in the mid-50s.  Packet pickup was only on race day; a bad decision in my opinion, as the lines were pretty long; but, to give them credit, the organizers and packet pickup volunteers did go fairly quickly for as many people as were there.  Even so, I got my packet about 7:15 a.m. – with the race starting at 7:30 a.m., or shortly thereafter – so had just enough time to get my bib pinned on, get a few pre-start photos, and then head over into the start crowd.   We did not start right on time, but it was close enough.  A lady beautifully sang The National Anthem with several participants joining in; then a countdown, and we were off and running – or walking, if that was your personal choice.

 ON THE COURSE:    We started just outside of La Villita – I don’t remember the name of the street we were on, I think it was King Phillip, but it was just right outside of La Villita, then went down Nueva to Santa Rosa.  From Santa Rosa we went up a back street past the HQ area of Bill Miller BBQ.  We briefly went onto Presa, back toward Nueva.  On Nueva we went down onto the San Antonio Riverwalk, heading toward the Canoe Club and going behind H-E-B headquarters,  the “Old Armory” of San Antonio history.   With as many people there were doing this event it was quite crowded and a bit of slow going on the Riverwalk portion.  Everyone seemed okay with it though and where I was ag any given time I never saw anyone fall and everyone seemed to take in all in stride – no pun intended.  Before we got to the Canoe Club, we went back up to street level, crossing an iron bridge and going over to the King William Historic District sided of the river, and then back onto the Riverwalk on that side.  Back up to Nueva Street, where we proceeded to go up and across Alamo Street and into HemisFair Park, where we did a little loop-around.  This brought us back to Alamo Street, which we crossed, and then back down Nueva.  5K folk soon after that made a right turn to go to their finish, while the 10K folks continued on as their course was 2 laps of the 5K course.  I ended up 9th in my age group with a time of 37:51, averaging a 12:20 pace.  About what I expected as I knew this would be a large participant race, so I just kicked back for this one, had fun and even made a few more photo stops than I normally do for a race. All good.

After My Finish:   Every participant got 2 free Krispy Kreme donuts, one glazed, one chocolate.  I enjoyed my donuts, drank some water – no post-race beer, darn the luck  😉 – and then wandered around chatting with friends and getting photos of the happy finishers, volunteers, supporters, etc.

EPILOGUE:   For as many participants as there were – 1,218 combined finishers for the 5K and 10K – the course was pretty well thought out with lots of wide roads and maneuvering room – the only narrow part being the part on the Riverwalk, but all the participants seemed pretty accommodating about that. It’s also a nicely scenic route with views of Tower of the Americas and portions of the Riverwalk, and of some various sculptures and statues as we went through the Hemisfair Park portion.  Nicely organized finish with bottled water right near the finish so you didn’t have to go looking for it – wish ALL race directors would do their post-race water like that, makes it so much easier for the participants.  Pretty nice quality race shirt too.   Too bad we didn’t have The Alamo view like we did for this one in the past, but I get it for this year; safety issues with all that construction/renovation going on now at The Alamo. The only thing this year I did not like about the event was the Race Day only packet pickup.  Someone told me it was because the cost to rent the venue building at La Villita is too expensive to rent it for more days than the races are on; umm, if that is true and the actual reason – and I don’t know that it is, this is just what I heard from grapevine rumor –  then my question is why not just have the packet pickup somewhere else, like in front of an H-E-B or Academy Sports store, or someplace like that?  This is often done by other local race companies and H-E-B – one very community supportive organization – and Academy Sports don’t seem to mind helping with that – especially as they probably get some customer business simply from having the pickup at those locations.  Another option is just mail the packet to participants.– just include it in the online registration with a ‘deadline date” for  for those that register early enough for the race and have to do it ‘by this date’ to get  a packet mailed. I would sure do it, paying an extra fee to have my packet sent right to my door.  This is a really nice event and one I enjoy doing but, quite frankly, if the packet pickup next year is going to be like it was this year, I am going to do some serious thinking about whether I want to do this one again with all that going on.  From what some of my race friends told me as we chatted, they pretty much feel the same way.  So I sure hope the organizers can make the packet pickup next year a lot better than it was this year.  Aside from the packet pickup everything else was all good – although there was a problem with the race medals not arriving in time for the race, but I think that was beyond their control, probably an issue with their supplier.  The bottom line though is the race itself is a pretty nice one with a pretty nice course and lots of friendly participants of all levels, walkers, and even runners, dogs – yes, this is a dog-friendly event, but this is a crowded race, so if your doggie gets nervous with crowds, probably not for him/her – and several of the sponsors post-race had some nice freebies for participants.  Packet pickup aside, I’d recommend this one to others and probably will do it again sometime in the future.

MUCHO GRACIAS to all the people who made this one happen for we participants, including Athlete Guild who did the timing and results; Krispy Kreme and all the other sponsors and vendors; the law enforcement folks out there for us at all the intersections to keep up safe; and anyone else I may not have mentioned

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2020 Race 13, Get Your Rear in Gear 5K

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BEFORE MY START: My 13th race of 2020 was the San Antonio Get Your Rear in Gear 5K held on March 1st.   There was also a kid’s walk/run.  The event is put on in cities across the US by the Colon Cancer Coalition to raise funds for colon cancer research, with the funds helping organizations in each of the host cities.  Race location was Morgan’s Wonderland , a park designed for access to people of all abilities.  Race start time of 8 a.m., with local race management company iRun Texas doing the course set-up, timing, results, etc.   I live quite close to Morgan’s Wonderland, so got to sleep in a bit, arriving at the park with about 40 minutes until start time, and got a few pre-start photos.

 ON THE COURSE:     Starting inside the park, we looped around the park’s man-made lake.  Just before exiting the park, participants went through a “colon” tunnel, nice touch for this event. After exiting the park, a right turn that took us past Morgan’s Wonderland splash park, and then out to Heroes Stadium, an event venue for various sports and other functions.  We did a kind of “loop-around’ of part of the stadium, and then headed back to the finish the way we’d come out, going back around the park’s lake to finish up.  I ended up with a chip time of 36:02, good enough for 3rd in my male 60-69 age group.

After My Finish:   Got a few photos around the finish line area and then went and found some water and sat quietly for a few, just rehydrating and relaxing.   After that, wandered here-and-there getting random photos of the happy finishers, supporters, volunteers, etc.

EPILOGUE:   This 5K is a really well put on event – at least in San Antonio, which is where my only experience with it is, but I am sure the other cities probably do a bang-up job too – with lots of activity going on, such as awards for top fund-raisers, recognition of various survivors, and so forth.  Also, former San Antonio Spurs NBA basketball player Antoine Carr was there, graciously sharing his family story of cancer and kindly allowing participants to get autographs and photos with him.   Nicely designed, good quality race shirt; lots of post-race goodies; great race venue; nice age group awards medals.  I have done this in the past and will continue to do it in the future. It’s personal for me, as a survivor, although my cancer was found so early I actually had a pretty easy time of it.   Same thing too for when my skin cancer was found several years later.  I am one lucky dog, counting my blessings, and I really don’t think of myself as a true survivor, since I had it so easy.  I think more of myself as an Early Warning System, lol, shouting to you “GET CHECKED EARLY!” if you even suspect you have any type of cancer. I truly believe this is what saved me and that’s what I tell people when they ask me about my race shirts.  To me, though, the TRUE survivors those who really did have a fight on their hands, stayed determined, fought hard and went through hell at times, but they WON.  These folks have my true admiration.  This event  – and probably any cancer event – gives you a lot of interaction with survivors like that, all with their own stories, and also with people who lost loved ones to this horrible disease and were running or walking in their memory – cancer sucks, no matter what kind it is.  This can be a very emotional event as you chat with some of these people and hear their stories, but it is also one of the most inspiring races of the year that I do.  Cancer not only affects the person with it, but also the family members too and all these people – survivors, family members, and surviving family members of those lost – every day truly live Never Give Up, honoring their loved ones that are battling or did battle this insidious disease.    I certainly will continue to do this one and would recommend it to others.  Just be prepared though…you may tear up once or twice.

MUCHO GRACIAS to all the people who made this one happen for we participants, including iRun Texas race company, the Colon Cancer Coalition folks, all the sponsors and volunteers, law enforcement folks, Morgan’s Wonderland for use of the venue, and anyone else I may not have mentioned.  Thank you all so much for what you do so we participants can have this event

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2020 Race 12, UTSA Diploma Dash 5K

Race photos are here:


BEFORE MY START: My 12th race of 2020 was the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Diploma Dash, an event put on  annually by the UTSA Alumni Association to raise funds for student scholarships.  I am an employee of UTSA – 23 years now – so do this one just about every year whenever I can.  Race date of Feb 29th, with the location on the university campus.  This is a very popular event and always gets a really good turn-out. Race start time of 8 a.m.   Also, a dog friendly event, and runners with dogs even have their own awards category.  It’s normal from Dec – Feb to not know daily what the weather in Texas is going to be – it can be 70 one day and the next day be in the 30s, good grief – but Mother Nature was kind to us for this event, sunshine and blue skies, temp in the low 50s for start time, and no wind. Sweet.  I arrived about an hour before start time and wandered around getting a few pre-start photos.

 ON THE COURSE:     Start-and-finish in front of The Convocation Center – which also used to be the old-time gym when I first got to UTSA before the Campus Rec Center was built. We then did a loop route around the campus, – a route I am quite familiar with as I do several training runs on the campus before/after work – with a couple of small hills, but nothing you could call a major hill.  The finish tooks us back in font of the Convo Center from the opposite direction of the way we had gone out.  Lots of ongoing construction on the campus right now, so well-thought out course with wide roads roomy enough for everyone to maneuver around each other.  I ended up finishing in 35 minutes and change, placing 6th in my 65 – 69 age group.

After My Finish:   Got a few photos around the finish line area and then went and found some water and sat quietly for a few, just rehydrating and relaxing.  Then went and saw the EMTS to get my BP taken. I had a pacemaker implant done in August 2019 and my cardiologist is having me monitor my BP for a while. The EMTS were like….dang…. 118/77, heart rate already down to around 79, and blood oxygen of 97%.  They asked if I run a lot.  Ummm, yeah, a little bit, and I have another race to do on Sunday, March 1.   :p  After getting that done, I then went and enjoyed a cold beer, courtesy of Freetail Brewery – good beer too! – and some post-race goodies, and wandered around happily munching and getting some photos of some of the happy finishers, supporters, etc.

EPILOGUE:   Really nice event on a well-laid out course, and lots of activity both pre-and-post race.  There are all kinds of vendors here; Kiolbassa –  in San Antonio – provided sausage wraps; H-E-B, a Fortune 500 grocery company also HQ in San Antonio provided a ton of various types of foods and snacks; and there were several vendors giving away lots of free foodstuffs to the student participants and volunteers there – because of course, those young hard-working studying students are ALWAYS hungry at that age, right? So that is a very nice touch for this event.  There was also a company giving post-race massages and there were also so many other sponsors at this event, I can’t remember them all. However, I do remember the Major Sponsor for this event was Credit Human (formerly San Antonio Credit Union) so a huge thanks to them. Nice quality race shirt for all entrants and volunteers.   I really enjoy this event; will continue to do it in the future; and would certainly recommend it to others.  Also, you don’t have to be a runner; walkers are quite welcome too; and the course is also stroller friendly, for those with kids.

MUCHO GRACIAS to all the people who made this one happen for we participants:  UTSA Alumni Association that does the work to get this event ready for everyone; all the sponsors and vendors,  volunteers, law enforcement officers, EMT folks out there for us; and anyone else I may not have mentioned here.  Thank you all for what you do so we participants can have this event.



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2020 Race 11, Sauerkraut Bend 5K River Run

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 BEFORE MY START:    My 11th race of 2020 was the Sauerkraut Bend 5K River Run held on Feb 23rd starting and finishing in San Antonio’s historic King William District. Race start time of 9 a.m. so got to sleep in a bit.  Arrived at the location with about 30 minutes to go to start time and got a few pre-start photos.

 ON THE COURSE:    We started near the gazebo in the little park at King William Park, made a left turn onto Washington Street, and then went down to the iron Arsenal Bridge, making a right turn to cross over the Riverwalk. Once on the other side of the bridge, we took the path down to the Rivewalk, went by the Canoe Club and continued down the Riverwalk, going past Blue Star, crossed over another bridge near Brackenridge High School, and then continued to our turn-round point on this side of the Riverwalk.  After the turn-round we went back the way we had come out.  Just before the Canoe Club, we climbed a short ramp to go back onto paved streets, then made a left onto Guenther Street, passing the Steves Mansion, then making a left turn to head back to the finish.  After a 5K on Saturday where I pushed myself a bit, for this one I just had a lot of fun with it and ended up with a finish time of 37:09 – 10th in my 60 – 69 age group – and probably killed my finish time, lol, by stopping several times when I was on the Riverwalk to hand out some treats to doggies who were out there walking their humans.  :p  All good though, really enjoyed myself.

After My Finish:   Got a few photos around the finish line area and then went in search of the goodies.  Found the beer and hot dogs, relaxed and enjoyed those and then wandered around getting photos of the happy finishers, volunteers, supporters, etc.

EPILOGUE:   This was the first time I’ve done this event but won’t be the last.  This is a really fun event with a scenic course, lots of folks in costume, and lots of fun people.  Really nice quality race shirt, a small finisher medal for all finishers, and jars of sauerkraut to the 1st place age group winners.  Also a costume contest in which the winner(s) got free entry into next year’s event. Really nice after-party too, with lots of vendors, beer, hot dogs, and other various goodies.  This after party was like a mini-Scallywomus party, lots of fun and lots of stuff, just on a bit smaller scale.  Definitely will be doing this one again, and certainly would recommend it to others.

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2020 Race 10, El Taco 5K

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BEFORE MY START: My 10th race of 2020 was Andiamo Race Productions El Taco 5K held on Feb 22 at Mission County Park in San Antonio.  Race start time of 7:30 a.m., with the temp ranging from 39 – 41 degrees.  Nice and sunny day with no wind, so although a bit chilly for we South Texans it was still a pretty nice morning.  I arrived with about an hour to start time, got my timing chip, and then got a few pre-start photos.

 ON THE COURSE:   Mission Park is adjacent to part of the Mission Reach portion of the San Antonio Riverwalk – called Mission Reach because this area is where some of the historic 18th century Spanish Missions are located. Our course started from the park.  As we exited the park we made a left turn and went directly down a hill on the Riverwalk – meaning that hill would be up coming back to the finish.  This is a pretty hilly part of the Riverwalk so only a couple of portions of our course were flat.  Some nice views along the way of the San Antonio River, which was to our right going out and to our left after we made the turn-round point.  I ended up with a 35:07 chip time, 6th in my 60 – 69 age group.  The first guy in my age group did it in 23 minutes and change.  There are some speedy old guys in my age group, lol.

After My Finish:  I went back out on the course, staying to the side of it, and got a few photos of some other folks coming up that last hill we all had to climb to get the finish.  Also got a selfie of me and a freind with my old-time Canon camera.  Not easy to do when, unlike a phone, you don’t get a ‘selfie’ image on the camera.  But I’ve had this camera a while and am getting pretty good at it now, lol.  After these photos, I wandered around the park getting more photos of happy finishers, supporters, etc.

EPILOGUE:  This was a nice event, part of a series of races Andiamo puts on.  You can sign up for individual races or sign up for a ‘packet’ of races and get a discount on the entry fee if you do that.  Nice finisher medal and nicely designed quality tech tee race shirt.  Post-race there were food trucks with tacos and drinks – every runner got a free taco – plus coffee, beer, a photo-booth that was very popular, and live entertainment.  A very nicely done event on a very nice – although challenging – scenic course at a great location, as Mission Park has plenty of restroom facilities, water fountains, covered pavilions, plenty of seating with cement picnic style tables all around.  I would recommend this to others.  I’ve done this one in the past, but at a different park and I much prefer Mission Park than the other park; better facilities and lots more parking area.  Definitely will do this one again sometime in the future.

MUCHO GRACIAS to all the people who made this one happen for we participants:  Andiamo; all the sponsors and vendors; all the volunteers; law enforcement officers out there for us; and anyone else I may not have mentioned here. Also, thanks for the patience of the people who were not participants but out there on the course doing their own thing  – cyclists, walkers, other runners, etc;  thank you for giving us room as we ‘invaded your space’ for a while.

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2020 Race 9 Street2Feet 5K

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BEFORE MY START:   My 9th race of 2020 was the Street2Feet 5K on February 15.   This was also my wife’s birthday and she participated in this event as a walker.  This was the 11th year for this event – one of my very favorites – and this is my ‘streak’ race; I have done every one of them since the very first one started.   Race start/finish was in Downtown San Antonio at the recently completed Frost Tower of Frost Bank, now the tallest structure gracing San Antonio’s skyline.  There was a kid’s run at 7:45 a.m. with the main event starting at 8 a.m.   This is a very popular event, supporting the Street2Feet program which is a  “a walking/running 5k training program for individuals experiencing homelessness in San Antonio.  The program introduces walking and running as an accessible/sustainable habit that builds community and empowers participants to develop a healthy life, regardless of income, zip code, or socioeconomic status.”   There was quite a turn-out for this one so Gail and I arrived about early to take advantage of Frost Bank allowing the first 300 participants to arrive to get free parking in its Frost Tower parking garage; very nice of the company to do this.  We’d already picked up our race packets the day before, so went right to the race site and I started getting some pre-start photos.   The weather, although overcast, was pretty darn nice, in the upper 40s with no wind.

 ON THE COURSE:   The course route gave us a nice little min-tour of downtown San Antonio, taking us down Flores Street (I think it was Flores), then heading into the historic King William District, passing many 19th century built mansions/homes as we headed to our turn-round point.  Back down King William Street the way we had come and then we accessed the San Antonio Riverwalk by the Canoe Club.  Our route on the Rivewalk took us up to Nueva Street, where we turned left and headed back to Flores for a right turn that took us to the finish line.  I ended up with a time of 34:53, placing 17th in my 60 – 69 age group.  The top 3 guys in my age group all finished in the 22 – 24 minutes range.  Some speedy old farts in my age group, lol.  Very enjoyable course and because of where we were – Riverwalk, historic district, etc – I did stop a couple of times more than I usually do in an event to get a few extra photos.   Very nice course.  This event used to start and finish on 4th street, closer to The Alamo, which was also a nice course, but I like this one a lot better.   Especially now, as there is some ongoing construction around The Alamo and you can hardly see it now from the street through the fencing, etc, with all that stuff going on.  Anyway, we had a well laid out course, so kudos to race company iaap for the route layout.

 After My Finish:   After getting some water and getting back into my dry base-layer shirt that I had left behind before the start, I then wandered around chatting with lots of friends and getting some after-photos.  There were plenty of vendors at this event too, giving all kinds of freebies, including a photo-both, courtesy of Texas Photo Booth, where you could get some free fun-photos; McDonalds giving out free coffee and breakfast oatmeal; a juice place giving out healthy cups of various juices; and so many more I can’t even remember them all, but it was quite a nice little before-and-after street fair for all the participants and supporters.

 EPILOGUE:     MUCHO GRACIAS to all the people that made this one happen for we participants:  all the volunteers; sponsors; vendors; police officers out there for us; iaap for the course, timing, results, etc; and, of course, a really BIG thanks to the Frost Bank company for the free parking and use of the area surrounding the  Frost Tower.  Also thanks to anyone else I may not have mentioned here.  Thanks to all of you for what you do so we participants can have this event.   I also want to thank the Street2Feet Race Director and our MC – and my friend – Lana Hernandez, who thought well enough of me doing this event so many times that they made that ‘special’ race shirt for me.  I was very touched and honored, and I am quite sure that will become one of my very favorite running shirts.

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2020 Race 8 Scallywompus 5K 10K Half

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BEFORE MY START: My 8th race of 2020 was the Scallwompus San Marcos 5K on Feb 9th.   The main event was a half marathon and there was also a 10K and a 5K competitive walk.  All the courses started and finished at Tanger Outlets.   The half marathon folks started first, the 10K next, and then the 5K started at 8:30 a.m.   Weather dudes had called for rain on this day, but it was just misting a bit, we never really got any downpours, thank goodness. It was a bit humid, with the temps in the lower 60s, and the roads were kind of slick but it could have been a lot worse, so we were quite lucky.  I arrived with about an hour to go until the 5K start time and got a few pre-start photos.

 ON THE COURSE:  We went through part of the Tanger Outlet parking lot and then made a turn almost immediately had climbing up an incline.  After the incline, it was a down incline for a while, then a short up incline to the turn-round point.  Once we rounded the turn-round point, we had a down for a bit, and then that long down incline we had on the way up became a long 2-part uphill incline, which was probably the toughest part of the whole course. After we crested that it was downhill back to the Tanger Outlets, and then we turned behind the stores, running on a back service road and that was flat all the way to the finish.  I had pushed a bit at a 5K I had done before at OP Schabel Park – also hilly – in San Antonio, so this one I just kind of forced myself to take it a bit easier.  I ended up with a chip time of 37:38, which was good enough for 2nd in my 65-69 age group.  Of course, it helped that there were only 2 IN my age group, lol. That first guy finished 10 minutes ahead of me.

After My Finish:  Scallywompus does not kid about that “Stay for the party’ part of their motto, lol.  First I went and changed into a dry shirt I had brought with me, then found some fruit and water, and relaxed a bit.  Then I went to enjoy some sausage-on-a-stick and cold beer from Alamo Brewery. In between feeding my face I wandered around getting some photos of the happy finishers, supporters, volunteers, et al.   

EPILOGUE:     MUCHO GRACIAS to all the people that made this one happen for we participants:  all the volunteers, sponsors, vendors, outlet mall folks and workers for their patience, drivers out on the road – since this was an open course – for their patience too, any police officers out there for us, iaap for the timing, results, etc. our sound and music guy, race director Tony Garcia, and anyone else I may not have mentioned here. Thank you all for doing what you do for we participants!

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2020 Race 7, Cupid’s Chase 5K

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BEFORE MY START: My 7th race of 2020 was Cupid’s Chase 5K, held on Feb 8 at O.P. Schnabel Park in San Antonio. This race supported organization Community Options, a nation-wide nonprofit supporting people with disabilities. This race is personal for me as I was born a birth-defect March of Dimes baby and now have spinal arthritis and hip degeneration in my older years, so I can relate to disabilities, although my disability is a lot less than some and so I am lucky that I can still remain pretty active so far. So I try to do as many races as I can that support people – especially kids – with disabilities. Race had a late start time of 10 a.m., so for a change I was able to sleep in pretty late on a race day and then go to the park with about 30 minutes to start time. Wandered around and got a few pre-start photos.

ON THE COURSE: Start was from the park’s main pavilion and the course was on the park’s paved off-road trails. I run a lot in this park and have done several past races here, so knew what to expect: an up incline from the start; then a down incline to a downhill; then flat for a bit, as we made a left turn onto an adjacent trail. A few inclines along the way but nothing you could really call a major hill. Our turn-round was just past one of the under-passes in the park and then back the way we came. Of course this meant that when we got to that longer downhill we’d come down, that was now an uphill, and then we had a long up incline until we go to the turn that took us to the finish. Once we made that last turn, it was down all the way to the finish. I ended up with a 36:06 chip time, first in my age group, 65-and-over. There were only 2 in my age group, lol.

After My Finish: Right after I finished, got a few photo of some other finishers coming in. After that, back into the pre-and-post race activity area, where I found the food and water. Relaxed a bit and then got some post-race photos.

EPILOGUE: I’ve done this event a few times in the past. It’s a smaller event, with about 115 or so finishers. Makes for a nice friendly event with lots of the participants interacting with each other; it’s like a very friendly ‘community get-together”. Really nice quality long-sleeved race tee, finisher medals, and age group awards to first place in each age group. There was also a raffle, a DJ playing music, and a variety of vendors giving away some free stuff. Also a dog-friendly event, so my pockets I carry dog biscuits in were soon emptied, lol. Definitely will do this one in the future and would recommend it to others.

MUCHO GRACIAS to all the people that made this one happen for we participants: the park police officers out there for us; all the sponsors and vendors; iRun Texas for doing the timing, course setup, results, etc; all the race volunteers

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2020 Race Number 6, Stampede 5K

Photos are here:


 BEFORE MY START: My 6th race of 2020 was the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo Stampede 5K held on Feb 1st.  Start and finish location was on Alamo Street in downtown San Antonio near HemisFair Park. San Antonio’s  annual Rodeo and Stock Show Days are always in February, and the event raises a whole lot of money for local student scholarships, so it supports a good cause.  Nice turn-out for this event with 344 finishers.  The race started at 9:30 am., so a late start, got to sleep in a bit, and then was followed by a parade atarting at 11 a.m., in which cowboys  had a ‘cattle drive’ and herded some Longhorns and other cattle right down Alamo Street, which was a sight to see.  I arrived at the start location with about 45 minutes to go to start time so before the start I wandered around and got a few pre-start photos.

ON THE COURSE:  This course gave us some nice views of things in downtown San Antonio. We literally started and finished the race in a corral, lol. With a view of the Tower of the Americas to our right.  After passing Hemisfair, it was down Alamo Street, passing in front of The Alamo and then a left turn onto Houston Street.  We went down Houston Street, getting a view of San Antonio’s newest skyline feature, the modernly built Frost Tower.  Due to some ongoing construction, we did a short loop-around, coming back to Houston Street, and then proceeding back to Alamo Street.  We then went back toward HemisFair.  A short ways up from the finish line we turned into HemisFair, going onto the pedestrian walkways.  We then did a little jaunt by the Gonzalez Convention Center to a turn-round point, then back to the main walkway in the park. Our last little jaunt was going up to the Tower of the Americas, circling around that, and then back down the walkway to Alamo Street, where we turned left and then went straight back to the corral to cross over the finish mat.   Given all the construction and activity going on downtown, pretty nicely laid-out course by the iaap race management folks with what they had to work with.  Well done!   As for how I did, well, my first mile was way too fast – 10:23 – shoot, I didn’t even know I could still do a 10:23 mile, lol; I guess my pacemaker is finally letting me ‘gear up’ a bit – and I paid for that with a slower time for 2-miles; but then from mile 2 to the finish, did a negative spit for that mile – and from Mile 1.6 to the finish, I did run nonstop all the way –  and ended up with a finish time of 34:42, averaging 11:10 per mile.  I was happy with that, and felt pretty good.

After My Finish:  Right after I finished, got a few photo of some other finishers coming in.   After that, back into the pre-and-post race activity area, where I found the food and water. Relaxed a bit, enjoying a sausage wrap and my water, and then went to find the beer and get some after photos.

EPILOGUE:   This is the 2nd time I have done this event.  I did it last year and the participation was way lower than this year.  I guess word got around how nice this event was, and what a nice course we had.  Also, lots of post-race goodies, finisher medal to all – nicely designed with steer horns and a cowboy hat – and we even had a band on the premises, providing live music for all of us to enjoy.  We also got a really nice quality long-sleeved tech-tee race shirt – orange too, my favorite color, and very comfortable wearing – which I think will become one of my favorite shirts.  The goodie bag was also jam-packed with stuff, including passes for the San Antonio Rodeo, various food coupons for local eateries, and even some Longhorn Horns that you saw some people wearing in the photos that I took.   Definitely will be doing this one again and would certainly recommend it to others.  Early registration is recommended though; this is a popular event and as you get closer to race day the entry fee does go up quite a bit.

MUCHO GRACIAS to all the people that made this one happen for we participants:   San Antonio Livestock and Exposition (SALE), the folks that oversee all this; all the stock show and rodeo folks;  all volunteers; police officers that were out there for us; iaap for the timing, results, etc; and, of course, all the sponsors and vendors that contributed to help pay for all the services, goodies, etc.   Also, thanks to anyone else involved that I may not have mentioned here.

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2020 Race Number 5 – Freedom 5K

Race photos are here:


BEFORE MY START: My 5th race of 2020 was the 7th Annual Freedom 5K on Jan 25th , supporting the  Adult and Teen Challenge of Texas residential adult and teen drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers. Location was at O.P. Schnabel Park in San Antonio, Texas. There was a kid’s 1K at 8:30 a.m., a Toddlers Trot at 8:40 am, and the 5K starting at 9 a.m.  I have not done all of this organization’s 5Ks, but this was my 5th time of doing this one.   I live fairly close to the park, so with the late start I was able to sleep in a bit, arriving at the race locale with just under an hour to go.  Had already picked up my packet the day before, so wandered around pre-start, chatting with friends and getting a few photos.  This event is also dog-friendly, so handed out a few doggie treats too.  Weather was okay too; around 48 – 50 degrees at start time, no wind, and overcast.

ON THE COURSE:  I do quite a few training runs in O.P. Schnabel Park and have done several past races here too, so I am familiar with the usual 5K course in this park, done on the park’s off-road paved trails.   Starting near the park pavilion, we went up a short incline, then went down a longer incline, and then down a short but steep hill to the park’s primary paved trails.  Out to a turn-round point and then back the way we came – meaning that on the way back we had to go up the short steep hill, and then up the incline we had come down on; but once we made the final turn to go back to the finish, that part was all downhill.  I ended up with a chip time of 36:30, putting me 2nd in my  60 – 69 males age group.  And, now that I am older, I met my primary goals too – finish standing up and no ambulance specifically waiting for me.   :p

After My Finish:  Right after I finished, got a couple of photos of some people coming in after me.  Then elaxed a bit post-race, enjoying some of the post-race goodies, and rehydrating and then wandered around getting some post-run photos of the happy finishers, supporters, sponsors, vendors, etc.  Then, since I am in one of the older age groups, had to wait a bit to hear my name called and get my 2nd place medal.  I jokingly told the Race Director, they really need to start the awards with we older people first since we are older and need to get home to take our nap.  😉  All good though and, wow, there sure were some speedy folks there.  The overall male did the 5K in 17-something and the first lady was at 20-something. I think at 17-something, I was near the halfway turn-round point, lol.

EPILOGUE:  This is a nicely done, well-organized event on a good course – although somewhat hilly in places, but the hills are not really that long or steep – nothing like the hills you would find at Helotes or Pearsall Park events.  Very nice drawstring goodie bag, chock-full of stuff, and a very nicely designed quality race tee.  Nice turn-out, with 269 finishers for the 5K.  An event done for a very good cause and some of the ‘graduates’ of the rehabilitation centers told their stories, which was quite moving.  I can’t relate personally to what these folks went through, but I can empathize as my problem in the past when I was very much younger and far away form home during my Air Force days was compulsive gambling. Thankfully, I had a great Commander and First Sergeant who recognized my problem and got me the help I needed, so I went through a program for that, and those two people probably saved my career.  Any kind of addiction – except for an addiction to running, of course 😉 – can take a terrible toll on you, family, and friends.  If you have never had this type of problem, I hope you never do.  As noted, I have done this event before, and will most assuredly do it again in the future, and would recommend it to others.   Also, MUCHO THANKS to everyone who made this event happen for we participants:  all the sponsors, vendors, volunteers, park police officers out there for us, and anyone else I may not have mentioned here.  And thanks, too, to the other patrons of the park – cyclists, other runners, and walkers not doing the event, but who were on the trails doing their own thing – for their patience with us as we ‘invaded your space” for a while.

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