2021 Race 30, Big Red and Barbacoa 5K

Photos are here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/Z7A4y9bVbnuuYzyV8

 BEFORE MY START:   My 30th race of 2021 and 2nd of this weekend was the Big Red and Barbacoa 5K held on August 22 at Comanche Park in San Antonio. Nice turn-out, with 242 finishers. Race start time at 8:30 a.m., with a Kid’s Run at 8:15 a.m.  August in Texas so temp at 8:30 a.m. was already in the upper 70s and humidity was thicker than a double peanut butter sandwich. I arrived at race site with about 45 minutes until start time and roamed around chatting with friends and getting some pre-start photos.

ON THE COURSE:  Out-and-back course starting from near the park’s main pavilion.  The route was on the paved trails in the park just about all flat, with the exception of a couple of mild inclines that cannot really be called hills; down inclines on the way out, up inclines on the way back. Course was open to other patrons so had to watch out for cyclists – a couple of whom were pretty rude about it – and other runners and walkers.  Like the 5K my friend Ralph and I did the day before, we were pretty much in the same proximity again for most of this race too, until near the end when Ralph found his ‘finish mojo’ and finished ahead of me by a good 2 minutes or so. I ended up with a chip time of 38:48, 2 minutes faster than the 5K I did the day before this one.  Happy with that and my pacemaker, ‘celebrating’ its 2nd anniversary – it was implanted on Aug 22, 2019 – behaved itself nicely.  

AFTER MY FINISH: Comanche Park has a really nice and large pavilion with fans placed at various spots, so a nice place to just sit and relax for a few minutes and cool down. After that, enjoyed a post-race Kiolbassa sausage, chatting with friends post-race, and getting some ‘happy finisher’ photos. I call them that because most participants seem to be smiling more after they are done than before and during the race, lol.  

Epilogue: Very nicely done event at a nice venue. I personal like running at Comanche Park – a nice selection of trails, good facilities, including indoor restrooms, large pavilion,  and it even has a kitchen area, and has a couple of other smaller shelters just right for packet pickups, serving post-race goodies, and more.  Unique and nice quality race shirt. Goodies included barbacoa tacos, Big Red, and Kiolbassa sausage.  Finisher medals to all and nicely designed medals for the age group placers.  I would do this one again and would recommend it to others.  

MUCHO THANKS TO:  Race Director Eddie; all the volunteers at packet pickup and on race day out there for us; iRun Texas for hosting the packet pickup; park police officers that had a presence out there for us; our MC an music man who did a great job for us; iaap for the timing and results; I think iaap may also have designed the race shirts; and anyone else involved I may not have mentioned here.   Thank you all!

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2021 Race 29 Churchill High X-Country 5K

Photos are here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/Wf2rEe1EgrDKKoZz6

BEFORE MY START:  My 29th race of 2021 was the Churchill Cross Country 5K, held on Aug 21 at McAllister Park.  When I originally saw the race title I thought it was an actual cross-country race so did not sign up since I can’t do actual cross-country events – kills my spinal arthritic back. My friend Albert let me know it was actually on paved roads and trails at McAllister Park and the title was because the race supports the X-country team.  Okay, then.  So I did race-day sign up, since McAllister Park is very close to where I live – about a 10 minute drive.  Arrived on-site around 7:15 a.m., got signed up and got a few pre-start photos.  Nice to see friends at this one, including Albert, Rick, Ian, and Ralph. 

ON THE COURSE:  Start time 8 a.m.  Weather: very humid and already in the 70s.  The start was a bit down from a youth baseball field in the park and the finish was just about right in front of the entrance gate to the youth baseball field. The course was a combination of paved trails in the park and one park road – so no cross-country at all. Living near the park I am familiar with all the trails in the park as I run here quite a bit.  I did my usual 8-minute run/2-minute walk thing and took a few photos during each of my walk breaks. For the majority of the course I was pretty much in proximity of my friend Ralph.  I think I pushed a bit too hard during that first mile and I paid for it the last mile, walking a bit more than I usually do.  With about ½ mile to go, Ralph surged ahead of me to get to the finish. I plodded behind, finishing at 40:46 chip time, averaging 13:07 per mile, and finishing 1st and 2nd and 3rd in my 65-69 age group since I was the only one in my age group, lol

AFTER MY FINISH: I had parked pretty close to the finish line area so went and sat in my car for a bit, with the a/c running, sipping my post-race rehydrate drink and felt much better.  Then it was back out to watch the awards and get a few after-photos of some of the participants and supporters.   Some of the participants are pretty darn speedy. The overall guy finished in 16:47, jeez, and the first lady finished in 21-something. I was not even to Mile 2 by 21 minutes, lol. Felt sorry for my friend Albert who did the course in a pretty good time – but forgot to put his race bib on, so had no official time.  He ran the course pretty well too.

Epilogue:  A smaller event with 72 total finishers, but very nicely done.  The course was well thought out and did give us a lot of shade along the way. It was also a pretty flat course, with just a couple of small inclines along the way, so a nice course to shoot for a PR; however,  all the trails are still open to other park patrons – cyclists, other runners, walkers, etc – so you do have to keep an eye out for other “traffic’ coming toward you or coming up behind you. Pretty nice quality race shirts and nicely done small age-group medals for those who placed. The only thing I would recommend changing – earlier start!  This is Texas summer in August and it gets warm really quick.  7 a.m. or 7:30 a.m. start would be nice, and it is light enough to see by that time.  All-in-all though, very nicely done.  I’d do this one again and would recommend it to others.

MUCHO THANKS TO:  All the Churchill High School staff, students, etc. who got this one going for us, and all the volunteers out there for us, cheering participants on.  Thanks also to all the sponsors who helped make this one happen, and to the Park Police officers that had a presence out there for us for our safety; and to Athlete Guild for timing, results, etc. and to anyone else involved that I may not have mentioned.  Thank you all!  

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2021 Race 28, S.A. Summer Series 5K-Race 4

Photos are here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/nWYrzucYcr8HyiAFA

BEFORE MY START: My 28th live race of 2021 was the San Antonio Summer Series 5K held on August 1st at McAllister Park in San Antonio. This was my 2nd race of the weekend, after doing the American Heroes 5K on July 31.  Start time of 7:30 a.m. for this one.  McAllister Park is only a short drive for me; parts of my neighborhood are actually adjacent to some of the off-road trails in the park. I arrived a little after 7 a.m. at Becken Pavilion, the start/finish area of the 5K, got my packet and then got a few pre-start photos.

ON THE COURSE:    The 5K was a loop course on off-road paved trails and one park road, that took in quite a bit of the park. For those familiar with the park, we passed by the nearby police substation; went on the park road that took us close to the youth baseball field, and then turned onto a paved trail that took us behind the baseball field. After that, we were on a paved trail that headed in the direction of the Turkey Roost pavilion, but we turned onto another trail before getting to that pavilion, and that last trail took us back to the finish on the trail that we had originally started on. Nicely thought-out route. Even though we had an early start, this is Texas in summer, so pretty darn humid, already 79 degrees at 7:30 a.m., with a feels-like of 84.  I felt pretty good for the most part, although still ended up with my usual 12-somethting minute miles, ending up with a 38:21 finish time. Surprisingly, this was good enough for 1st place in my 60 – 69 age group, so I think all the speedy runners in my age group slept in the morning of this race, lol.

AFTER MY FINISH:   Got some water and a banana; just sat a bit while I relaxed, ate, and and rehydrated, ahhh, felt good. Then wandered around chatting with various friends and other participants and getting some “Happy Finisher” photos.  Ever notice that more participants are smiling after the finish than before and during?

Epilogue: Put on by e-Dragon Productions – Erik Burciaga and Kristine Burciaga, co-owners and co-Race Directors – a company that is a really good local race management company that puts on several events on over the year. Kristina and Erik do a great job with all of them.  This is a well-organized event with a pretty nice course.  McAllister Park is a pretty nice activity venue with both paved and natural off-road trails; soccer fields, baseball fields; dog park; and several indoor restroom locations. Nice quality race shirts and unique age-group award medals.  Post-race goodies included some fruits; iced-down bottles of water; and an iced-down cloth post-race to help you cool down a bit more.  There were also sausage wraps, courtesy of Kiolbassa sausage, nice. The series includes 4 races total and you can register for all 4 at one time, getting a nice discount if you do that, or each one individually. The Summer Series proceeds go to scholarships for local deserving athletes. I participated in this series last year, again this year, and will again in the future.  Most certainly would recommend it to others.

MUCHO THANKS TO: All the people that made this one happen for we participants, including e-Dragon Productions; all the volunteers who were out there for us, many of whom are Team Beef members; ; the Park Police officers that were keeping us safe at the two locations where we accessed public park roads; friends Dan The Man and Gilbert Weaver for the post-race fruits and grilling up the sausages; and anyone else involved that I may not have mentioned here.  Thank you so much. 

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2021 Race 27, American Hero 5K/25K Relay

Photos are here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/SWjmwbtFDZZcntoJ7

BEFORE MY START:   My 27th live race of 2021 was the American Hero 5K held on July 31. The main event was the American Hero Relay 25K, which had 5 team members each running 5K distance.  There was also a Kid’s Run before the 5K and 25K got started. Event location was Comanche Park in San Antonio, a very nice park that is part of San Antonio’s Greenways Trail System.  The park has paved trails and connects to other parks in the system; you can get in a really long run, walk, or bike ride in this park if you so desire.  Start time of 7:40 a.m., after the kids run was done.  Weather…well, this is Texas in late July, so humid, warm – already 76 degrees with 82% humidity at the 7:30 a.m. start time – and no breeze at all.  I arrived with about 45 minutes until the start time, chatted with friends, and got a few pre-start photos.

ON THE COURSE:   Start was near the main pavilion in the park. Individual 5K participants and Relay 25K first-leg team members all started together. The course was primarily out-and-back, with a little bit of a ‘loop’ done just before the finish.  Kind of mentally frustrating, lol, because when you did that last little bit on the course, you could see the finish line on your left – and just wanted to turn right then to get there – but had to go past it on the trail to make the turn farther down that would take you back to the finish line to finally get done.  Lots of tree cover on this course, which is nice, but did not really help keep us cooler as, noted before, no breeze at all. Since everyone used this course, the speedier faster relay people were continuously coming-and-going – especially the runners doing the first two legs – continually passing by the slower 5K runners like me. I tried to keep aware of them and just get the heck out of their way, lol, when they came near me.  I ended up 3rd in my 60 – 69 male age group with a chip time of 38:54, averaging a slow 12:31 per mile. Mile 3 for me was a negative split though, liked that. I felt a bit tired, but pretty good overall, in spite of this stupid prostate cancer I am currently dealing with. It is what it is though, so just have to keep a positive attitude, keep up the good fight, and do the best  I can.

AFTER MY FINISH:  Got some water and a banana and then went to the park pavilion and just sat at one of the picnic tables for a while, relaxing, rehydrating, and enjoying the nice cool breeze of the pavilion fans blowing on me as I monitored my pacemaker bringing my heartrate back down into my normal resting heart rate range. Ahhh, much better. Then off on a post-race walk-about, chatting with friends and getting some photos.

Epilogue: Put on by e-Dragon Productions, a really good local race management company that puts several events on over the year, this was a well-organized event with a pretty nice course. Personally, I like running at Comanche Park.  Also, nice facilities, with a big covered pavilion and indoor restrooms.  Post-race goodies included iced-down bottles of water, chicken fajitas, and more. No beer though; guess the park authorities would not allow that.  Nice little age-group race medals that are also bottle openers; nice quality race shirt; and a music duo entertaining us post-race.  I’d do this one again and would recommend it to others.

MUCHO THANKS TO: All the people that made this one happen for we participants, including e-Dragon Productions; all the volunteers who were there for us for both packet pickup on Friday and the race on Saturday; local running company iaap who did the timing and results; park police officers that were out there for us; the food preparers for providing a really good feed; and anyone else I may not have mentioned here that was involved. Thank you all!

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2021 Race 26, Winter in July 10K and 5K

Photos are here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/Y6safmt3iXVTcFPW9

BEFORE MY START:    My 26th race of 2021 was the Winter In July 5K/10k, originally started by my friend Rebecca B.  For career purposes, Rebecca now lives in another state, but she kept this event in San Antonio where it started, and she drove down from where she lives now to San Antonio to attend to this event.   Held on July 24th.  I did the 5K. Held at Wheatley Heights in San Antonio, this race benefits St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN.  This race is also kind of personal to me as, during my Air Force Days long ago, I was a volunteer for a short while at St. Jude’s, where I had the privilege to meet some of the most courageous kids I have ever known.  This has been a true blessing for me as I am now being treated for prostate cancer; so when I get a little frustrated or maybe start feeling sorry for myself for a few minutes, all I have to do is take a moment, close my eyes and think about those kids and it hits me that I really don’t have it so bad.  After all, I got to grow up and have a life, some of these kids did not. Race start time of 7:35 a.m. for the 10K and 7:45 a.m. for the 5K.  There was also a 1K Kids run before the two main events got started.  I arrived about 40 minutes before start time, chatted with friends and got a few pre-start photos.

ON THE COURSE:  Start/Finish line was in the parking lot near Wheatley Heights Stadium. The course for this one was out-and-back. We did a very short distance in the parking lot, turned left onto an access road, and then turned right onto the Wheatley Heights off-road trails, part of the San Antonio Greenway Trails System.  Nicely paved trails, and lots of shade on the course.  A couple of up and down inclines along the way, but nothing you could really call a hill. We also crossed a couple of short bridges that took us across parts of Salado Creek, I think.  Because of my spinal arthritis, I did my usual 8-minutes running/2 minutes walking thing and got some on-course photos during my walk breaks. I felt pretty good and did my usual 12-something minute miles, with my last mile on the way to the finish being a negative split, nice. I ended with a chip time of 37:44, averaging 12:09 per mile, and was 5th out of 10 in my 60-69 males age group.  Got a few photos of others coming into the finish.

AFTER MY FINISH: Got my finisher medal and there was also a nice ice-watered down cloth given to each finisher, nice, to help with cool-down.  Got some water and just sat for a while, sipping my water, and eating a banana, waiting for my pacemaker to bring my heart-rate down to ‘normal” level, which did not take long at all.  After I got myself rehydrated a bit, I then enjoyed a post-race beer and Kiolbassa sausage wrap, and wandered around getting some after-photos, and chatting with friends, participants, and supporters.

Epilogue: Very nicely done event with local company e-Dragon Productions (race management; shirt-printing, running gear, etc) laying out the course and friend Erik doing duties as Co-Race Director with founder Rebecca.  Local resident Mark Purnell did his usual great job as Race MC, and Athlete Guild did their usual excellent job of timing and results. Unique age group nicely designed “tile” awards for the top 3 finishers in each age group, and nice quality race shirts and finisher medals for each finisher. Lots of vendors/sponsors at this one too and a bouncy Moon Castle for the kiddies.   This is a really good quality event I will definitely do again and again.  I would certainly recommend it to others. Walkers welcome too, and this is also a dog-friendly event.

MUCHO THANKS TO: All the people that made this one happen for we partcipants, including e-Dragon Productions; Team RWB San Antonio; Fleet Feet San Antonio; Kiolbassa Smoked Meats for the post-race sausages; Bloody Buddy (bloody mary with vodka); 20’s Moon Castle; wear blue: run to remember; Camp Gladiator; Como Familia; Delgago Realty Group; Trail Toes (anti-chafing products); Performance Republic Physical Therapy; Team Beef; and any others I may not have mentioned here. Thank you all!

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2021 Race 25 Texas Tough 10-Mile, 10K and 5K

Photos are here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/zkpGp6ZzkPESNFQd8

BEFORE MY START: My 25th race of 2021 was the Texas Tough 5K held on July 18th in Helotes, Texas. Start and finish area was in the historic “Old Towne” part of Helotes. The main event was the Texas Tough 10-miler, starting at 7:30 am. There was also a 10K, starting 5 minutes or so after the 10-miler and then the 5K participants went a few minutes after the 10K start. This was my 2nd race of the weekend, having done the Stars and Stripes 5K the day before. I arrived about 35 minutes or so before the 5K start time and got a few pre-start photos.

ON THE COURSE: The Race Title does not say “Texas Tough” for no reason. This is one of the hilliest events I have ever done. As I was doing the 5K course, I kept thinking ‘If this is what the 5K is like, I can’t imagine what the 10K and 10-miler participants are having to deal with.” Out-and-back course for the 5K. I think the 10K was out-and-back also. Not sure about the 10-miler. We started in Olde Towne in the parking lot of a local store, GG’s House. Out the parking lot and very first thing, down a hill we go and then up another hill. Left turn that took us down another hill and then up a short incline. We turned right into a very nice neighborhood area and had a flat course for about ¼ of a mile or so. Rounded a curve…..and the REAL hills began Down we went, 1st hill, then up the looooong hill; around a curve and then another downhill that took us to our 5K turnround point. Of course, now we did the hills in reverse on the way to the finish. These are what Race Directors euphemistically call ‘rolling hills” and I was thinking, I’d probably get down these faster if I did roll down them, lol. Downhills are always a problem for me with my spinal arthritis – pounds my back more – so had to be careful and just take it real easy on parts of the downhills. Somehow I managed to get through these tough hills, and finally all that was left were the shorter inclines/hills left to do that we’d first come out on, only in reverse this time. I ended up with a chip time of 41:46, averaging 13:27 per mile; 4th out of 8 in my 65 – 69 age group. My hilly 5K on Saturday was 41:02, so at least I am consistent, lol.

AFTER MY FINISH: First thing, get some water and walk around rehydrating, and watching my pacemaker take my heartbeat back down to normal levels. All-in-all I felt pretty good. Then sat for a while, sipping my water, eating a banana and also a breakfast taco, chatting with friends I had been running with off-and-on while on the course. Then enjoyed a post-race cold one, courtesy of Shiner beer, nice, as I wandered around getting some post-race photos. Also gave a few doggies some treats. Very enjoyable.

Epilogue: This is a pretty challenging 5K course – especially for an old dog like me, lol, with a pacemaker and currently dealing with prostate cancer – but also a well laid out one. The course design allows a lot of interaction between participants coming-and-going, so lots of cheering each other on as participants passed by each other. Really nicely designed and good quality race shirt; and finisher medals to all. Nice goodie post-race, including Taco Cabana breakfast tacos, various fruits, Shiner beer, etc. I would do this one again sometime and would recommend it to others, especially those looking for a good hill challenge; you will certainly get that!

MUCHO THANKS TO: eDragon Productions local company that managed the event and I think they also laid out all the courses; iaap for timing, race results, etc. friend Gilbert for his usual excellent array of fruits and post-race goodies; all the race volunteers; and, of course all race sponsors. Also, thanks to local police. I saw one police officer before the 5K started and she told me there would be a police presence, so thanks for helping keep us safe. Also thanks to anyone involved that I may not have mentioned here. Thanks for what all of you do so we participants can do this event.

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2021 Race 24 Stars and Stripes 5K, 10K, Half

Photos are here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/a9To3p6H2A6n5nN4A

BEFORE MY START: My 24th race of 2021 was the Stars and Stripes 5K held on July 17 at the Stars and Stripes Drive-In Theater in New Braunfels, Texas. The main event was a half marathon and there was also a 10K and a competitive 5K walk. Athlete Guild was the race company organizer, timer, etc., of this event. I arrived onsite a little before 6:30 a.m. and got a few pre-start photos. The half-marathoners were already lining up as their event was the first to begin, with a start time of 6:30 a.m. Nice early start for a change, which is a blessing in Texas summer, believe me. Wish more Race Directors would do this early start thing during the Texas summer. Weather was pretty cooperative for the most part though. It did not rain on us and we had a pretty nice breeze blowing also, along with lots of cloud cover.

ON THE COURSE: 10K participants started on 7 a.m,, so when we 5K runners, walkers, and 5K competitive walkers lined up for our 7:15 a.m. start, the other race participants were already gone. I lined up way back as I did not anticipate doing this one very speedily. Just wanted to take my time, have fun with it, and not push it. I was feeling pretty good, in spite of the fact I had found out earlier in the week that my testing came back positive for prostate cancer. No worries, that will be taken care of. We started from the grounds of the Drive-In, next to the concession building, proceeding down the entrance/exit driveway. At the end of the long driveway we made a right turn and proceeded up a long incline. At the top of this, we turned right and proceeded down the longest incline/hill on the course. These were the only 2 climbs on the course. After getting onto level ground again we went a very short ways before making a left turn that took us down a country road – paved, thank goodness – to our turn-round point. From there we went back to the finish the way we had come out; which meant that long downhill incline was not an uphill for us. And, of course, the up incline we had first started on was now downhill on the way to the finish. I am actually not fond of downhill running, lol, as I have some spinal arthritis, and downhills pound my back much harder than uphills do. My timer did buzz me on my way to the finish on that downhill, notifying me of a walk break, so that helped. Mostly I felt pretty good and was comfortable, but also pretty slow. I ended up with a 41 minutes even chip time, averaging 13:02 per mile – my fastest was Mile 2 at 12:25, my slowest Mile 3 at 13:59 – 5th out of 6 in my 65 – 69 age group.

AFTER MY FINISH: By now sun was up and it was getting pretty warm. First thing after finishing, get some water, walk around a bit and monitor my pacemaker as it started lowering my heart rate back to what is normal for me, which did not take long at all. After that, I went to my vehicle and sat in it for about 10 minutes with the a/c turned on as I sipped my water and had a post-race nutrition bar. Ahhhhhh. Then it was back out to chat with friends, cheer for other runners and walkers as they finished, enjoy a post-race beer, and get a few “Happy Finishers” photos.

Epilogue: I’ve done this 5K a few times in the past years, including the inaugural one. The theater is family-owned by a great family of some of the nicest people I have ever had the pleasure to meet. I saw the co-owner when I first arrived and he actually did the 5K today, the first time he’s done it, since he so kindly opened his venue for this event. This is really a nice place to have a race. Mucho available parking, indoor restrooms, and post-race if you need to cool down a bit quickly, the air/conditioned lobby is open. The theater staff also prepares goodies for post-race which for this one is a plate of burgers and fries and a drink. You can sit in the lobby booths to enjoy this or go to the outside pavilion in front of the lobby, where there are several picnic tables available, and also a nice ‘safe” playground area for any kids there. I hung around for quite while sitting in the picnic area chatting with friends, enjoying post-race food and drink and cheering in other runners and walkers as they finished. A very nice quality event with lots of amenities, pretty nice race shirt, and finisher medals. One nice thing the half marathoners mentioned they liked really well was there was a water-stop at every mile. Well done! I’ve done this in the past, would do this again in the future, and certainly would recommend it to others.

MUCHO THANKS TO: Race Director Sherri Purnell who really did a great job with this one, and all the Athlete Guild staff that was out there too, making it all happen for us. Thanks also to all the volunteers, both pre-race and race day; and thanks to Team RWB (veteran’s organization) that had a water stop right by Mile 1. I am a member and know a lot of these folks, so it probably did not help my finish time, lol, that I stopped to chat and get a couple photos. I think they also had some more water stations along the rest of the course. Also, thanks to all the other sponsors, Gaudalupe Brewing; For the love of GO!; eDragon Productions; and HutWorx; and of course, our venue sponsor hosts, Stars and Stripes Drive-In Theater. Thank you all!

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2021 Race 23 Texas Too Hot 15K/5k

Photos are here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/hxG9WVXfXHX4kvXY6

BEFORE MY START:   My 23rd race of 2021 was the Texas Too Hot 15K and 5K, with me doing the 5K.  Put on by iRun Texas and held on July 11 at Boerne Lake Park, I believe this was the 10th anniversary of this event, and I have done every one of the Too Hots since it first started so was not about to miss this one, even if I did do a 2-mile race at 6 pm the day before this event.  Got home a bit late from that one, had some dinner and went to bed late, so did not get much sleep, as I had to get up early for the drive to Boerne Lake Park, as the race had a 7:30 a.m. start.  Even so, feeling pretty good when I got there.  Lots of cloud cover and very humid – dewpoint in the 70s – but a bit of a breeze blowing and temps in the low 70s, so not too bad for Texas summer.  The skies looked like rain was threatening, but it never did rain while we were on the course.  However, lots of wet spots and muddy patches, so you could tell it rained pretty good up here the day or night before.  I arrived at the park with about 30 minutes to go and got a few pre-start photos.

ON THE COURSE:  15K and 5K participants started all together.  We got the call to line up and then there was a slight delay as an equipment malfunction was corrected. Then we were off.  After my race the night before, and still recovering a bit from a biopsy I had, I planned just to take this one really easy, not push it, and take a few more photo stops and walk breaks than I usually did for a 5K.  I one one really slow walker, so I figured about a 45-minute finish for me.  I lined up appropriately for this, almost near the back of the pack. And off we went!  This course consists of starting near a picnic area and then right up a short but steep hill almost right off the bat.  One we crested the hill, we had a flat trail to go down. With all the week’s rain the trail was pretty muddy in places, and it is a pretty rocky terrain too, so definitely had to watch your footing. The course was trail until a bit after the 1-mile mark.  The we proceeded onto a paved road.  The 5K participants went up to a set of traffic cones, where we turned around. The 15K folks continued straight ahead on the road, heading for ‘them thar hills” in front of them; and from what people have told me about the 15K course, these are no baby hills either. Both courses are out-and-back, so we went right back the way we had come out, this time doing in reverse the 3 hills we 5K folks had. For once I did behave myself and did not push it, and just enjoyed myself, chatting with other back-of-the pack runners and walkers like me; enjoying the views of the lake and surrounding area; and taking some photos.  I ended up with a 43:43 chip time, 5th in my age group, so I was not too far off my estimate of 45 minutes. 

AFTER MY FINISH:  Got a few photos of some others finishing.   Then wandered around chatting with friends and getting post-race photos, rehydrating and partaking of some of the fruits, etc., that were available.  There was also lots of post-race activities, with a photo-thiingy where you stepped on a pedal and then stepped back for your selfie photo; also post-race massages, and several vendors with give-aways.  Shiner Beer was also on-site but because of the ‘blue laws’, since it was Sunday, could not serve the beer until 10 a.m.     Even so, lots going on, so time went by pretty quickly.  Also a dog friendly event, so I ran out of doggie treats pretty quick.

Epilogue:  iRun really puts on a good show.  Really nice finisher medals; very nice quality race singlets for all participants; awards for the top 3 in each age group and awards to the top overall finishers – nice prizes for them too; there was even a bib-number raffle where you could win a $50 iRun credit for Brooks gear at the iRun stores . iRun owners Mitch and his wife did a great job with the awards ceremony, keeping everyone entertained, lol. Mark Purnell, as usual, did his superb job of being our MC.  Another nice thing about this event: since it is at the lake and right near the picnic area, lots of the participants and their families just stay at the park for a few hours after, enjoying some food, grilling, and lake activities.  It really is a nice little park. This is definitely one of my favorite events of the year – in spite of the course, lol 😉 – and will continue to do it in the future as long as I am able, and certainly would recommend it to others.  

MUCHO THANKS TO:  all the iRun crew and their volunteers for packet pickup before and on race day, and for all the work they do so we participants can have this event. Thanks to all the sponsors who supported this event and all the vendors who came out on race day; the police officers who were on the paved roads part of the course for our safety; and anyone else I may not have mentioned here.  Thank you all.      Oh, and apologies to the Shiner Beer guy.  I took his photo, but like an idiot old man, forgot to wipe my camera lens, so the photo of the guy made it look like he was in Witness Protection, with a big ole blob over his face, so I had to delete that one.  Sorry about that, buddy.

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2021 Race 22, Hurache Turbo 2-Miler

Photos are here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/Nj1xn9usnQwhKvcR9

BEFORE MY START:  My 22nd live race of 2021 was the iaap Hurache Turbo 10th anniversary 5K held on July 10 at McAllister Park in San Antonio.  This was a free event, courtesy of Hurach Turbo, so the registration filled up really fast.  My friends Ceci and Rogelio created Hurache Turbo running group with a philosophy to make each running event original and fun by adding Mexican folklore. The group not only puts on races that include themes, a variety of costumes, and good food and drink; it also conducts training groups and sessions for runners at all levels.  This event started at 6 pm.  A short while before the start time, rain came pouring in.  McAllister park is noted some of its trails and roadways flooding in various parts after a heavy rain. The last mile on the course did get flooded so this event was changed to a 2-mile out-and-back. Thankfully, the rain stopped before start time and we actually had a pretty nice day with some sunshine, temp in the low 70s, but also very humid. Lots of standing water around the park too, so definitely needed the bug spray.  I arrived onsite with about 40 minutes to start time and got a few pre-start photos.

ON THE COURSE:   As noted, 2-mile out-and-back.  Start was from a road next to the soccer fields and youth baseball field.  We then went up the road that leads to Becken Pavilion in the park.  A little down from Becken Pavilion was our turn-round point and we went back to the finish the way we had come out. There is a lot of shade on this course, and we did have to negotiate a few “standing water” spots.  I did a few people slapping at themselves; assumed flying/biting insects were bothering them, so was glad I had put on my bug spray. I finished 3rd in my age group – there were only 3 in my age group, lol – with a time of 24:37, averaging 12:11 per mile.

AFTER MY FINISH:  Got a few photos of some others finishing.   Then wandered around chatting with friends and getting post-race photos. There were lots of local running groups present, including Wolf Pack; Munsters Squad; Team Beef, and more.  A few had some pavilion tents and were serving up various food and drinks. Awards ceremony went pretty quickly and there was also a costume contest those who wore costumes.  My friend’s mother, aged 90 years old, was quite a hit at the event, and got a medal for participating in the 5K. 90 years old and still going; sheesh, she should get a medal for just showing up! 

Epilogue:  Really nicely done event, with a nice quality race shirt; nice age group award medals; a food truck on site; iaap/Hurache Turbo in my estimate is one of the top race management/running groups in the San Antonio area. Not only do they organize races, they also have lots of various events at their Runners Ranch and runners are welcome to come out and train on the running trail at the ranch, which is mostly very sandy, which makes for some tough running and will strengthen you right up. One of the most outgoing and friendly organizations of people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, and am proud to call them friends.  As noted, several running groups participating had food and drink at the event, as well as what iaap provided; so quite a choice of items, including chicken fajitas, various types of sodas and beer, and much more.  Definitely recommend iaap/hurache turbo events and certainly will continue doing them in the future.

MUCHO THANKS TO:  iaap/the Iniguez family for all the things they do for our local running community.   I just can’t say enough about how much this family contributes to local running.  Some of them pretty darn good runner themselves and pretty darn speedy too, and  in the local running history of San Antonio even set some records at a few races.  Check out the iaap web and hurache turbo websites to learn more; and then go do some of their events.  You will not regret it.    Also, thanks to all the volunteer out there for us; to Tico’s Family for its food truck onsite; to Paul, our Music and Sound man; and any others involved that I may not have mentioned here.        

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2021 Race 21, e-Dragon 5K Summer Series, Race 2

Photos are here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/f54oJw5aJXyt8PN97

BEFORE MY START:  My 21st live race of 2021 was Race 2 of the San Antonio 5K Summer Series, put on by e-Dragon Productions (the Burciaga family).  There are a total of 4 races held over the summer for this series.  Race 2, held on June 27, took place in McAllister Park in San Antonio. The route was on off-road paved trails in the park, and part of one of the park roads.  The course for this one was done in reverse of the Race 1 course.  Start time of 7:30 a.m.  Temps in the 70s, and pretty humid, and somewhat overcast.  McAllister Park trails have lots of shade thankfully.  Starting point was Becken Pavilion with a loop course that brought us back to the pavilion to finish. For some reason I could not get my act together this morning before leaving home – oops, forgot my camera; go back inside and get it; oops, forgot my phone, go back into the house to get it; oops, forgot my dry shirt to change into…jeez, crazy old dog, lol – so arrived at race site with about 20 minutes to start time.  Got my packet, got my bib pinned on, got my camera and got a few photos before we started.    

ON THE COURSE:   As noted, a loop course.  We started in front of Becken Pavilion, then turned onto the trail that heads toward a local police substation near the park. Prior to reaching the substation, we turned onto another trail that took us down toward the park’s soccer fields and youth baseball field. Turned onto that trail, passing the soccer fields and baseball field; left turn onto another trail that took us to the park road that headed us back toward the direction of Becken Pavilion. Just down from Becken Pavilion, we turned onto another off-road paved trail that did take us past the police substation, and then back to the trail we had started on to finish up.  There were 6 people in my 60 – 69 age group, and I ended up dead last, with a chip-time of 38:17.  The first guy in my age group did the route in 20 minutes-and-change, jeez. The first 4 guys all finished in the 20s, with me and another guy finishing in the 30s. Got some talented speedy old guys in my age group, fer sher. Probably did not help my race time either, lol, when I saw walker coming along with a doggie or two, and stopped to offer them – the dogs, not the humans :p – a doggie treat.  All good, though; I enjoyed myself and I met my two primary race goals these days – finish standing up and having no ambulance waiting for me specifically at the finish.  😊

AFTER MY FINISH:  Got a few photos of some others finishing.  Then went to see friend Gilbert, who had brought a nice array of fresh fruits, and got a banana and some water.  Sat in the pavilion area, relaxing, drinking my water, eating my banana, chatting with friends there also, and watching my heart numbers on my garmin as my pacemaker took my heart-rate down from 135 back to my usual normal range of 55 – 61 when I am resting, which did not take long.  Good boy, Zapper (the name of my pacemaker, lol).  After that it was walk-about time to chat with more friends and get some post-race photos.

Epilogue: The Burciaga local running-legend family, via their e-Dragon business, always puts on some great quality races, training runs, events, etc.   They also do some really nice shirt printing too; Erik is my go-to guy for the printing for the majority of my shirts I wear for my races and training runs. Nicely laid out course at a nice location, very easy to follow; nice quality race shirt; nice awards ceremony – top 3 in each age group and overall winners – with unique medals for the winners.  Also, walkers are always welcome too. And, unless prohibited by some park rule or statute, e-Dragon events are dog friendly too.  I enjoy doing e-Dragon events, will continue to do them in the future, and certainly would recommend them to others.

MUCHO THANKS TO:   e-Dragon for a really nice quality race; the park police officers that were out there for us for the times we crossed over one of the park roads and ran on another park road; friend Gilbert for providing fresh fruits; all the race volunteers that made this one happen for we participants; all the sponsors for this one; and anyone else I may not have mentioned here. Thanks for what you do that allows we runners and walkers to participate in this event.          

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