Beginners and Beyond


Report and Photos: Let Freedom Run 4th of July 5K (Read 24 times)


Barking Mad To Run


    I am Scott aka Scottydog aka Scotty Dogg, runner since 1983, cancer survivor, retired Air Force, employee of University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), friend of dogs, fun-runner, and all-around goofball.  In 2003 I had spinal arthritis flare up and ever since then I’ve done the run/walk method since it hurts my back too much now to run continuously with no walk breaks.  I’m on what I call my “2F Plan” which stands for Fun and Finish.  At events that I now do for fun I carry my camera, chase “Great Legs” to help motivate my slow old man self to keep moving forward, and take pictures before, during, and after the race. Sometimes I even get a nice post-race sweaty hug from one of the Great Legs ladies.   I then do a pictorial race report of my events.  I also carry dog biscuits with me to treat any dogs I may meet at a run, hence my nickname “Scottydog.” Here is yet another of my Race Reports With Photos, and my thanks to all the people I interacted with for their graciousness and good humor in letting me take photos of them.




    This was my 32nd race of 2015.  Held on July 4, 2015 at the Schertz Civic Center.  Schertz is a small city that borders on San Antonio and is near Randolph Air Force Base, so the city has lots of residents who are DOD civilians and active duty and retired military.  Start time was 9:15 a.m., a bit later than most of the local 4th of July local races but that is because we ran the parade route of  Schertz's 4th of July parade.  As I live pretty close to Schertz - about a 20 minute drive for me - it was nice to sleep in a little later on a Saturday morning than I do for most races I do on a Saturday.  Nice turn-out for this event, something close to 300 participants, if I remember correctly.  Awards were given only to the top 3 male and female finishers, so this was more of a fun-run for the majority of us, and that's okay.  The timing for this one was 'old school" - no chip timing, times manually recorded when you crossed the line.  I ended up finishing in 33 minutes flat by my chrono and the timers had that for me too.  I did not hear anyone complaining about their finish time, so the timers did a good job with the 'old school' timing.     If there had been age group awards, I would have been 2nd in my age group (60 - 64).




    Before the Start


    I arrived about 45 minutes before start time and got some pre-start photos.


    Ms. 4th of July Lady

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    Me, 4th of July Lady, and my friend and fellow veteran, John Purnell of Purnell Racing.  We tend to 'banter' back-and-forth at times and I tease him a lot about stuff - and no worries, he gives back as good as he gets, lol; he is really a good guy and a good friend.

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    Some of the great volunteers there for we participants

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    Our results lady and one of my favorite people, Sherry Purnell.  Yes, she is related to John..his daughter.  Thank goodness she got her mother's looks! 

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    Some of the other folks - participants, supporters, volunteers, etc -  waiting for the start


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    This young man was the one who ultimately was the first overall finisher - in 17-something.

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    Our MC, Mark, who always does a great job at the events he announces for.

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    Relaxing before the start....they know how to do it!

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    UT.....SAAAAAA!  Go Roadrunners!  An alum of UTSA (the university I work for) and his son

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    Well! I guess I know what this dog thinks of my photo skills..he turned his butt to me!

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    OK, that's better...


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    Members of Team RWB (Red White Blue) San Antonio.  RWB is a veteran's organization with chapters in several cities nationwide. I am a member too.

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    Our EMT folks who rode the course making sure everyone was okay. Thanks guys!


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    Getting ready to start.  National Anthem played...and we were off!

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    On the Course


    There was some cloud cover when I'd first arrived, but the sun was out by start time.   Still, for a Texas summer morning, not to bad at all.  About 78 degrees at 9:15 a.m.  - eat your heart out, my Miami friend, Damaris, I know YOUR temps are about in the upper 80s by then  - and the humidity and dew-point did not feel too bad at all, at least not to me.  We started in an area behind the Schertz Civic Center, went out on an access road by the Civic Center, then turned left onto Schertz Parkway, the 'main street" of the city.  From here we began passing in front of all the spectators waiting for the parade to start.  It was a lot of fun and several of us moved to the right - including me, because the road had a pretty good camber and my braced knee does not like running on slanted inclines, and the road was much more level nearer the curb - and we had a lot of fun 'low-fiving' all the kids who were holding their hands out for us as we passed by.  Lots of cheering ad support from the spectators, it was a lot of fun...reminded me of  smaller version of the Fiesta Fandango parade run during Fiesta San Antonio time.  We followed the route the parade would be taking, turning off the main drag into a neighborhood area which had some nice shade trees in spots along the way - and that was sure appreciated in Texas summer with a 9:15 start time - and some really nice houses;    we had crowd support for over half of the distance.  From about Mile 1.7 or so, we were on our own back to the finish.   It was not an out-and-back, which was nice, it was more of a loop course - my personal favorite course - winding past the parade spectators and through this lovely neighborhood;  all in all, a very pleasant and well-thought out route, mostly flat with just a couple of very small inclines along the way.  Kudos to whomever laid this course out for us!


    Down "Main Street" we go!

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    Turning off the main drag now and heading into a local neighborhood


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    A little past the halfway mark now...

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    One of our littlest finishers coming in...


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    Way to go, buddy!


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    This gentleman has overcome a lot of personal adversity and was out here for this 5K carrying the flag the whole way.  All the other finishers lined up in a 'human chute' for him to go through and loudly cheered him in.  Congratulations, sir, and thanks for being there for us today with the flag!  You rock!

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    After the Finish


    A little ways past the finish line there was a 'mister' you could go through to get cooled off and I took advantage of was very refreshing!  Then I got some water and walked around a bit, cooling down and drinking....and then it was off to get some post-race photos!


    Cooking up some tasty sausages for us! Thanks so much!


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    "Happy Finishers", supporters, etc


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    Two lovely ladies...and you can see the mister behind them..

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    John and friends...and cold beer...which I also hit the spot after a warm run...thanks, John!

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    This lady is an inspiration!


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    Very nice course - beats running past parking lots like some of our local area events do  - very nice crowd support, tasty post-race goodies, and really nice tech tee race shirts.  Mucho Gracias to John Purnell and Purnell Racing, the race organizers; AthleteGuild for course set up, timing, and results; all the sponsors, volunteers, etc. who helped make this one happen for us; and, of course, all our law enforcement, EMT folks, etc, who were out there keeping it safe for us.  One fun smaller local event that I will definitely do again!  As said, this one is mostly a 'fun run' since only the top 3 male and female finishers get awards - although ALL finishers did get a nice little 'finisher pin" - so if, like me, you are not one of those 'speedy runners' that usually gets an award and just wants a nice friendly event to do, this one may be for you.  Of course, if you ARE a speedy runner, this one might be for you too since the course is so darn flat for the most part, it's really a good one to shoot for a 5K PR.   Try this one for one of your future 4th of July races, I am sure you will not regret it.

    "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." Theodore Roosevelt

    delicate flower

      Looks like fun, Scotty!  Cool that it was along the parade route....lots of crowd support waiting for the parade, eh?  Smile




        I did the Turkey Trot one year (it precedes Detroit's parade) and the crowd was nuts.



          It dawned on me whilst reading your report that I do not have a single piece of flag themed running gear.

          Bad Ass

            Nice job, Scotty!



            It's always hot in Miami

              Looks like a fun way to start your 4th of July.  Nice to have the crowd support as you run too.