Beginners and Beyond


Report with LOTS of Photos - Morgan's Wonderland Snowball 5K (Read 14 times)


Barking Mad To Run


    I am Scott aka Scottydog aka Scotty Dogg, runner since 1983, cancer survivor – caught very early, so I actually had a fairly easy time of it - , retired Air Force, employee of University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), friend of dogs, fun-runner, and all-around punster and 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.  My only goals for a race these days are finish everything I start, have fun along the way, and finish standing up with no ambulance waiting for me. 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 – unless it’s a mean dog; then the biscuit goes in one direction and I go in another. Hence my nickname “Scottydog.” Here is yet another of my Race Reports with Photos. I am not exactly a good photographer but hey, at least all the photos are free so my ‘subjects’ can save and share their photos if they so desire. Mucho thanks to all the people I interacted with at this event for their graciousness, patience, and good humor in letting me take photos of them.


    Held on January 30, 2016, this was my 6th race of 2016. I thought it was #7, but I do so many races in a year - 70 last year completed- that sometimes I lose track, so have to check my log to be sure, as I number them in my log after I complete them.   Well, 6 done is still pretty good for this early in the year.    Race location: Morgan’s Wonderland Park, the world’s first accessible park, designed in mind for people with special needs. This event benefited The Academy at Morgan’s Wonderland, an alternative school for special education and special needs students. Weather was very cooperative; sunny, blue skies, no wind and 51 degrees at the 9 a.m. start time. There was a 1-mile walk and a 5K run/walk. I did the 5K, ending up with a time of 30:59 chip time, averaging 10:09 per mile. Holy cow…I didn’t even know I could do a 10:09 mile, lol. My time was good enough for me to get 3rd place in my age group of 60-64. My wife walked the 5K and finished in 47:01 chip time.



    Arrived at the park with a little less than an hour to go to start time and immediately began to get some pre-start photos.


    Me and my wife, Gail.  I definitely married up; and am lucky the lady has the patience of a Saint.  She has too, living with me, lol.

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    Gail and me with friend, Angel (next to me) and her family. Her son, Jacob, is a student at The Academy.

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    My wife wandered away to go chat with some friends, etc., while I was doing my photo thing.


    The park is a pretty little place with all kinds of specially developed rides for people with special needs, a man-made lake, meeting areas, sculptures, play areas, etc.


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    OK, I thought this was a big clock - duhhhhh  - and then my friend Mitch came along and told me it was actually the ferris wheel ride frame, lol

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    the man-made lake in the park...caught a bird in flight over it...this was the lake we circled right before we finished

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    There were some real 'characters' in the park for this event.. 


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    Me and my favorite running lady, Bernadette.  I've lived here a bit over 20 years now and Bernadette and I have known each other for about 18 of those years and have each done a lot of the same races over the years.


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    These were some of the on-course volunteers, right before they were taken out to their various locations.  Thanks for being there for us!

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    The lonely finish line before all the activities began

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    My friend, Mitch (right) and part of the team from iRun Texas, a great local specialty running store and event company that Mitch and his wife co-own.  iRun did the course setup, timing, results...

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    Some of the participants, supporters, etc.

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    Team What-A-Burger

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    This team has a great partner to run with!


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    Three of the race day registration volunteers

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    Me and one of my favorite people, Sandra, a truly inspiring lady who has overcome a lot to be out running and walking.

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    I am a member of Team RWB (Red White & Blue) San Antonio, the local chapter of a national veteran's organization, and there were quite a few of us at this event today.


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    Opening ceremonies and awards were held here...

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    National Anthem playing, with Team RWB presenting the flag


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    Near the start line area, getting ready to go..


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    We started in Morgan’s Wonderland, went out a nearby gate and then did a loop on the roads near the park, with a loop that took us by Heroes Stadium, an athletic/event facility of Northeast Independent School District. Headed back toward Morgan’s Wonderland, with a diversion that had us doing a loop around a nearby soccer field, then back into the park and finishing by circling the man-made lake inside the park.


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    Some of the on-course volunteers

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    Looping around the soccer field that took us to the Mile 2 marker

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    After that last photo, it was 1.2 miles of nonstop running for me back to the finish





    Post-race goodies included bottled water, various fruits, etc., and pancakes


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    cooked up by these guys:


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    Quite popular, as this was the pancake line.

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    Went even quicker for me as I actually don’t like pancakes, lol, so I didn’t have to stand in line at all. Instead, I went around getting more photos of “Happy Finishers” volunteers, supporters etc.


    These folks had snowballs in a cooler that you could throw at the snowman target


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    This lady and I did the course together from the soccer field almost to the end, where she found her finish mojo and went in ahead of me quite handily.  She was good company and we had a nice chat as we went along.

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    My pals Marguerite and Mony with their little motivator

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    Me and Ashely, one of the race organizers.  One of the nicest ladies ever.

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    Team RWB was strong in presence after the race too....


    Me and Bernadette, post-race

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    Bernadette with her medal

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    Ladies with their medals

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    Ride the ride!

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    After I got my medal, I gave it to Jacob, a really good kid;  and then we all got a few photos together


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    Jacob with our race MC


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    Right before I left for home, gave these two little doggies a treat


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    Love doing races in this area when the race includes a course that goes through Morgan’s Wonderland Park or inside of Heroes Stadium or Toyota Field, the San Antonio professional soccer stadium because these routes make the race so much more interesting than simply running around all the park roads outside of these venues – so boring. I did this 5K last year and the course had to be changed a bit this year because of some ongoing construction, etc. Personally, I liked this year’s course much better than last year’s course, so I hope they make this year’s course the permanent one.   And it was especially nice at the awards ceremony, watching some of The Academy students presenting the medals to the age group winners, those kids were so into it, every enthusiastic and willing, it just brought a smile to your face to watch them. Nearly 500 participants for this year. This one just keeps growing, which is a good thing.

    Mucho thanks to Morgan’s Wonderland, The Academy, all the volunteers, sponsors, law enforcement, etc, who were all out there we participants today; all those folks that make this one happen for we entrants. All of you did great for us!

    Nice course, nice venue, a whole lot of great people participating – entrants, volunteers, etc – and a beautiful day for it all, what more can you ask for? This is one of my favorite events to do each year. I will definitely be keeping this one on my race calendar each year.

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

      Didn't you do a race there about a month ago?  It looks like a very nice place to race and you had a beautiful day for it.



        Nice pics Scotty. It looks like it was a great day to race.