Beginners and Beyond

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Race #7 of 2018: Snowball 5K at Morgan's Wonderland (Read 5 times)


Barking Mad To Run

    INTRO  

    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.”

     

    And a big thanks to runningahead.com for allowing me a “home” for my many many MANY race reports and photos.  Great site, free training log; calendars; running routes; maps; conversation forums for runners; and much more

    A couple of the photos may not have come out so well; sorry about that.   Plus, at times post-race I forgot to wipe my sweaty lens - duhhhh - so there might be a smudge or two on some of them. And for a few, when I asked someone to take a photo for me, I forgot to tell him/her how to focus the camera, duhhh..   All in all though, I think they came out fairly well.  I am certainly no professional photographer with skills; but at least all the photos are free to save.

     

    Here is yet another of my photo reports.  Full report below.   

     

    Link to photos only:

    http://s166.photobucket.com/user/scottydog69/slideshow/2018%20Race%20Reports/2018%20Race%20No%207%20Snowball%205K%20Morgans%20Wonderland?sort=2

     

     

    BEFORE MY START

    My 7th race of 2017 was the Snowball 5K at Morgan’s Wonderland park in San Antonio on January 27th.  Morgan’s Wonderland is a uniquely designed amusement park to accommodate those with special needs.  The event supported The Academy at Morgan’s Wonderland, a school for children with special needs.  Mother Nature gave us a bit of a dreary day with some clouds and drizzle, but the drizzle stopped before the 9 a.m. race start.  The rest of the morning stayed dry for us, although it was pretty humid and the temp was around 63 degrees. My kind of weather since I much prefer running warm than running cold.  I got to the park with about an hour to go to start time and did my usual pre-start photo thing.

     

    Morgan's Wonderland faces Toyota Field, the professional soccer stadium in San Antonio.

     

    Sculpture seen after you first enter the park

     

    This sculpture says it all....this is a special needs people friendly park, designed specifically for them.

     

    One of the rides at the park, made to also accommodate people in wheelchairs.

     

    The lake in the park.  We made a loop around this lake to finish up on the course.

     

     

    There actually were snowballs at this event, lol.  A target was set up and people had fun throwing the snowballs at a target cardboard snowman.

     

     

    Various participants, volunteers, etc.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Athlete Guild folks for course setup, timing, results, etc

     

     

    He did carry the flag the whole way and he was very speedy too.

     

     

     

     

    ON THE COURSE

     

    Started in the park, then out onto the street in front of Toyota Stadium, the stadium for San Antonio’s professional soccer team.   From the park we turned into the Youth Soccer game fields and did a loop around them.  Back out onto the street, went to Heroes Stadium, an event stadium for one of our local school districts and other activities, and did a loop around that.  Then it was back onto the street, straight back to Morgan’s Wonderland and a loop around the park’s lake that took us back to the finish.  The course was very flat, with just small inclines along the way at certain points. I ended up with 32 minutes-and-change, good enough for 2nd in my age group. This was a fairly small event with probably a couple hundred runners and walkers, so I think there were only 2 in my age group.  Due to budget – with the majority of funds going to the cause – only each 1st place Age Group person and overall winners got medals.   Volunteers handing out the medals were some of the special needs Academy kids and they got medals too as a remembrance for them, nice touch.

     

     

    Looking across the soccer fields at Morgan's Wonderland "Splash Park", another park recently opened for special needs people so they can enjoy some 'splashing' and water rides too in the hot days here.

     

    Very wet walkways and streets on the course

     

     

     

     

    I am heading for where these folks in front of me are

     

    Running by Heroes Stadium

     

     

     

     

     

     

    AFTER MY FINISH

    “Happy Finisher” photos, as well as some of the volunteers, supporters, etc.   Ever notice more people are smiling after a race than before and during?  Hence, my ‘happy finisher’ title.  And also photos of some of the volunteers, supporters, etc.   Magnolia Pancake Haus served up pancakes after the race to everyone that wanted them.  There were also various drinks, energy bars, and other give-aways from some of the local vendors and sponsors that were there.

     

    Pancakes post-race, anyone?

     

    I made it! And did not fall down on the wet streets, klutz that I am, lol.

     

     

     

    One of our volunteers who stood out there directing us back into the park to finish.

     

     

     

    Where the post-race awards ceremony and other activities took place.

     

     

     

    Who is the biggest clown here?  I bet you can guess.

     

    I encountered Gordon Hartman, the founder of Morgan's Wonderland - named for his daughter - and he kindly let me have a photo with him.  This guy and his foundation have done a lot for our city.  Mr. Hartman is wearing the race shirt for today's event.

     

     

     

    I like the shirt.  I am more 'slow and unsteady", lol.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    My friend here finished his 5K in 25:27.  Good grief.  I can only dream about doing a pace like that, lol.

     

    A family of finishers

     

     

    Two old guys and one not old guy

     

     

    My friend Albert got a medal.  75 and still going strong!

     

    My friend, Bernadette, as usual, got 1st in her age group.  She is my longest-in-years running friend, have known her for just about the whole time I have lived in San Antonio, 20+ years.  We do so many of the same races year after year, she is my 'running wife', lol -  WITHOUT benefits, of course, as she says, lol. She is a great friend.

     

    EPILOGUE

    This is a very nice and well-organized event at a really nice facility.  Lots of friendly people, access to the park, nice post-race goodies, nice tech tee race shirt, nice medal for each age group award winner.   Have done this one in the past and will definitely do this one again in the future.  I certainly would recommend it to others.  Just a very nice family-friendly event.

    Mucho thanks to all the people that made this one happen for us, including Morgan’s Wonderland staff; all the volunteers, sponsors, vendors, etc;  law enforcement that was out there for us; Athlete Guild race management company for course setup, timing, results; and anyone else I may not have mentioned.  No race for us without all of you, so thank you very much!

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