Beginners and Beyond


Report and Photos: Helotes Beer Garden 5K (Read 30 times)

Barking Mad To Run


    I am Scott aka Scottydog, 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 23rd race of 2014.  The inaugural Helotes Beer Garden 5K was held in Old Helotes Town, starting and finishing near Soler Sports, a very good local specialty running store and race company. Roger Lewis was our race director and organizer in getting this all together - with a lot of help, of course, from all his great volunteers - and he did a really good job.  For an inaugural event, the turnout was really nice, about 350 or so runners/walkers, maybe even a little more than that. The weather even cooperated too, a cloudy/overcast day, about 68 degrees at the start, and a nice breeze blowing. I did my usual run/walk/take photos and ended up with a finish time of 33:49.



    Sit back and enjoy because this event was such a fun one - at least for me, anyway - I ended up taking a LOT of photos.


    Before The Race

    I had previously picked up my race packet so on race day when I arrived on site with about 45 minutes to go, I immediately started taking some pre-start photos.


    "Old Town" Helotes, with the city limits bordering San Antonio city limits,  is an historic area with some old buildings, lots of shoppes, eateries, etc, and some very friendly residents who are patient about we runners having several races over the year in their neighborhoods.



    And, of course, we love our bar-b-cue..


    The quiet start/finish line before everyone got going.


    Awards waiting for the finishers...first place winners got a very nice glass beer stein


    Part of our course included this incline, shown here before all the runners were on it.



    Our RD, Roger, wearing the very nice tech tee that participants got.


    Some of the volunteers, participants, and supporters pre-start




    Yes, I did give the doggies treats













    Comparing knee braces.. 



    On The Course


    And we're off!  OK, the usual 5K course in Helotes is a big loop that goes out from Soler Sports, stays on some flat roads for a while, then the route turns into this neighborhood that is very hilly and has one GIANT hill.  The route eventually comes back on the road where the race started and runners climb a small incline to finally finish back by Soler Sports.  However, instead of the loop course, RD Roger used a route that had us doing a couple of out-and-back routes, which did have a couple of hills, but we did not have to do the Giant HIll, so thank you for that, Roger.


    The first the time I started taking photos, the lead runner was already coming back from the first out-and-back on the course.  Speedy!








    Mile 1 completed now and heading to Mile 2....


    On this out-and-back part of the course, some of the speedier runners already heading to the finish


    I was still heading AWAY from the finish line, still on my way to the turn-around point


    On the road where our turn-around point is before we head to the finish line


    After the turn-around we had this small hill to climb before turning back onto the road that took us to the finish




    After that last photo, I headed nonstop for the finish.  On the finish-line road, going down the incline and then up the incline to the finish I even managed to pass a few people.   They must have been REALLY tired for a fat old dog like me to pass them, lol.


    After The Race


    And now, as to the name of the race.....because at this evvent there were several  "craft beer" breweries represented and post-race we got to go around and sample their beers, nice!    Represented for the post race tasting were Alamo Breweries, Guadalupe Brewing, Pedernales Brewing Company, Ranger Creek Brewing, Five Stones Brewing Company, and maybe some others I might have missed.   Hard to decide which was the best, they all had good stuff and I had a small taste of each.  Would have been nice to have more, but since I was driving I behaved myself.












    And these folks were serving up some really delicious BBQ Brisket sandwiches...I had one and it was goooood!


    Happy Finishers, Supporters, volunteers, etc., enjoying the post-race festivities









    One of my fellow UTSA employees..this guy coaches the university rugby team.  Go runners!





















    Thanks for your service, guys!  Some active duty and retired military folks, I enjoyed swapping 'war stories'  with them, altho I probably bored them to death with my "old man retired' war stories, lol.





    There were also some runner-oriented beer shirts - or maybe beer-oriented running shirts - on sale too.....






    The lovely lady shirt vendor






    One of my most fun races of the year!  Nice course, nice tech tee, lots of friendly folks, nice post-race goodies, nice awards.  You know, if word gets out on this one, I can only see this event getting bigger, this could end up being one of the most popular events of the year for we 5K beer-drinking runners.  Really nice turn-out for an inaugural run. Roger and all his hard-working volunteers did a great job on this one so kudos to them, and thanks so much for all the craft beer folks  and the sandwich grillers who took the time to come out for us, and for all the sponsors who helped make this happen.


    Next up for me:  Well, it was nap time for me after this event, since I had race #24 for the year on the schedule  for this same weekend:  The Sunday Funday 5K in Shavano Park on April 13, 2014.

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


      Oh, Scotty, this race looks awesome!  I think this is the race we should use as the over all RA FE place next year!  LOL j/k   It sure looks fun though.  Old Helotes Town seems like a lovely place for a race and beer festival.  Glad you had such a nice time. Thank you for sharing such wonderful pictures, and I totally wish i could have been there for this one!


      "We do not become the people who this world needs simply by turning our backs on anyone we don’t like, trust, or deem healthy enough to be in our presence. "  ---- Shasta Nelson


        That is a good turnout for a first time race, though the beer festival was definitely a good way of attracting runners.  Did you have to pay for the samples, or was it free to runners?  We have a beer fest with a HM nearby, but they charge $12 for 3 samples and a full draw, and I wondered if that was typical?  In any case, yours looks like a really fun event.

          Craft beer, running, and BBQ = Win.


            Wow, a new race and a new course for you.  What a treat!  Good luck Sunday!


            Are we there, yet?

              Now we know the real reasons you run so many races: BBQ and beer, and not necessarily in that order.


              2021 Races:

                   05/15/21 - 3DATF 50K

                   TBD - 12-hour

                   TBD - 100K (maybe)
                   TBD - 24-hour (maybe)



                Congrats Scotty,  just the name 'Beer Garden" should draw a crowd.

                Jack K.

                uʍop ǝpᴉsdn sǝʇᴉɹʍ ʇI

                  Now THAT looks fun! Those beer shirts are the coolest. Smile


                    Fun race, Scotty!   But, I think every race you do has got to be a fun race!   I still think that races in San Antonio should sponsor you to get the free publicity from your RRs.   Thanks for sharing, and I love all the pics!

                    But The Smile That I Sent Out Returned With You.

                    Barking Mad To Run

                      That is a good turnout for a first time race, though the beer festival was definitely a good way of attracting runners.  Did you have to pay for the samples, or was it free to runners?  We have a beer fest with a HM nearby, but they charge $12 for 3 samples and a full draw, and I wondered if that was typical?  In any case, yours looks like a really fun event.


                      Nope, beer was free to all runners....and for those that had a designated driver, you could even go back for 2nds, 3rds, etc...


                      They did charge for the BBQ sandwiches, but a lot of that money went to the supported charity for the event, so it was all good.

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


                      Return To Racing

                        Great way to support your local breweries.   Come to think of it, we just did that yesterday (without the 5K) !!!



                          This could my slogan!