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 Race #42 for me for 2015. Held at Dry Comal Creek Winery, the San Antonio RoadRunners (SARR) put this event on every Labor Day, followed by a great after-party on the winery grounds. After I finished, one of my fellow SARR members who was a volunteer with the event told me there were about 1,100 or so participants. I had not run 5-mile distance for about 5 months - my longest run in a while had been 4-something - and I knew this course is VERY hilly, so I was a bit leery about if I could do it. I figured I'd probably walk a bit more and finish in something like 1-hour 15-minutes or 1-hour 20-minutes or so; but I surprised myself and managed to finish in an hour and one minute chip time, 1 hour 2 minutes gun time. I guess those weekly hill workouts I do really paid off today. Wasn't even CLOSE to placing in my age group and didn't think I would anyway; it's all good, I did 5 miles, my longest run in a while and I finished standing up on my own two feet, which is always a good thing at my age. The guy that was first finisher did the course in something like 36 minutes.. or maybe that was the overall Masters...even so, .with all those hills......zowie!
LONG REPORT WITH PHOTOS
On Friday, when I went to get my packet for the event, this was what someone had written on my packet envelope, lol. I guess all these races and photos I do, I'm getting a bit known in the local running community.
Nice tech-tee shirt that participants got
Before the Start
I had not done this event in a couple of years and could not remember how long it would take me to get to the winery from my house. 7:30 a.m. start time for this race. So I got up at 5:30, fed the 'kids" (mine and Gail's 7 cats; Gail is my wife, for those who don't know) and then drove to the race site - it took me all of 30 minutes, lol. Dang, I could have slept in another 30 minutes! Oh well, nice to be early and I got a nice parking spot right across from the winery entrance, so would not have to walk far back to my car after the party, sweet.
The first folks I met were my fellow Team RWB (Red White Blue) member, the lovely Cecy, and my friend Curtis, who like me is retired Air Force, and I hadn't seen for a while. They were volunteering this morning. Had a nice chat with them and got a photo...and Cecy had an 'angel glow" from her reflective vest, lol.
To get to the start area we had to walk a bit down from the winery, go over a field, cross a street and then go up to Vintage Oaks subdivision area where the management and residents kindly indulge we hundreds of runners by allowing us to use their property. As you can see, even before the race started, we had to go up a hill to get to the start, lol.
Wandered around taking some pre-start photos....
....and then we were off!
On the Course
Where is the flat part on this course? Right at the start and finish line for about 50 yards or so from the timing mats. After that, you are on hills the whole way, both going out from the start and coming back to the finish. And these ain't no baby hills, folks! Not quite San Francisco hills, but still....
And so the hills begin.....In these photos, I am looking behind me....
....and ahead of me......we are running right into the sun at this point...it was already 82 degrees at 7:30 start time
Next set of hills...I'm at the top of a downhill looking where I'm going to end up..
On the uphill in the previous photo and now looking back where I just came from..
More hill to climb ahead of me
Photo break while I catch my breath...
OK, let's finish this hill off...
I think I can I think I can I think I can...
After getting to the top of that, we made a left turn and had a short out-and-back on this road....again running right into the sun for a bit
Looking back where I'd just been
...and looking at the hill we just came up before doing the turn-around
We're finally on the road that will get us - eventually, in my case, lol - to the road that then take us to the finish road
The last uphill. We turn right at the top of this road and then it's downhill to the finish.
After the Finish
Done! Yeah, let the party begin! Every participant got a souvenir wine glass and 2 free glasses of wine, of which there was an abundance, and lots of various types. Sangria seemed to be the most popular from what I saw around me. There was also iced-down bottles of water, canned sodas, all kinds of "appetizer foods" to go with the wine and grilled hot dogs. And beer - more my kind of drink than wine; yes, I am a peasant. This is one great after party, held on the winery grounds and the reward for doing all those hills! I wandered around taking lots of photos of all the folks enjoying themselves - except maybe the winery staff, who were working hard to keep everyone's glasses filled, but they were great people and very pleasant about it all.
The wine lines
Dry Comal Winery Creek folks serving it up
Those towels - one of which I got - were nice; iced down and handed to you after you crossed the finish; very refreshing.
Race Director Kimberly and our MC Bob, both of whom did great jobs for us
My friend, Bill on the right, and his son "Aiken Kalfs"....get it?
Wait, wait...is it right?
OK, got it!
Air Force Past and Air Force Present...my USAF retired friend, Curtis, and my USAF active duty friend, John
Two years since I last did this event and I really have to remind myself to keep it on my race calendar every year, because it is such a great event, hills notwithstanding. Besides, all those hills give all the participants bragging rights, correct? It was a real pleasure seeing lots of good running friends out there, some of whom I had not seen for a while, and this event locally has one of the best - maybe even THE best - after-parties ever, and the 'event atmosphere' for this one is just tremendous, with lots of good cheer and folks encouraging each other along the way and joking around with each other to keep spirits up on all those hills, and so forth. The San Antonio RoadRunners and all the volunteers who help do a great job with this event. If you are a local runner and have not done this one yet, it is well worth doing, put it on your calendar for the future. . If you are visiting runner here at the time of this event, definitely check it out, you will not regret it. Well, maybe your legs might after all those hills...but the wine afterwards does help with that. Mucho thanks to all the volunteers, sponsors, etc, who made this one happen for we participants; thanks to the local law enforcement for being out there keeping us safe; and big Kudos to the Dry Comal Creek Winery staff and Vintage Oaks homeowners and management for letting all we runners and walkers 'invade" them every year.
"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." Theodore Roosevelt
Wow, Scotty, all dem hills!! I always envision Texas as flat. Hahahaha!
Looks like a great party, anyway. No wonder they get a great turnout!
Hills, ugh! Nice job!