Beginners and Beyond


Report/Photos: St. Judes Jingle Bell 5K (Read 32 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 73rd race of 2013. St. Judes Jingle Bell 5K supported the St. Judes Children's Ranch of Texas, a ranch/support organization for neglected/abused children. The presenter of the event was Comal Independent School District.  Comal is the county where Gruene (pronounced GREEN) is located.  Held in historic Gruene, Texas,  this is a VERY popular annual event here and this was the 21st running of the run/walk. This is such a fun race with so many folks dressed up that I took more photo breaks on the course than I normally do for a 5K.  This pretty much killed my time, but what the heck, it was fun.  I managed to finish in a chip time of 34:21.




    Before The Race


    I got my gear together, including one of my favorite pairs of 'logo socks"....


    ...and headed to Gruene, about a 30 minute or so drive from San Antonio.   I had picked up my packet the day before, so when I arrived on site I went right to getting some pre-start photos of participants, volunteers, supporters, etc.


    Race started and finished in front of Gruene Hall, an historic Texas dance/music hall  where many world famous musicians/singers got their stare and it still has many who come here to perform.


    The Claus' were in attendance...


    This guy had a crew and a 'sleigh".....


    ...and this sleigh got pushed along for the whole course.




    The lady on the right here is wearing the very nice tech-tee participants got in the goody bag





    I think these folks are from Canyon High school, but I may be incorrect.  Anyway, there were several Comal Independent School District student musicians who were there for us and who were at various locations along the course, playing for us.






    I was waaay in the back at the start area...


    My fellow Old Men friends, Luke and Terry.   Luke recently turned 80 - I told him "Hey, that's 560 in dog years!"  - and is still going strong, he is amazing.  I want to be like him when I grow up!   After I took the above photo, I told Luke "Wow, there must be about, 2,000 folks here!" There were actually 1,191 finishers.  And Luke replied "Yeah, and 1,990 of them are in front of us, it's gonna take a while for us to get to the start mat!"  lol.




    On The Course


    And off we go!  We did a little loop near Gruene Hall and then headed out on the main road and did a loop through a very nice neighborhood, and then headed back toward Gruene Hall. It was a very nice course, well thought out, so kudos to AthleteGuild for doing their usual great job of course setup and course timing.









    Some lovely lady neighborhood cheerleaders out there for us..



    See that little white dog in the back of the photo?  Speedy little mutt..he passed me and beat me into the finish.  I should've asked his human if I could hold the leash so the speedy little canine could have pulled me into the finish.










    Last band on the course...about a half mile or so to go from here to the finish...


    I held out my thumb for a ride, but the stroller lady just passed me on by...

  I ran from this point non-stop to the finish...and I think I passed the stroller lady there!    Just teasing her, of course, she did great, pushing that stroller all the way!



    After The Race


    First thing, go find the goodies!


    The sausage wrap ladies...and they were good sausages too!


    The goodies table...bananas, sausage wraps, other fruits, there was also coffee and hot chocolate and energy drinks...


    And beer!  Oh yeah, I enjoyed one....




    Happy Finishers, Supporters, Volunteers, etc....


    Some folks inside of Gruene Hall....






    And others outside.  Nice weather, about 44 degrees and we had lots of 'dappled sunshine" underneath the trees in the outside area of Gruene Hall, so some of the photos are 'light' in spots, but you can pretty much make everyone out.




















    I like this guy's hat,,,,it was kind of like a 'wind direction indicator", lol


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    One very fun event done for a really good cause!   Kudos to AthleteGuild, Comal Independent School District, and St. Judes Children's Ranch for one of the best local-area events of the year.  Many thanks to all the volunteers, local police officers, med-techs, etc.,  who stood out there for us, kept us safe, cheered us on, played music, etc, and thanks to all the participants who sign up and keep this one successful year after year.  See you next year, because this one is a keeper on the race calendar!

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


      Another one under your belt, Scotty. I don't know how you do it weekend after weekend, fronting up whatever the weather, taking the pictures, doing good, and writing up the reports. You're just a mega superstar and quite the running ambassador!



      "It's not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves."

      ~ Sir Edmund Hillary

        Looks like so much fun!
        Just B.S.

          Scotty you have more fun than any runner I know!


          Congrats on another one!


            Your local races look like so much fun.  I love the way everybody gets dressed up.  Lots of smiles this time:  not too hot, not too cold, just right.


              Congrats on another great race, Scotty!   This one looks so fun and festive - I'll bet you had a blast!  Thanks for sharing your report and all the fabulous pictures!

              But The Smile That I Sent Out Returned With You.


                Congratulations on race 73 (of the year) for ya!  What a cheerful, celebratory Texas crowd down there!


                "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

                  Festive, even without snow Smile