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.”
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
Full report below.
Slide show of photos only:
Before My Start
This was my 89th race of 2017. The Frosty 5 Miler/5K is a Fun Run held at 9 a.m. on Christmas Eve, put on by Alamo 180 a very good local personal training organization. As this was a fun run and races are scarce around late December time, I did a paid entry for the virtual race "Home For The Holidays 5K" which supports providing needed items and holiday cheer for the homeless and used the Frosty 5K course as my selected race venue. I convinced a few of my out-of-state friends to sign up for this one too, so we had a 'national' race to compare our times, courses, etc. The Frosty 5 Miler and 5K supports the Street2Feet Program, "a 5k training program designed to promote strength and self sufficiency for individuals experiencing homelessness, through the discpline and joy of running." Their program culminates in the annual Street2Feet 5K, one of the very best of our local area 5Ks. The majority of the Street2Feet participants are associated with local Haven for Hope, a huge homeless shelter and addiction recovery program founded by one of our local philanthropic citizens Bill Greehey.
I arrived at Alamo 180 with about 40 minutes to go to the 9 a.m. start time. I don't remember how many years this one has been put on; I've done the last 3 of them, counting this one, and each year this event seems to grow. There was quite a really nice turnout this year, must have been nearly 200 participants, maybe more, and many various types of donations made to the Street2Feet program such as needed gift cards, running shoes, running gear, and lots more, very nice. This was primarily a free fun-run, but just about everyone 'paid' with some kind of donation. I wandered around getting some pre-start photos. The weather was a bit brisk before the start, but warmed up nicely and we had what weather would say is 'abundant sunshine." Made for some 'shadowy' photos at times.
Our Race Director, Bree, giving us instructions for the course - which was pretty much "Don't get run over." Also told us about the turns we would be making, etc.
On The Course
We started a bit after 9 a.m. A lot of we participants had done this one before so knew the course. The ones who did not just followed everyone else; the course was also pretty well marked for the turns, etc., and we had good instructions from Bree, our 'course director." I did not hear of anyone getting lost. We started in front of Alamo 180 and then headed over to streets in Olmos Park, a pretty affluential neighborhood with a lot of upscale houses, including the house of billionaire Red McCombs who lives in this neighborhood somewhere. Very wide streets, which was nice as they were still open to traffic. From where I was at any given time the drivers were pretty polite about being cautious with us and we participants all watched out for each other too. We did have a couple of hills on the course, a small uphill incline after we started, then a downhill and then, right before we made the turn to go back to the finish, a bear of a climb up one street. It was not steep, just one long darn uphill to the top. All good though; nicely planned out course, which turned out to be about 3.3 miles instead of 3.1 - and we had been warned about that before we started that it was a tad long. I am not sure what the 5-mile course was like because they turned off from the 5K course at one point. I ended up finishing in 34:30, so was happy with that, 10-something minute miles. However, compared to the times of my friends who also did this 'virtual race", I was dead last, lol. I have some speedy friends!
These ladies passed me...then...wait...it's Scottydog...about-face for a photo..
Typical house in this neighborhood..this was about 1/4 of the whole house.
The Hill...looking back at people coming up it after I got to near the top
The hill...at this point I am just starting to crest the top
Looking back at other people coming up near the top
After that, nonstop back to the finish.
After My Finish
Some post-race water, various cookies, hot chocolate and a few assorted goodies that friends had brought. Pretty low key, but that was okay, we all know the main purpose was to support the Street2Feet Program, not to spend any 'budget money" on goodies, so all good. I had brought my own post-race Gatorade and an energy bar, so relaxed and had those and then wandered around getting my 'after' photos.
With my friend who ran with me into the finish
My friend here in the sunglasses would not smile, so I had to do it for both of us, lol
And more various finishers, supporters, etc
With friend Irene - a very speedy lady. She did the 5-miler today
Our Alamo 180 hosts - Thank you so much! I think that guy behind them might need their help...
When you have treats in your pocket, it's easy to get a dog to pay attention to you, lol.
And after I got home, this is pretty much what I did most of the rest of the day, lol...followed the example of Peanut and Midnight and was just downright lazy...watching football and napping. This is Peanut's birth month...he is 12 years old now and we have had him since I rescued him as a kitten from a plastic bag some dirtbag left him outside in to die on a cold winter's night. Named him "Peanut" cuz he would fit in the palm of my hand back then. Not anymore, lol.
This is one very fun event, with lots of people in various forms of 'holiday cheer" dress; a very nice course; and lots of camaraderie, smiles, and laughs. Pet friendly too, even a few dogs ran and walked. Definitely will continue to do this one as long as it is done - or as long as I last, whichever comes first, lol, and would definitely recommend it. All for a great cause too, Street2Feet is a great program; and if you are local or visiting San Antonio in February sign up for the Street2Feet 5K. This is one of the best 5Ks of the year in San Antonio with a very flat course - perfect for a PR try if so inclined - and all kinds of pre-and-post race goodies and one great race "atmosphere". Walkers and runners both welcome.
Mucho Thanks to Alamo 180 for putting this on each year and allowing all of us to invade their space for a few hours. Thanks to all the people, volunteers, law enforcement, etc., who organize this, get everything set up for we participants, stand out there on the course at the intersections helping us to safely cross and cheer us all on and so forth. Thanks to the residents of Olmos Park for their patience with all the runners and walkers swarming through their residence streets for a while; and thanks to anyone who was involved that I did not mention. So much appreciated, what you do for we participants!
One more race for me to do on Dec 31 and then I will end up with 90 races completed for 2017, my all-time high of races done in 1 year.
"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." Theodore Roosevelt
All the holiday outfits made for a very cheerful group. Congratulations on your record running year.