Beginners and Beyond


Report and Photos: Cleftstrong 5K (Read 10 times)


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 43rd race of 2015.   The Cleftstrong 5K ( is to support those affected by cleft lip, palate, and other craniofacial conditions.  Participant-wise, a fairly smaller event with maybe 150 or so runners and walkers, but one done for a very good cause.  The event was held at Morgan's Wonderland (<cite></cite>) a 25 acres accessible amusement park in San Antonio, Texas, USA for children and adults with special cognitive and physical needs.  I ended up 2nd in my age group - there were only 2 IN my age group, lol - with a chip time of 32:30.




    Yours truly, with my speedy pal, Bernadette, who is much quicker than me.  I see her before the race and after the race, never on the course, lol, unless it's an out-and-back - then I see her passing me on her way to the finish. Finishing long before me!

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    Welcome to Morgan's Wonderland!

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    Located on the other side of the park it Toyota Field, the home of the Major League Soccer team San Antonio Scorpions


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    This beautiful sculpture welcomes you into the park after you come through the main entrance.


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    The park has a man-made lake, with fountain included (using recycled water, so no water waste)


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    The medals and awards waiting for the finishers


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    Prior to the start, the National Anthem was sung...


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    Flag folded


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    ..and this guy, now active duty Air Force, gave a very moving and inspiring talk to participants about his overcoming cleft palate growing up, and his children overcoming it too.


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    This group led everyone who wanted to participate in pre-start stretches and warming up...

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    A few of the participants, volunteers, supporters, etc.


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    Heading to the start


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    The course took us on a partial loop around the park lake, then out onto the park roads that took us past the two nearby stadiums, Toyota Field and Heroes Stadium, a North East Independent School District stadium uses for a variety of sports activities and events.   Then it was back the way we came to finish in the park.   This is a very nice course and out of all the 5Ks I've done at/near Morgan's Wonderland, this is the BEST course of them all because we get to go through the park, instead of just running around the adjacent parking lot roads.


    On the other side of the park, looking across the lake


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    Heading toward Heroes Stadium


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    Toyota Field behind me


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    Looping around Heroes Stadium


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    This lady and I ended up finishing together


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  doing the race timing and results lists. I do a lot of their events over the year and all the folks are great people and do a great job.


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    Finish Line volunteers had fruit sticks waiting for anyone who wanted them.  Other goodies post-race included breakfast tacos and snow cones.


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    Happy Finisher Scottydog.  A photo for my fellow members of Team RWB San Antonio (Red White & Blue) a veteran's organization that has many chapters across the nation.   Although I personally think San Antonio as the best team of all.  Not that I'm biased or anything.


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    "Happy Finishers", volunteers, supporters, etc.


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    Me with the lovely Chelsea, the Race Director, who did a great job organizing all this.

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    Not the lovely Chelsea...but you still look good you 4 guys!   

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    She was so speedy, she had to take a short nap after the race to recover a bit...


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    .The lady on the far right is an exchange student from France and got an award for the 'farthest traveled participant."  I got to practice my very bad high school french, which I hope she understood, lol.

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    With the young lady who sang the National Anthem

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    Two of my favorite people in the world, Minnie and Jose, from

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    Bernadette's friend Roger was 1st in his age group and also got a Yeti Cup for being the oldest male participant.


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    1st place in her age group, my pal Bernadette

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    Our MC from MID Sounds.  He did a great job.

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    Kudos to the organizers!  A very nicely done event and one for a very good cause, so hopefully this one will grow in the future.  Plus - BONUS - if you bought a raffle ticket to help raise money for the foundation that helps with cleft palate  there were quit a lot of prizes, including Yeti cooler-bag, Yeti cup (for keeping things cold and warm), San Antonio NBA Spurs tickets, etc.  I was really surprised how much stuff this small event had to give away, it was really nice. Also done on a Sunday morning, so not too much competition at all from other local events, although at this time of year lots of runners and walkers are probably doing their training distances for the upcoming December San Antonio Marathon and Half.  Even so, for runners looking for a nice friendly race to do on a Sunday morning in September, this one is great!  Definitely would recommend it to my fellow runners.  Y'all look for this one on the race calendars next year.


    Mucho thanks to all the organizers, volunteers, sponsors, law enforcement, etc., all the folks who got this one together for we participants!

    And thanks to Mother Nature who gave us such a great day, blue skies, a bit of sun and best of all 69 degree temp, low humidity and dew-point in the 50s....nice!

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

    Bad Ass

      Sounds like a well organized race.  Nice job!



      It's always hot in Miami

        Looks like all of you had fun at this one. Nice that the weather is finally starting to cool off.