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.
SHORT VERSION REPORT
My 4th race of 2014, held January 11th, 2014. Very nice weather for the event, sunny, blue skies, practically no wind, 55 degrees at start time. Small event, about 60 - 70 folks, some people running, some walking.
LONG VERSION REPORT WITH PHOTOS
This event supported Construction Careers Academy (CCA), a very unique magnet school in Texas that not only gives their students a high school diploma but also gives them career training and college credits for their training. You can find out more about the school here: http://www.nisd.net/cca/
The race started and finished in front of the CCA and was 2 loops around the grounds and roads of Warren High School, the high school associated with the academy, where CCA students do their 'core' courses (like English, Math, etc)
BEFORE THE START
Your host on the left for this report, with running bud, Scott Wood, owner of AthleteGuild that did the race timing.
Phil and his executive assistant (whose name I forget now, sorry about that!). Phil is principal of the CCA and was the MC for the 5K.
Race Day Registration ladies. One of these ladies saw my shirt and told me she was just starting her 'cancer journey' (breast cancer), and having surgery next week, so please have some good thoughts and prayers and vibes for her success.
Some of the participants and supporters before the start
I thought this blonde lady was the older sister of the young man, she looked pretty young to me (I guessed her age at about mid-30s or so) but found out she is actually his mother. See, exercise does keep you young-looking! Unfortunately for me, she was doing the walk, not the run, so I didn't get to chase her Great Legs for motivation to keep moving my old-man self forward.
Getting Ready To Start
ON THE COURSE
The course was nice, two loops around the grounds of the school and on the roads around the school. Very nice wide roads, plenty of room for everyone, also went behind a nice neighborhood where a barking dog (yes, I did give him a treat, lol) ran along its fenceline cheering the runners on as they passed him. Unfortunately, some of the folks did not realize it WAS two loops and stopped after one loop. When I got back to the finish line the first time, I looked at my watch and realized with this time (just over 17 minutes), it had to be 2 loops for a 5K, so I kept going. On my first loop, as I passed Scott Wood at the finish area doing the timing, I joked "Wow, that's the fastest 5K I've ever done!"
Some of the great volunteers that were out there for us. This was one of the water stops.
These were frames for 'micro-houses' along the course, being built by CCA students. Phil told me the students, under supervision of mentors, do all the work on these houses - plumbing, electrical fixtures, etc. - and actually have contract deadlines with realtors, folks in the construction industry, etc, who buy them from the shool/school district. These small dwellings are often used as guest houses, etc.
Just past the finish line area as I started my 2nd loop. Several other folks realized it was 2 loops also, so I had company out there for the 2nd loop.
Looking back at the start/finish line area and some of the folks who stopped after the 1st loop, not realizing it was a 2-loop event.
Heading up to our 'traffic control' police officers out there for us. Thank you very much, officers!
After that, I ran nonstop to the finish for the last 1.2 miles. I actually passed more people than passed me and had a negative split for the back half of the event. Scott Wood checked my chip time for me and told me I ended up with 34:17 chip time finish. I ended up getting 1st in my 55-59 age group. Of course, there were only two in my age group, lol.
AFTER THE RACE
Near the chip-timing table - doncha love my 'racing' socks, lol, looks like some kind of NASCAR flag or something - and then relaxing post race in the bright sunshine, which felt pretty good.
"Happy Finishers" , Supporters, etc.
This was a very nice event with very nice folks in attendance. A nice course - good PR course for you local area 'speedy' runners - and as one of the smaller events in the area, even a slow old dog like me can get a medal. So now I have another medal to give to the kids at the cancer ward at San Antonio Children's Hospital - what I do with any awards I may get during a race I do - and one very nice lady even gave me hers to donate too, so thank you very much!
It was also a first-time held event, so of course there were some 'glitches':
- - Forgetting before the start to announce that the course was 2 loops
- - There were no lights on in the restrooms, which made it 'interesting' when you first went in there, lol, until your eyes got used to the dark. Since this is a school, I think they're on some kind of 'timer' so, since it was a weekend, the timer may have 'thought' the school was closed so the lights didn't go on. I jokingly told one guy coming in the restroom as I was going oujt that since this was a construction academy, they should've left a couple of those 'miner helmets' with lights on them by the restroom doors, and we both had a nice laugh.
- - The shirts are a nice quality cotton shirt, with the race name on the back. As exhibited by this gentleman at the start line...
- - I think most runners prefer the name on the front with some kind of nice design, but this was a minor thing, and also this is a small school and probably has a pretty small 'special events' budget, so not really a big deal.
And as for the glitches, what can you say? As someone who has been doing races for 30 years, I know there is just about ALWAYS going to be some type of glitches at first-time events. It's just a waste of emotion getting upset about it. So you just deal with it, get over it and 'carry on.' I would hope that everyone at this event just kept their sense of humor about it all, and enjoyed the time they did have out there. And on the plus side, we sure had a beautiful day for it.
To be fair, because the course was short, the awards were based on 1st loop time for everyone. And Phil did offer a refund to anyone that wanted it. I sure hope no one took him up on it because this event is for a good cause - helping kids learn skills and become productive citizens - and you could tell in talking with the organizers, they really are trying to make this a good event for all the participants.
The glitches were just 1st-time race 'growing pains" and it will get better as the event goes on, and I hope this one grows even bigger next year and continues to grow each year, because these really are some nice folks - faculty, staff, and students - at the CCA. I would definitely do this event again.
Next up for me: Snowball 5K at Morgan's Wonderland on January 18th.
"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." Theodore Roosevelt
Nice pics, Scotty, great weather.
4 races in only 12 days, keep it up!
Congrats on #4. So jealous of 55 and sunny -- such a beautiful day for a race.
It was a lovely day for a race and the streets look like a good place to run. Congratulations on #4.
Nice report, Scotty, and style points for the socks!
I can. I will. I am.
#4 already, wow! Fun to get to do a new race and support the school! I will be thinking about that woman helping with registration and hope that her surgery and recovery go well.
Good stuff, Scotty! Congatulations on destroying the 55-59 AG.
Congratulations, Scotty! It really looked like a beautiful day for a race! So nice of you to donate your medals to the little guys at the San Antonio Children's Hospital!
PRs: Boston Marathon, 3:27, April 15th 2013
Cornwall Half-Marathon, 1:35, April 27th 2013
18 marathons, 18 BQs since 2010
Marvelous race, Scotty! It sounds like the school is indeed a worthy cause. I bet they invite you back next year because having a celebrity like you at their race will attract even more people next year! Thanks for sharing!
But The Smile That I Sent Out Returned With You.