Beginners and Beyond


Report and Photos: Santa Antonio 5K (Read 12 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 63rd race of 2015.  Held on Nov 29, 2015, the B.I.S.H. Foundation Santa Antonio 5K is the original Santa 5K in San Antonio and raises funds for cancer research at University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, a premier cancer treatment and research facility in Houston, and a sister university of the university I work for, UT-San Antonio, as both are part of University of Texas System.  B.I.S.H. Foundation ( ) is operated by two great people I consider good friends, Adrian and Darlene Gonzalez, so I try to do this event whenever I can, in addition to the fact that this event is for such a great cause too - who of us aren't acquainted with someone we know personally or  a friend of someone we know who has been lost to this insidious disease known as cancer.   The entry fee included a Santa suit which participants get to keep.   It actually kind of makes my skin itch like crazy - yes, I'm such a delicate flower - so I ordered a size Small and then gave it to Adrian and Darlene and asked them to donate it to one of the kids or someone else at the center.  Since I donated my suite, Adrian kindly gave me a shirt instead...pretty nice


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    The race was held in the downtown area of San Antonio, starting and finishing at Sunset Station near the Alamodome where the NBA San Antonio Spurs play.   I usually do a 5K in about 32 - 34 minutes but this is such good 'photo-op" event, I made more stops on the course than I usually do and took more photos - so ended up with a chip time of 35:15, and finished 6th in my 60 - 69 age group...the first 4 guys in my age group finished in the 20s...there are some speedy old farts in my age group, lol.



    Got some pretty good rain on Saturday and Saturday night and still a bit of drizzle on Sunday morning, with temps in the lower 40s.  Roads were slick and parking in downtown San Antonio area is crazy, even on a Sunday morning at times. 9 a.m. start time, so I left the house at a time that would put me on site with a little under an hour to go before start time.   I think the weather may have deterred a few registrants from showing up, as I was able to find a nice parking spot in a lot pretty close to Sunset Station.  Had picked up my bib the day before, so got my timing chip on race day and then I went around taking some pre-start photos.


    Sunset Station is an area of shoppes and hotels  that is very coral in color on several buildings and has a nice view of Tower of the Americas.  Used to be an active train station and now has a tourist train.


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    The pavilion where all the pre-and-post race activities took place

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    Santa Claus and me and Santa.  I told Santa with all these other Santas around I'd dress in my green shirt and 'Christmas Lights" socks, lol, and be the Elf

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    Some of the volunteers, participants, etc....


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    Darlene aka "Mrs. Claus" of B.I.S.H. Foundation on the left


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    Apologies to these folks for this bit of out-of-focus camera is like me at times..old and slow and doesn't always do things right...

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    My pals, Catherine and Emma, who own a good local running store Run Wild Sports.  Emma always greets me when I arrive, she knows I have doggie treats for her, lol.

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    My friend, Sandra, and her husband.  Sandra has overcome many "challenges" and is now out-and-about on the running scene again. Her hubby is a high school football coach who took over a team this year that had no wins last year - and got his team to the playoffs this year.  Way to go, Coach!

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    At the start area.....


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    Ahead of me and behind me

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    We started at Sunset Station, then made a loop around some of the downtown area roads, which included crossing over historic Hays Street bridge.  There was also a fairly good-sized uphill on the course and while going up that, I heard a lot of comments - including mine, lol - about how we must all be on Santa's "Naughty List" , lol, since he had us on hills for this course. Even so, it was a very nicely laid out course - and not an out-and-back one which I am not fond of, I much prefer loop courses - well thought out, with room to accommodate a crowd of people for the whole way.  The weather cooperated with us and we did not get rained on; I guess Mother Nature did not want to be on Santa's Naughty List either.    Lots of people were quite wrapped up - it was a bit chilly before we all started - but apparently got quite warm out there after they started running.  I saw several people stripping off their Santa coats or other attire they were wearing and just tying them around their waist, etc. I felt comfortable the whole way, in my regular running shorts, a base layer shirt and one of my short-sleeved running shirts over the top of that.


    First walk break and first hill

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    After that smaller hill, we then went up a very long hill...not so steep but long...and I stopped when I got to the top and took a photo looking back...

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    Onto the historic Hays Street Bridge...


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    Looking back the way I'd just come

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    On the bridge

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    Down the other side....

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    Volunteer at the bottom cheering us on

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    After that, it was nonstop running all the way back to the finish.





    Post-race party in Sunset Station pavilion - which was very nice as it did start raining a bit after the finish and the wind picked up a bit, but we had the protection of the covered pavilion.  I had brought a cap with me to put on post-race in case of  "chill" and was glad to have that, kept me nice and comfortable post-run.


    In the finish area....

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    After those photos, I started back out on the course to go run/walk in with my friend, Sandra...but she was already finishing as I started out.....she has come a long way in her recuperation from some medical problems...and getting speedy again! She really is a Never Give Up type of person.

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    At the pavilion area....full of Santas!

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    Live music


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    Well...the Halo Light belongs to at least two of the people in this photo...and I know you can guess which two, lol.

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    OK..that's more least for me, anyway...  ...these were lovely people who provided entertainment and many smiles.  I enjoyed meeting them and chatting with them.


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    Went to find out what the post race goodies were.....


    Tamales;  the first time I ever had tamales I didn't know how to eat I ate the whole thing, inside and outside...the outside, as I recall, was very....chewy.; much to the amusement of my more 'eating experienced"  friends, lol, who didn't say anything and just watched.  Hey, what did I know?  At that time I was an 18-year old know-nothing kid who grew up in the Washington DC area and didn't know Mexican food from squat; and was now in the Air Force and it was my first time in Mexico. 


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    Bagles and the "angels' serving can tell they are angels from their Halo Light behind them. 


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    ...and also found the beer.  There are lots of microbreweries now all over our local area and they all have good products...but Alamo Beer is still my favorite, as I love their stuff and also they support so many of the local races I choose to do each year.  Good stuff!


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    Oh yeah!

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    Pulled Pork sandwiches...



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    This poor doggie was, with those hypnotizing eyes,  trying to mind-meld people eating into giving him some food...."You will give me food..."   lol.

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    And, of course, lots of fun and smiles interacting with many many many of  the "Happy Finishers", volunteers, supporters, etc.


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    "Little Santa" got to ride on the route

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    The nose of "Rudolph" was blinking on and off throwing a red glow onto the face of her friend; didn't detract though....3 beautiful ladies.

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    My good friend, Cecy (left) and her friends with their halo light


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    Yes, this little lady left me in the dust on the course...and got 3rd in her age group.

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    Sandra and her husband...and HER halo light....she and her husband are two of the nicest people you could ever meet.

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    The crew; a very good local race company of fantastic people that do timing, results, course set-up, etc.


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    Super event!  If you ever get a chance to do this one take it, you will not regret it.  Santa Suit, nice course, great after-party at a great location.  Most definitely will do this one again - and again and again - in the future.  Mucho thanks to all the volunteers, sponsors, vendors, entertainers, law enforcement, medical staff, etc....ALL the people that made this one happen for we participants.

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

      I've never seen so many Santas in one place.  Looks like a fun event.