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 54th race of 2014. This race supports Ava's Wish, an organization providing support to pediatric patients with head trauma or other related disorders and act as a resource for the child's family members. Ava Lopez, her three year old sister Isabella and their mother Traci were struck down in 2009 by an intoxicated driver while in the front yard of their home. You can read more at the Ava's Wish website here: http://www.avaswish.org/ The loss/injury of a child is the worst thing in the world for a family to experience. I know what it's like to be affected by a drunk driver...I lost my first wife and infant son to one, so I can relate a bit to what Ava's parents must have felt. Ava and her family took something so very tragic and turned it into a cause for helping young children, starting this race in 2013. With the history of Ava and her family and how this race got started, it is one I feel strongly about. So I always try to do this one if my calendar permits. So far I'm on a streak...I've done both of them. Nice turn out, about 150 or so runners and walkers, and there was also a kid's run. The weather was quite pleasant: overcast, low humidity and dew-point and a temp of around 63 degrees. I ended up with a chip time of 33:30.
BEFORE THE START
The event was held at Eisenhower Park, a park in San Antonio with both off-road and paved trails. The main area of all the activities was this park pavilion..
Ava, for whom the race is named, and her Dad. At least I think it's her Dad...in one of my 'old man stupid moments", I forgot to ask. Duhh.. Ava is a wonderful young lady with a beautiful smile and lots of heart.
Race Day registration and packet-pickup volunteers
FitAid - One of the race sponsors there - as 'modeled' by this lovely lady
These cheerleaders were out in support They are from Reagan High School - or maybe middle school, I forget which..hey, I AM old! They are with their school mascot as the school team name is Reagan Rattlers, if I remember correctly. Anyway, they cheered everyone going out at the start and also helped cheer people in. Reagan folks, by the way, have a pretty good 5K and 10K event themselves, which I have done. Good course and lots of post-race goodies.
Me and "Rattler" - with me sporting my very nice new tech tee shirt - and now one of my favorite shirts - a gift to me from San Antonio local company Dragon Tees. So a dragon and a snake...well matched!
Folks from AtheteGuild, who did their usual great job of course set-up and timing.
Me with one of my 'running crushes", Sherri, who was Race Director for this one, and the local police officer who was out there keeping us all safe. The police officer's nephew, btw, is currently fighting his own cancer battle - much more serious than the fight I had - so please send some good thoughts and prayers his way.
Shelly Miles, a local TV celebrity-personality of "San Antonio Living" show, kindly MCed this event.
And kindly let an old mutt like me have a photo with her...Beauty and the Beast, lol.
And some pre-start participants, supporters, etc.
These next ladies are from the UTSA (University of Texas at San Antonio -where I work) women's basketball team
Getting ready to start.....
....and away we go....
ON THE COURSE
My course, my course! My kingdom for a FLAT course! Which this one was definitely not. People who have never been at this park were probably muttering under their breaths about RD Sherri being a sadist, lol. In truth, there really are not very many paved areas in this park, so there really is only one way to lay out a 5K course here, unless you want the course to go on some very rocky trails. So that meant we had to go up, up, up the hills to where an observation tower is located. Luckily, UTSA is quite close to this park and on the way home for me, so I've done training runs here several times on the way home from work, and knew what to expect. I felt really sorry for those folks pushing baby jogger, both up AND down; controlling those strollers on the way down on some of these hill must've been a real challenge. So we first climbed hills of varying inclines, finally coming to 'the big hill'..then go to a short flat part - where most people thought that was it...but it wasn't! Surprise! We turned the corner and then had a last very short but very steep hill to climb. Then it was around observation tower and back the way we came, with mostly downhill this time. Then another little loop-around on another trail - this one mostly flat, thank goodness, and then back to the finish the way we'd come out. A very 'challenging' course on some parts, and I was really surprised I finished in 33:30, I was really expecting closer to 36 to 38 for this one. Guess my once-a-week hill training paid off!
Going back down now....after the climb, my camera was a bit 'foggy' from my heavy sweating...well, as Louie Anderson said.."I'm a fat guy... I have to sweat or I'll explode..."
After that last photo it was back to the finish non-stop. I caught up to a very nice young lady I'd been playing 'leapfrog' with most of the race - her passing me when I stopped to take photos, the me catching back up - and we ran together and had a nice chat. I picked up my pace a bit, and thought she was right behind me, but I lost her along the way somewhere. Surprising to me, I passed several more people than passed me - I guess they wore themselves out a bit too early on the hills, because I am by no means a speedy person, I recognized a few of these folks from previous events I'd done, and they almost always finish ahead of me - and finally came around the last curve and there was the finish with some of the UTSA basketball ladies cheering folks in. Crossed the finish line, looked at my chrono - 33:30 exactly - and the chip time results showed that too. Done! YAY! Now someone please carry me to my car...
AFTER THE RACE - "Happy Finishers", supporters, et al...
Got a photo with Ava while surrounded by the lovely ladies of the UTSA baskeball team....eat your hearts out, Jim, Bob, etc... my fellow 60+-year old friends...
Chasing this young man for a while, but he soon left me in the dust. Wish i had half his energy!
This lady got a workout..she pushed these three all the way up all those hills.
This young man ran the whole course wearing that cape. It was only 63 degrees this morning but even so...had to be a bit warm!
This is the lovely young lady I kept company with for a while going down the 'hill part' of the course. Very nice person.
Smaller event probably with a tight budget, so understandably post-race goodies were mostly water, bananas, some fruit, etc. And they did have some very good cupcakes and brownies, yummie! A very nice event to do each year. Kudos to Ava and her family for starting this one, good event for a good cause. Many thanks to all the sponsors and volunteers who help make this one happen each year. Definitely worth doing and as long as my health and my calendar permit, I will keep doing this one.
"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." Theodore Roosevelt
on my way to badass
Still waiting for the perfect race picture. 5K PR-33:52 , 10K PR 1:11:16, First HM 2:42:28
Looks like a lovely place to run, though challenging for a race. I love the tiaras and pink and purple hair that so many sported.
Aww! Such cute outfits! Thanks, Scotty and congrats on your 54th race of the year!
PRs: Boston Marathon, 3:27, April 15th 2013
Cornwall Half-Marathon, 1:35, April 27th 2013
18 marathons, 18 BQs since 2010
wow I can't imagine pushing 3 kids in a stroller up hills. ZOIKS
nice one. And how sad to lose your life in your front yard! terrible
I am glad that the family has been able to find the positive and put on such a festive 5K!
Your persistence with the hill training is paying off, too!
Congrats Scotty. That must have been an emotional for you.
Nice report and race, Scotty!
It's always hot in Miami
Very nice, Scotty. Cookies and cupcakes...what else could you possibly need post-race?
Love the "cuter, faster, stronger" shirt.