Beginners and Beyond

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Report and Photos: Santa Antonio 5K (Read 11 times)

scottydawg


Barking Mad To Run

    INTRO  

    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

     

    Here is yet another of my photo reports.  Full report below.   Please note - I took a LOT of photos for this race (over 100), so if you prefer not to read my text with the below photos - which might take a while with this many photos - just go to the link below to review a slideshow of the photos only.

     

    Link to photos only: http://s166.photobucket.com/user/scottydog69/slideshow/2016%20Race%20Reports/2016%20Race%2069%20Santa%20Antonio%205K

     

    BEFORE THE START

    The Santa Antonio 5K was my 69th race of 2016.  It is THE ORIGINAL Santa Claus 5K in San Antonio, and the oldest, going back for I don't know how many years. This is a very popular event.  I don't know how many actually participated but I think there were over 700 registered.  Race venue - start, finish, and the after party - was at Sunset Station, which is right next to The Alamodome, the previous home of the NBA's San Antonio Spurs.  UTSA - the university I work for - plays its home game football games here and the Valero Alamo Bowl is held here, as well as many other events over the year. This event raises money for cancer research; funds are donated - to University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer.  Center, one of the premier cancer research and treatment facilities in the nation.   This 5K is put on by the B.I.S.H. Foundation.  BISH is "Believers Inspiring Survivors for Hope".   www.bishfoundation.net

     

    Race start time of 9 a.m for the 5K, and  Kids Run was held at 8:30.  There was also a 1-mile walk.  As I live only about 8 miles from Sunset Station, I was able to sleep in a bit.  Arrived with about 45 minutes to go to start time and did my usual thing of wandering around taking some pre-start photos.   Before the start, I wore a base layer that I took off for the race, and then had a dry shirt to put back on after the race.  I did not wear the Santa Suit.  I tried it one year, but it made me itch like crazy.

     

    First person I saw was "Mr. Big" himself...

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    Yeah, we're tight...probably still won't get me my winning lottery ticket, though... 

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    With my friend, Karen

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    The Big Guy's better half on the far right.  Did you know Mrs. Claus is Texan?  Yep, that is why her name is Santa Anna.

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    Race Day Registration ladies....raising money for the cause, as the sign behind them notes..

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    Me and my speedy friend, Bob....one of the reasons I don't get an age group award, lol, as he is in my age group.

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    Our before-and-after party venue...

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    ...and a lot of Santas everywhere...

     

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    Running for "Street2Feet", a community group that helps a lot of people - especially homeless and those need - and the program includes a running program that culminates in one of the very best 5Ks done in San Antonio to raise money for their causes and the program.  I have done every 5K of theirs since it started.

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    The beautiful Lana..Ms. Street2Feet Lady, who is a major player in the organization, organizes all the activities, RD for the Street2Feet 5K, and so forth.   Proud to call her a friend.   Well, except for that Cowboys hat - I'm a Redskins fan, having grown up in the DC area. 

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    Our MC.  He is also a member of the Harp and Shamrock Society (if I remember the name correctly) and they have a great St. Patrick's Day 5K - Donovan's Run - coming up in March.  Like this Santa run, I think the Donovan 5K is the original St. Patrick's Day 5K in San Antonio.

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    Yeah, this will be my first stop, post-race..

     

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    My friends from really good local running store Run Wild Sports...including Emma (dog on left), who recognizes me even all the way across a room, lol, as she knows I always have a treat for her.  Here she is, asking for one, lol.

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    Others...

     

     

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    Tried to get the big dog to turn around but he would not.  Well, I get it...that's my best side too.. 

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    In front of me at the start line...and behind me...

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    ON THE COURSE

     

    I missed last year's race, so did not know the course had been changed last year, and this year it was the same course but done in reverse.  For me it was "new" as I'd only done the old course, which was flat.  This course...not so flat, lol.  For those of  you familiar with San Antonio - we started at Sunset Station, went down Houston Street, passing near The Alamo; then onto Broadway for a bit; so far so good, nice flat course; then I saw we were turning onto Brooklyn...and my first thought was "Oh no, they didn't".  Oh yes, they did!  When we turned onto Austin Street, I knew this course was going to take us over the historic Hays Street Bridge - a very old pedestrian bridge in San Antonio dating back, if I remember correctly, to the early 20th century.  Of course this meant...HILL...cuz going up the bridge ramp is a bit of a climb, then downhill on the other side..then another hill to climb before we turned onto Nolan Street,  a flat road - it was flat for a while anyway, then downhill, and then a small uphill, and after that it was finally flat again as we began the last short leg back to Sunset Station.   Lots of Santas at this event, as everyone who registered got complete Santa Suit - even got a beard - and participants got to keep that.  The course was full of Santas...although at start time the temp was 63 degrees, so I notice by about the halfway point a lot of the jackets started being worn around the waist and a lot of the hats were being put into pockets or carried.  Even so, still quite a run/walk full of color all around you on the course.

     

    Near The Alamo

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    On historic Hays Street Bridge

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    Thanks for the directions, volunteer!

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    Nolan Street.. another hilly part of the course...not much hill, but enough to feel it, lol.

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    Bike volunteer..up and down the course making sure we are all okay.  Thanks, George!

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    Next, nonstop all the way back to the finish - about the last 1.2 miles or so.   Ended up with a chip time of 34:56.  Did not place in my age group, as there were some very speedy old guys at this event, as big as it was.  I'd seen them pre-start, so knew I was not getting an award, lol; so after the 5K I did the day before this race, I just kinda 'kicked back" for this one, stopping for photos a bit more than I usually do at an event.

     

    AFTER MY FINISH

     

    Got some water, did a bit of a cool down walk and then off to get photos...lots of photos.  I never remember to count when I'm taking them, so it always surprises me when I get home and start loading them up to discover  just how many photos I do take at races.

     

    Chip removal

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    Two happy finishers

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    This guy on my right ran the whole course in that suit!

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    He told me someone on the course did accidentally step on his tail...that'll kill your time!

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    Lots of happy finishers, volunteers, et al.....

     

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    I must have been good this year..  

     

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    Over to the pavilion area...the party had already started...

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    Keep pouring, guys!

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    Oh yeah...

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    Eugene, Alamo Beer owner, and his future Olympian daughter.   I thought she was funny.  My friend, standing next to me, asked her if she ran the 5K too.  She held up her Kids Run medal and said "Hey, I'm a kid..."   lol.   All I want for Christmas, Eugene, is a case of Golden Ale...  

     

     

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    My friend Jim on the left....another speedy guy in my age group...6 - 7 minute miles, sheesh.

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    These two dancers performed at this event. Nice dancing.  I wish...I dance like 'Elaine' in Seinfeld, lol.

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    Being careful to keep my sweaty self away from that beautiful dress

     

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    San Antonio Roadrunners, the running club I am a member of.  The biggest and oldest in San Antonio.

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    This kid - on the left, legs out - was a cool young man, lol.  He saw my shirt earlier, came over and told me "Congrats on beating cancer' and said he knew people with cancer and was going to tell them about the shirt.  Very poised young man.  Got a photo of him with his family and then one of me with him so he could really share the shirt.    I don't know what he wants to be when he grows up, but whatever it is, he'll be successful, he's got a good head and a good heart.

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    My 4-legged friend Abby, with her human.     Oh yeah...she finished the 5K WAY ahead of me.

     

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    Me with friend Sandra, one of the most inspirational people I have ever met.  She LIVES "Never Give Up."

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    As I was heading to my car, I encountered this young lady, whom I had run with, and near, for most of the last mile.

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    She and her friends.

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    EPILOGUE

    One of my favorite - if not the favorite - holiday season races.  Really good course, even with the bridge and the other small hills; and it's not like I was unprepared, I do a hill training run once a week.  Well thought out, well laid out, wide streets with room enough for everyone to do their own pace without interfering with anyone else.  Would have been nice to pass by in front of The Alamo instead of beside it, but I realize street closures are expensive..and closing the street in front of The Alamo probably would have really cost a pretty penny.  It is what is and, as is, this course is pretty darn good. And after the finish, one heck of an after party, with all kinds of goodies and stuff going on, that included tamales, some kind of meat dish - I recognized it, but the name of it went right out of my head - beer, music, professional dancers, 3 deep age group awards with a nice medal for the placers - I forget what the overall winners got but with this race I am sure something really nice, the organizers of this race don't hold back - and there was a bib drawing for door prizes - none of which I won, darn the luck.   A really super nice event at a really good location, and Sunset Station also has many many many bathrooms - not porta-potties, actual restroms - so there was virtually no waiting to use the facilities, I saw no lines where I was at any given time. Very nice.   This one is most assuredly a keeper on the race calendar.  If you are ever in San Antonio the Sunday after Thanksgiving, this is a great event to do.

     

    Mucho thanks to all the people that made this one happen for us:  all the volunteers, law enforcement, sponsors, etc.  And a super big shout-out to the B.I.S.H. Foundation and Adrian and Darlene Gonzalez, the two foundation members that really get this thing going every year - with a lot of help of course.  Love you guys!

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

    Half Crazy K 2.0


      Awesome race report. That's a lot of Santas. I can definitely see why you chose not to run in the Santa suit, sounds warm.

        I see what you mean about people taking off their Santa suits mid-race. That'll slow you down.