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.
BEFORE THE START
As said in the details: I am directionally challenged, lol. I got down to the right road the Land Heritage Institute was on, but then I drove right past the main gate. Figured that out when I got to the end of the road and hadn't found the place. So turned around, drove back...saw some red cones marking the gate area, figured that must be it. No real major signage announcing what the place is, so guess you really have to know where you're going to find this place. Well, it worked out okay. Drove down the main road, found the registration day building and the other participants - a couple of whom told me they too did the same thing, drove right past the gate, so that made me feel a little less foolish - and got a few pre-start photos.
The lonely start line before the start
The "bunk house' at the Land Heritage Institute
This Foundation puts on a great Santa 5K...Nov 30th this year....HUGE after-party. If you're in the San Antonio area, don't miss registering for this one! And no, I was not paid to say this, lol. I really like this race, it's a good one.
Santa Claus was there with his Subordinate Claus
Folks could get a pre-holiday Santa Photo...
Our DJ providing some on-site music
Lana and Minnie, beautiful ladies of iaapweb
Showing off her Hurache Turbo running shirt, made by Ceci of iaapweb
Local firefighter, one of the race volunteers out there for us...running INTO burning buildings..I can't imagine! Thank you for your service!
15K participants getting ready to start
ON THE COURSE
The 15K folks went first in one direction. The 5K folks went about 10 minutes later in another direction. We had major rain in the local area on Saturday morning, it cleared out in the afternoon, and then we had another major deluge Saturday night. So the natural trails that the runs were done on were VERY muddy. I told one volunteer along the 5K course that I kept hearing in my head Paul Simon singing "Slip Slidin' Away..." In several places you could not really pick up any kind of pace, and a couple of spots you just had to downright walk so you wouldn't turn an ankle, twist a knee, fall on your face in the mud - amazingly my Klutz Self managed to stay on my feet for the whole way - although a fall in the mud was pretty close a couple of times. And some places on the trail were really nice and you could really pick up the pace. So it was.....FUN! I don't know about the other participants but I had a blast, clomping through muddy spots, squishing through wet grass, doing the occasional "whoopee slide", then 'speeding' along in other places, and so it went, back-and-forth. Even taking the wrong trail to the finish - again, my own fault - was fun, as I ran on a beautiful trail heavily covered by the trees towering above, which actually helped make the trail below drier, so I was actually able to pick the pace up a bit here and had a strong finish. A wrong finish, of course, lol, but a strong one.
One of the muddier spots on the 5K course...
On the way back to the finish now....it can be lonely when you're slow...
I did not slip into any of these, thank goodness!
5K turn-around hill when we were almost finished...how cruel!
AFTER THE FINISH
Got a few photos of the 5K folks that were done...
My friend, Erik, came in from the 15K. He was first in at an hour and two minutes. While he was running he had himself videoed and did a "tour guide" running commentary of the trail, showing of parts of the 15K route, which was really quite beautiful out there. The 15K folks went closer to the river area than the 5K folks did. So Erik averaged about 6-something per mile, if I figure correctly. I told one of my 5K buds/companions at this race about this and he said jokingly "What?!! That guy can run 6-something per mile and can still talk clear enough to do a video while he's doing it? Let's go slap him!" lol.
15K winner, Erik
Wandered around getting some more photos...some of the 15K folks were now finished too.
Jose, of iaapweb...he is usually busy managing the events, but this event he got to run, and did the 15K
One of the sponsors was Papouli's, a very good Greek Grill in San Antonio, and they prepared some food post-race for anyone who wanted it....nice! Grilled chicken, rice, pita bread...
I found out the Land Heritage Institute even had a herd of Longhorns
Uh oh...this guy looks like trouble..
I have lived in San Antonio now for 20 years and never even knew these trails were here! The Land Heritage Institute is a really beautiful area. One of the care-takers who was with the Longhorns told me this place was open to the public the 2nd weekend of every month. I am definitely going to go back and explore these trails, love running and exploring new, 'undiscovered" territory, and this is certainly new for me. Perhaps, though, since I do tend to be directionally challenged, I better be like Theseus in the Labyrinth and take a ball of string - a HUGE one - with me so I can be sure to find my way back.
Mucho thanks to the sponsors for this one, to iaapweb.com folks and their volunteers for putting this on and being out there for us both before race day and on race day getting everything all set up - which must have been especially challenging on Deluge Saturday - and thanks to the two little lady volunteers handing out all our post-race drinks to us as we came in. They would come running over to each runner - at least I saw them doing this for the 5K folks - as he/she finished and 'take the order" for drinks.."Would you like water or gatorade? If gatorade, what color would you like, blue or green?" You would tell them, they'd run off to the cooler on the porch and hustle back with your drink. They were great, you just had to smile. Thanks, Papouli's for the food, delicious!
Great little event in a great location. If you live in the San Antonio area, be sure to put this one on your calendar for next year. Yes, it's 'low key", the 5K is pretty much a fun run (top 3 male and female finishers only get medals) and not a lot of 'hoopla' (door prizes, tons of goodies, etc) like bigger events have; but lots of really nice folks participating, some good food from Papouli's, a great - and sometimes challenging course (probably more-so for the 15K folks, who I understand had a couple of hills; the 5K course was pretty flat, except for one small hill we did a turn-round on), really nice tech-tee shirt in the goodie bag. Of course, the weather at this time of year is always 'iffy', you never know if you'll get cold, warm, rain, or shine...but even so, I don't think you'll regret doing this one. Definitely an experience, and for me it was a good one.
"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." Theodore Roosevelt
Running trails can be quite an adventure. Glad you didn't have a close encounter with the longhorns or the mud puddles.