Barking Mad To Run
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
I don’t have great camera skills and take photos with a camera that is like me - old fashioned, lol - so sorry if a photo appears a bit blurry, etc. However, they are free to save, share, etc.
Here is yet another of my photo reports. Full report below.
Link to photos only:
BEFORE MY START
My 58th race of 2018 was Dragon’s Den 5K on August 18th at Pearsall Park in San Antonio. This is a VERY hilly park located near Lackland Air Force Base and right across from what used to be the old Kelly Air Force Base. There was also a half marathon and a 10K too. Dragon’s Den events are popular – and challenging – and they usually get a pretty good turnout. The half had more people than anyone, the 10K was the smallest in participant numbers I think, and the 5K had a pretty good participant turnout too. Pearsall Park is a nice location for a run, especially if you want to get in some hill training lol. This park used to be one of the local landfills but has been renovated very nicely and has some nice amenities, including a splash pad, so if you are so inclined, you can really cool off post-run.
This was an early start event, with the half starting at 7 a.m., the 10K starting a bit after them, and then the 5K starting after the 10K. Nice to be running early as August is our hottest month of the year. The morning weather was actually pretty mild for a Texas August morning because of a low dewpoint. I arrived early enough to find a parking spot close to the start/finish area; got my timing chip and then got some pre-start photos.
I have arrived. Wearing the nice singlet prepared for me by the Dragon's Den folks. Thanks so much, Erik and Kristine, this is one of my favorite running singlets.
Various volunteers, participants, supporters, etc.
My friend, Mini, handing out timing chips for the race. She is so beautiful that the camera just couldn't take it and made her a bit blurry. My great photo skills probably helped too.
Getting ready to prep the watermelons for post-race. Another one a bit blurry, sorry...
Our start and finish area
Timing and results
Half folks waiting to go
And they start...
Some of the 5K folks waiting to get started
My friend Don. This was his 65th race of the year.
Some of the 10K folks going along the top of the hill that we 5K folks will soon be on too
ON THE COURSE
We lined up pretty quick after the 10K participants started and off we went. There are no baby hills in this park so I planned to pretty much take it easy, just kick back, take some photos and enjoy myself. Wasn’t like I was going to win an award anyway, lol, since the age groups were 10-year age groups and I’d already seen 4 very speedy people in my age group who I knew would finish way ahead of me. The course was mainly off-road dirt-and-gravel trail, with one part of it being paved concrete. And lots of hills, of course. I felt pretty good though and ran pretty well, but did take more photo stops than I usually do – and the course ended up being 2.5 miles instead of a 5K since we got misdirected at one point some volunteers, and that misdirection took a half-mile off the course. I’ve done this course several times in the past and at one point we usually went to the right and then onto this very pretty trail through the woods – the prettiest part of the course, but we missed that scenery when the volunteers turned us left instead of right. I asked them if they were sure about this, that we usually went through the woods, but one told me, no, you go left. I thought, okay then, maybe our Race Director had changed the finish part of the course. But nope, when I turned on the last part of the trail to go to the finish, I knew this would be short. Ended up doing 12-something minute miles with a 30-something finish time. No big deal for me, I had fun and, as said, wasn’t going to win anything anyway. Most of the others I talked to – the ones back with me, lol – felt the same way. I dunno how the elite runners and those doing some serious training thought about it. I did not see anyone after who seemed really upset, so it’s all good. Next time though, I will just do the course I know, in spite of what I may be told out there, lol.
And we are off! Our first uphill...
Looking behind me
Next, a downhill. For the very FIRST Dragon's Den race done many years ago, this was an uphill for us before we headed to the finish. This darn thing goes for quite a ways.
Looking ahead again...
Next hill...this was about the halfway point. We should have turned right at this hill and gone to a woods route, but we were sent straight up this hill instead, which made our course short.
Heading for the finish now...we had to go up this 'winding' hill trail, then got to a downhill that took us on the trail back to the finish.
Yeah, I will be up there in a minute or two...
After that, nonstop to the finish. The downhills actually slow me down more than the uphills since the dowhills pound my arthritis back more than the uphills do, so I am pretty careful about going downhill.
AFTER MY FINISH
Got a few photos of some people around the start/finish area and then off to the park’s main pavilion where the after-party was, with Shiner-Bock beer, water, watermelon, turkey-legs, and more. Also had a DJ – is that even still a term? – playing music for us. Got my beer and sauntered around chatting with friends and taking some photos of the happy finishers, volunteers, supporters, etc.
Our lovely Race Director Kristine
Everyone got a really nicely made finisher medal.
I won't say how speedy these guys are, but by the time I finished, they could have taken a shower and changed clothes, lol.
This lovely lady is wearing the really nice tech tee race shirt that participants got.
Thanks for the beer!
Trying to get doggie to look at the camera. She was too busy munching a treat I gave her, lol.
There she is...well, most of her, lol. Very cool dog and friendly and she had two different-colored eyes.
\With friend Carolyn, one of the nicest people I know.
Play that funky music, white boy.... Thanks for being there for us, Paul!
Yeah, relaxing post-race with beer and turkey leg
My bestest running friend, Bernadette. I believe this was her 65th race too for the year.
As usual at their events, both my friends Bernadette and Don placed.
My friend Rick said he had a hurt calf, but still managed to place in the 10K, lol.
Nice plaque trophy
Ah, better photo of my friend Mini...with her hubby Jose and friend. As well as volunteering, Mini also ran the 10K.
Back over to the start finish area....some of the half marathon folks going up that last winding hill before getting to the downhill that would take them to the finish. Guy standing up there was one of the race photographers.
My friend Eileen, heading for the finish
This was our finish trail
My speedy friend Rex, done with the half. Iced down towels for everyone at the finish, nice.
And for a post-race cool-down....the park splash pad
Dragon-e Productions, co-owned by my friends Kristine and Erik, always does a nice job with their events. Local race management company iaapweb did their usual great job with the timing, results, etc. Really nice quality tech-tee race shirt and nice plaque awards for the age-group winners, 1st 2nd, and 3rd Challenging course, and fun after-party. Weather was very cooperative this year. Have done this in the past, will definitely do it again in the future, and would recommend it to others.
Mucho thanks to all the volunteers, law enforcement/park police, the Shiner Bock beer folks serving us up some great beer, and the turkey leg preparers who had all that good eating ready for us after we finished. And thanks to anyone else I may not have mentioned here who was out there for us so we could participants could do this event.
"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." Theodore Roosevelt
Wow, that looks like a tough course. Hills are tough enough, but having to fight gravel and sliding while going up is no fun.
Given the difficulty of the course, you probably didn't have a lot of really serious racers who cared about the short course. Was everyone misdirected, or just some of the 5k people?
Just the 5K people. The 10K and half did their correct routes.