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
Here is yet another of my photo reports. This is a very popular race, so I took a LOT of photos; if you don't want to see them all individually below and read my full report please go to the slideshow link for faster viewing and no commentary.
Full report below.
Slide show of photos only:
BEFORE MY START
My 85th race of 2017 was the San Antonio Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon 2-Person Relay held on Dec 3. The day before I had done the Rock 'n Roll 10K so this was my 2nd event of the Rock 'n Roll events being held in San Antonio. My wife, Gail, was walking the whole half-marathon. The Marathon and Half Marathon also started on Sunday at the same time as the relay did. These events "closed out the year" for Competitive Running's Rock 'n Roll series, as San Antonio events are the last ones of the year for the company. And then they start all over again next year. Gail and I were staying pretty close to where the start-and-finish were, so we got there pretty quick. As I was doing the relay, my corral was pretty close up to the front. Gail was starting in Corral 22, if I remember correctly, which was pretty much near the last one. Gail stayed with me for a while and we got a few photos before the 7:15 a.m. start time.
Me in one of my favorite shirts and Gail with her new compression pants bought at the expo the day before....which she was wearing for the first time for a half-marathon event...I was kind of "umm, okay..gonna do a race without testing them first?", but she was okay with it.
One speedy kid..he won a couple of 5Ks I participated in, with times like 18 minutes, 17 minutes, etc. Today he was doing his first full marathon. That's his 'sister' with him there... A very sweet lady.
My friend Paul. He is a coach and has a training program called "Legions of Leonidas." During races, he dresses up like the old Spartan king and runs the course, encouraging his trainees along, as well as lots of other people. He is pretty darn fast too, even in this outfit. He did the full marathon.
I work for UTSA (University of Texas at San Antonio) and saw her with the cap. Go UTSA Roadrunners!
ON THE COURSE
Lots of people at this one! Even after they let us out of the corral, we were in 'waiting mode" as they started people in the course in intervals to get everyone spaced out a bit. That white banner waaay ahead of me is the actual start line.
And on the course! Not too bad, start of 7:15 a.m. and I crossed the actual start line at 7:27 a.m. so not too bad at all. After the 10K the day before I thought my legs would be a bit sore for this one, but that was not the case. I actually felt pretty good and did my run intervals okay. I told my friend, Daisy - who was doing the relay also - "I guess I can get in another 6.2." She said "Umm, Scotty, ..it's more like 6.5 for our leg, and then the second leg will do 6.6, so the total will be 13.1." What? Well, duhhh, I was never very good at math, lol; good thing my wife is the family banker. OK, then, so this will be my longest run of the year. I just took it easy, stopped to take photos quite often, smiled a lot, chatted with friends as we went along...no pressure. It was pretty humid and rain was threatening, but we were dry for the first few miles. I think it was near Mile 3 that the rain came, but it was kid of just a drizzle, then it picked up a bit, then it toned down again, and then stopped, so we were lucky. Gail told me later that she was still in her corral and had not even started yet and where she and thousands of others still were, in the start area, the rain really came down and they got a soaking; so she was glad she had brought her jacket.
Well, I just kept plugging away; my legs were feeling good and I was a happy doggie, just enjoying myself. My speedy friend, Daisy, was long gone - I think she made the exchange point about 20 or 30 minutes before I did, lol. I am not speedy at all - like dogs whose years are about 7 years in human years, my minutes per mile are in dog-time years, lol. Even so, quicker than I thought I would I saw the 10K marker and knew the exchange point was right ahead. But it wasn't...where was that darn thing...a friend was running with me to the exchange and I told him I swear, those exchange point volunteers see me coming and keep moving it back as I get closer.. ...finally, there it was...I made it - 1:24 and change, so about 13-minute something miles with all my photo-stops and walk breaks, etc. - but I was feeling good and happy and no soreness, I felt quite satisfied. Passed off to my team-mate and she was off to do the 2nd leg.
Some of the things you see around downtown San Antonio, lol.
Kind of a murky morning, as you can see
Cleared up a tad..
Well, maybe not cleared up ahead..
and the people just keep on coming
Runners are so polite...lady picking up empty water bottle so nobody will step on it. I ended up kicking some broken glass almost right after this photo and stopped to carefully pick that up and found a trash can to put it in. Don't want anyone injured, and I knew "Barefoot Elvis" was out there somewhere.
My friend Sally in my face, lol
Heading into the downtown area and toward The Alamo
I like the expression of the little girl on the left, lol....when will this be over?
Around this point, started drizzling on us a little
He's got that right, lol...
..and then it got really wet for a bit
Found Barefoot Elvis. He did the 10K on Saturday too. And he was running barefoot.
AFTER MY FINISH
Waiting for the shuttle bus to come and take me back to the finish-line area, so got a few photos of some of the others around me who had also done the relay.
6.55 miles done!
After the bus dropped us off, I thought about going to my room, taking a shower, and coming back to the finish party. However, Gail had told me she would probably finish in 4 hours, so looking at my watch, I figured better just head to the finish area. One big party going on inside the historic La Villita Plaza of San Antonio with beer, live music, lots of various foods, and a whole ton of vendors selling souvenir stuff. Convenient, so I bought a shirt and put that on underneath my race shirt, so I'd have a dry base layer. .I then wandered around taking a few photos here and there, and also got my 'remix medal' - if you did 2 RnR events in the same weekend you earned a bonus 'remix challenge" medal, a pretty nice one too. And as I was doing all this...the band played on...well, it was RnR. Finally connected with Gail - I guess I missed her connection when she first came in; the finish line area was just packed with people coming in and people trying to find family and friends. Gail did great with her walk, finishing in 3:23 for the half marathon. She was, however, quite sore, did not want any photos, just wanted to get her remix medal and then back to the room and soak and have some peace-and-quiet, so she told me just to stay, have a couple beers with friends, take photos, do my post-race thing, and just let her soak in peace for a while. OK, mama, not saying a word. So off she went. And off I went to party for a while...and below are my after-photos.
The guitar medal I have is the 'remix' third medal given to all who did two events this weekend.
With friend Joe, who has overcome a lot to be here. I admire him greatly.
My friend and our MC, Mark Purnell
With my relay team-mate, Stephanie, after she finished.
RnR had these shirts that you could buy, with the names of participants on them....I found my name..
Gail's name was on this shirt...
My friend Azula does not want to cooperate for a photo, lol.
Azula says "Treat first...THEN photo..."
Azula got her treat...
"OK, that's enough, Scotty, I am done...and I see a piece of food over there.."
Yeah, I am with him...nap time!
...and the band played on...
Another bib, a little worn for wear, like my Saturday one...and my 85th race of the year done!
Overall, a pretty nice weekend of running and friends and time with Gail.
Sure there was some bad - registration glitches; I also thought the start area for the half and marathon and relay was pretty bad, the had some corrals going down one street, some gointg down another street, and the relay half corral off to the side - so it was set up kind of like a cross - and for the star all these folks were to converge on the one street. They did stagger the corral starts, but even so, it was awfully slow going for some of these people to get to the actual start line. I don't know what it is but, logistically, there has got to be a better way to do this. I hope they figure it out. For the half-and marathon, from what I saw for the part of the course I did, the water tables were pretty scarce; for me, doing only 6-something miles, no worries; but for those people doing the complete marathon and half - especially the slower people at the back of the pack who will be out there longer - you'd think they'd have some type of water stop at every mile, just in case. They really need to add more water stops.
As for the good....pretty nice course - the first 6 miles of the course that I did was flat as a pancake, and it took in some of downtown San Antonio, including running in front of The Alamo - which may soon be a thing of the past with upcoming planned construction around there - lots of spectators at several places along the way cheering people on, lots of signs and funny stuff along the way and - though I did not see it because it was at Mile 7 - the Memorial Mile sponsored by Wear Blue To Remember, to honor our fallen veterans. Gail told me it was one of the most moving things she'd ever seen and just about everyone who passed there slowed down to take it all in: names of some of the fallen, some photos too, I think, flags, etc. Bands along the way at certain points; and the after-party in the finish area of La Villita and Hemisfair Park was just crazy good, food, beer and various other drinks, live music, really nice place to party, La Villita, lots of discount merchandise. Really nice finisher medals - the remix medal is really nice, pretty nice race shirts, and full marathoners get a Marathoner jacket. Yeah, there was some bad..but I think more good than bad. I would probably do an RnR event again. I have done them before way back when, when I actually could run distance and when the original company owned the series. That was long ago. No more than 10kfor me these days - thank you very much, stupid arthritis! Even so, RnR accommodates with some shorter distance events, which is nice. However, it is now wait-and-see time since a company called Iron Man just bought the series and it seems they like to use Active.com for registration - which is about the worst-ever registration site I have ever used - so I anticipate some future problems. But, as I said, wait and see, and if everything works out, I may sign up for another event in the future.
Meanwhile: thanks very much to ALL the people involved with organizing this one for all we participants. No matter what part you played - volunteer, law enforcement, city worker, vendors, sponsor, whatever - without all of you doing what you do, no event for we participants. So thank you very much! Special shout out to Josh Garcia of Competitive Group who helped me greatly with a registration glitch. Give that guy a raise! Or at least some type of bonus. Thanks, Josh.
"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." Theodore Roosevelt
That was a challenging weekend for both you and Gail. Congratulations!