Beginners and Beyond


2017 Race 21 Report and Photos: Helotes Beer Garden 5K (Read 6 times)


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 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.    


    Link to photos only:


    A couple of the photos may have come out a bit blurry, sorry about that, I am definitely no professional photographer, lol, but at least the photos are free.




    My 21st race of 2017 was the March 26th Helotes Beer Garden 5K in the San Antonio area.  It is a very popular local event so lots of participants.  Picked up my packet the day before.


    Very nice tech tee race shirt, modeled here by my lovely wife.


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    Start and finish was in front of the El Chaparral restaurant – thanks to them for letting us invade their space for a while. Arrived with about 30 minutes to go to start time and got a few pre-start photos.


    C'est moi!  With two running friends

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    My friend Bob, on my left, is my man-crush...  


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    Getting ready to start....

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    8:30 a.m. start with weather bright and sunny, about 63 degrees, and a wind blowing about 15 mph or so – at our backs going out on the course and into our faces as we headed to the finish.  We started on a bit of dirt-and-gravel driveway, then onto paved roads in “Old Towne” Helotes – passing in front of the now closed Soler Sports, which was a very good local running/bike store…lots of past races hosted at this venue – then did an out-and-back on another local road, a short out-and-back on a side road, and then back to the restaurant area the way we had come out. For Helotes  - where most 5K routes are super hilly – this was actually pretty mild for hills, just the ones on the start-and-finish road – going out, downhill, then uphill past Soler Sports – and then in reverse on the way to the finish. Nicely thought out and laid out course that accommodated the many participants at this event, giving all of us lots of room to maneuver around as needed.

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    That guy on the left is not the leader....just a guy out for a training run, I think.  Bet he was surprised to be greeted by hundreds of runners, lol.

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    This guy, on the left heading toward me was the leader.  I tried to get a full shot of him, but another runner came up beside me.  The the leader was gone!  I think he finished in 18-something.


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    This was the second guy

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    God Bless America!  My friend Max carrying the flag as he does at just about all his races

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    Made one of the turn-around points, heading back to the finish


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 're going the wrong way.. 

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    Oh..Mr. 1994..went back to run with a friend...nice

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    I thought it was pretty cool that a couple of the race folks had their pads at the finish and, as much as possible, gave out instant chip-time finish results after you crossed the finish mat.  I actually knew one of the guys, so when he saw me he called out “Scotty!  32:21 chip!”  Nice.

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    Saved me from having to stand in line to check the results and I knew already I hadn’t place in my age group as, with as large as this race is, before the start I’d seen several of my speedier friends in my age group who usually all run 5Ks in the 20s minute range.

    All good, this just left me more time to drink some water, do a cool-down walk and then get to the important stuff:  the post-race BEER.  They don’t call this Beer Garden 5K for nothing.  There were lots of local craft breweries represented here, all giving out cups of their stuff.  As my personal favorite is Alamo Beer, I took a moment to find their tent on the after-party field and then headed there.

    After that, wandered around taking photos of various ‘happy finishers’ – I always call them that because I seem to notice a lot more people are smiling after they are done then before and during the event, lol – vendors, sponsors, volunteers, etc.

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    Hey, my friend, can you get off my dry shirt so I can put it back on..  

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    Yeah, found my beer of choice

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    Cold beer and a dry shirt post-race...nice!

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    Rocky...look at the camera.....Rocky...


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    Good boy....

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    Rocky says OK, dude, I'm done looking toward the camera...

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    This little fella knew I had dog biscuits in my pocket, lol.  He got a couple.

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    With the 'Teed Off at Cancer" folks...they were selling Teed Off at Cancer shirts, etc.  Nice shirts too, but I had no cash with me..

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    Food the name...

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    I think I was cracking these guys up, telling them what to expect when they get to my "I pooped today!" is a good thing...and the letter P will be their favorite in the alphabet, lol.

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    With two pretty young ladies...I look great! 

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    I thought the lady on the far right was their older sister.... nope..mother...really?


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    And to close out the photos... a selfie.   I am getting pretty good at taking a selfie with my old-time Canon camera; unlike a phone, I can't see myself on the viewer, so have to guesstimate the right position...

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    I love this event and try to do it every year.  This year though, was special for me because last year this is the race in which I tore my adductor muscle and had to take some running time off.  I did manage to finish last year, but ouch ouch ouch.  So this year I wanted to do well and prove that I could ‘conquer’ this course.  Mission accomplished, and I felt pretty darn good the whole way too.  Super event, definitely a keeper on the race calendar.  What’s not to like?  Nice tech tee, a well thought out course, several choices of beer after the race, and there was even a food truck there where you could purchase food for a pretty reasonable price too - I think the brisket plate was like $5 for two plates – and the truck had plenty of other offerings too.  A very friendly 5K too, lots of great participants and, since it’s an out-and-back, lots of encouragement being given to each other along the way.  Just one fun event.  I usually manage to have a blast at this race – even last year, in spite of the injury I still had a great after-party.  If you are ever in San Antonio area at the end of March, definitely do this one, I bet you would really enjoy it.

    MUCHO thanks also to all folks that made this one possible for we participants; the sponsors, the volunteers, the law enforcement/security folks out there for us, all the surrounding course businesses and the residents of Helotes for letting us invade their space for a few hours, et al – everyone who had an involvement with this event.  THANK YOU.








    Hope you enjoyed the report and photos!

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


      Nice job and report!  Glad you were able to celebrate coming back from your injury.