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 87th race of 2018 was the Arthritis Foundation 5K held on Dec 8, 2:30 pm, at Valero Energy Corporation in San Antonio. Valero is a Fortune 500 oil-and-gas-and energy company which has its headquarters in San Antonio. I work at local university The University of Texas at San Antonio and Valero is one of our strongest supporters and donors, so I am familiar with the company. UTSA is also neighbors with Valero as company HQ is located right across the street from some of the UTSA campus grounds. This was my 2nd race of the day after doing the Reindeer 5K in the morning. This event raised funds to help find a cure for arthritis. I always try to do this one whenever I can as this is a very personal issue for me, since I have spinal arthritis, as well as some arthritis in my hands, hips, and the knee which has had 4 surgeries. The race venue is really nice as Valero kindly opens its grounds for this event and allows participants the use of its activity pavilion, a very nice roofed pavilion with lots of room, inside restrooms, water fountains, etc. Parking is very nice too as Valero provides use of their very spacious parking garage on the grounds. Weather was a bit warmer than for my morning 5K, around 48 degrees or so, but still a bit of wind, so being a cold weather wimp, I did wear a base layer under my running shirt. I arrived on the Valero grounds with about 45 minutes to start time and wandered around taking some pre-start photos.
Welcome to Valero Energy
The pavilion where all the pre-and-post race activities took place
Various Participants, volunteers, etc.
Our MC and Music Man
Our Race Director, Pat
Dog friendly event. Lots of doggies there. I had to get extra biscuits to hand out all the treats
Chef cooking up all the sausages for the post-race sausage wraps
With friend Sandra who just had hip replacement and is already moving around
In the start crowd, reading this guy's socks. I sure hope so....
On The Course
Valero is quite close the nearby Leon Creek Greenway trail, part of the San Antonio System of connecting off-road greenway trail systems. This part of the trail although ‘officially’ the Leon Creek Greenway, is commonly known by users as the ‘Valero Trailhead” trail, as Valero is a sponsor and donor for this part of the trail system. Course started and finished on the grounds of Valero, on a road between the pavilion and the parking garage. This was an out-and-back course that took us out one of the Valero access gates, down an incline, then a turn onto the Valero Trail, where we went out to a turn-round point and then went back the way we had come out. As this trail is quite close to UTSA I am quite familiar with these trails and realized, when we got to the turn-round point, the course was going to be a tad short. My reaction, lol, was “Thank goodness, I need a short course right now!”, lol, as I could still feel a bit my morning 5K in my legs, lol. I also understood the reason for the early turn-round: safety of the participants, because the regular turn-round point is right by the creek and when we get rain – and we had a LOT of rain on Friday night, with flash flood warnings, etc – that point on the trail floods; so it was probably covered with water for this event. The course ended up, per my friend Bernadette’s garmin, as being 2.96, so about 2/10 short, so not too bad. I ended up with a chip time of 31:04, about 11-something per mile for the 2.8, and 1st in my age group. I guess all the speedy guys in my age group were taking a day off, lol.
Cloudy, overcast, and a bit of wind at times....event at 50 it felt cold for some of we South Texas cold-weather wimps, lol
The turn-round point, thanks volunteer! The normal turn-round point is beyond the bridge and farther down, but due to all the massive rain we had Friday night, the path beyond the bridge was partly flooded
On the way back to the finish
After My Finish
First thing I did, replaced my sweaty base layer shirt with a dry shirt, and then it was off to wander around and take some photos. I walked back to the top of the incline we had to climb on our way to the finish and got some photos of a few people coming into the finish and coming up the incline. Then off to the after-party to get some photos. This event really throws a nice after-party. Goodies included sausage wraps and Alamo Beer from local Alamo Beer craft beer brewery; saw some vendors offering up Christmas cookies – good; I had two 😊 – and freebies stuff from various sponsors and vendors and a DJ playing live music for us; and Santa Claus was there too for photo-ops.
This was the finish street. End of the garage, turn left, and the finish line was there.
These folks heading to the finish road after just coming up the incline we all had to go up before the finish
The incline we went down going out and up coming back
Found the Alamo Beer
Happy finishers, supporters, etc.
Bernadette's 2nd 5K of the day and 101st race of the year.
The young lady and her little one got one of the door prizes
First place in my age group
75 and going strong. Medal winner
I don’t know about other cities – this event is put on by Arthritis Foundation in a variety of cities across the US – but the San Antonio one, as long as I have done it over the past years, has always been a very nicely done event. Really nice quality long-sleeved race shirt; lots of goodies before-and-after the race; and for walkers there was also a 5K and, I believe, a 1-miler, and there was a kid’s run; nice medals for age-group awardees; and there was a drawing for various door prizes. I will continue to do this one in the future and would certainly recommend it to others.
Many many thanks to all the people who made this one happen for us: Valero Energy leadership and employees; all the many volunteers and sponsors and vendors; law enforcement people out there for us on the Valero campus roads and by the access gates and in the garage; DJ for the music provided and Santa for the fun and photo-ops; and big shout-out to our race director Pat Bodet who had the ultimate responsibility or making sure it all went right – great job, Pat! Also big thanks to anyone else I may not have mentioned here. Thank you so much for what all of you do so we participants could have this event.
"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." Theodore Roosevelt