Beginners and Beyond


2018 Race 87: Arthritis Foundation Jingle Bell 5K (Read 4 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

    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


     photo IMG_1459_zpsfq6xlcq6.jpg


    The pavilion where all the pre-and-post race activities took place

     photo IMG_1431_zpsc40i7vg6.jpg




     photo IMG_1432_zps4588cerp.jpg



    Various Participants, volunteers, etc.


     photo IMG_1419_zps4mdivjoy.jpg


     photo IMG_1420_zpswikclv9a.jpg


     photo IMG_1421_zps3bw9vx6g.jpg


     photo IMG_1424_zpsrhl5brue.jpg




    Our MC and Music Man

     photo IMG_1422_zpsjuo61eft.jpg

     photo IMG_1428_zpsrn0yzjqt.jpg



    Our Race Director, Pat

     photo IMG_1425_zpsqe9scdhr.jpg


    Dog friendly event.  Lots of doggies there. I had to get extra biscuits to hand out all the treats


     photo IMG_1417_zpsnw799tio.jpg

     photo IMG_1433_zps1q7jxs0x.jpg


    Chef cooking up all the sausages for the post-race sausage wraps

     photo IMG_1418_zpsdil0tz5y.jpg


    With friend Sandra who just had hip replacement and is already moving around

     photo IMG_1426_zpsgxa9nkip.jpg


     photo IMG_1427_zps8dxhicva.jpg


    In the start crowd, reading this guy's socks.  I sure hope so....


     photo IMG_1434_zpszrc4iwp7.jpg


     photo IMG_1435_zpsm0ydjr2g.jpg


    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


     photo IMG_1436_zpsd2nj0n57.jpg


     photo IMG_1437_zpslbozmxh6.jpg


     photo IMG_1439_zpskuc15qwi.jpg


     photo IMG_1441_zps6zyukvqd.jpg


     photo IMG_1442_zpsxg1hrc1k.jpg


    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

     photo IMG_1443_zpshs4feiiq.jpg


    On the way back to the finish


     photo IMG_1444_zpsd1ua6dvb.jpg


     photo IMG_1445_zpskrara6yp.jpg


     photo IMG_1446_zpsngfbm7pb.jpg


     photo IMG_1447_zpsk1nawqbc.jpg


     photo IMG_1448_zpspomduwdx.jpg


     photo IMG_1449_zpsoiufgmlw.jpg


     photo IMG_1450_zps7amw8mux.jpg


     photo IMG_1451_zpsa0nptycd.jpg


    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.


     photo IMG_1452_zpsquqgx4tw.jpg


     photo IMG_1453_zpswmp7vlkx.jpg


     photo IMG_1454_zps6xtxsuqs.jpg


    These folks heading to the finish road after just coming up the incline we all had to go up before the finish

     photo IMG_1455_zpsxeoik4aj.jpg


     photo IMG_1456_zpskegdwgcp.jpg


    The incline we went down going out and up coming back


     photo IMG_1457_zpsjyi24gtw.jpg


     photo IMG_1458_zpso7mspymi.jpg


    Found the Alamo Beer

     photo IMG_1461_zpstnvtincx.jpg



     photo IMG_1465_zpsm4zhtohk.jpg


     photo IMG_1466_zpsj2rcloif.jpg



    Happy finishers, supporters, etc.

     photo IMG_1460_zpsuw6onmry.jpg


     photo IMG_1462_zps4wwb53st.jpg



     photo IMG_1464_zpsxpxl8mzk.jpg


     photo IMG_1467_zpsflg0aary.jpg


     photo IMG_1468_zpscvdjpngk.jpg


     photo IMG_1470_zpswb5vzgtm.jpg


    Bernadette's 2nd 5K of the day and 101st race of the year.


     photo IMG_1472_zps8zffacww.jpg



     photo IMG_1473_zpskkf4lram.jpg


     photo IMG_1474_zpshg2tsifd.jpg


     photo IMG_1480_zpspmpewrus.jpg


     photo IMG_1483_zpsyzgsamz6.jpg



     photo IMG_1475_zpswiaj5jka.jpg


    The young lady and her little one got one of the door prizes

     photo IMG_1479_zpsiyvmumd8.jpg



    First place in my age group


     photo IMG_1477_zps1jsaiabc.jpg


    75 and going strong.  Medal winner

     photo IMG_1478_zpsapd8vzlo.jpg






    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