Beginners and Beyond


Report and Photos: Windcrest Fiesta Especial 5K (Read 30 times)


Barking Mad To Run


    I am Scott aka Scottydog, runner since 1983, cancer survivor, retired Air Force, employee of University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), friend of dogs, fun-runner, and all-around 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.  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, hence my nickname “Scottydog.” Here is yet another of my Race Reports With Photos, and my thanks to all the people I interacted with for their graciousness and good humor in letting me take photos of them.




    My 22nd race of 2014 and my 2nd race of the week of March 31 - April 6 (my running week goes from Monday to Sunday) after having done the April Fools Day 5K on Tuesday evening.  The Fiesta Especial 5K (website here: ) is one of the early events of Fiesta San Antonio.  Held in the city of Windcrest (a small city surrounded by the city boundaries of San Antonio), this event supported "Reaching Maximum Independence" (RMI), assisting adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to reach their maximum level of independence.  The 5K run and walk started at 8 a.m. and did the route of the Fiesta Especial Parade, with the parade following the runners and walkers at 9 a.m.  The weather was dark skies and quite windy at times, temps in the 50s - chilly for we South Texans! - with rain threatening, but the rain never did develop, thank goodness.  This was a smaller event of maybe 80 to 100 participants.  I ended up with a finish time of 33:29.




    Before The Start


    Because the streets were going to be barricaded off for the race and the parade the instructions advised race participants to get their early.  So I did, arriving just at the start/finish area just a little before 7 a.m.   It was still a bit dark when I arrived, since sunrise was not until near  7:40 or so.  I had already gotten my bib at packet pickup, so only had to get my timing chip, and then I began doing my usual thing of taking some pre-start photos.


    Nice sign announcing the event


    Some of the Windcrest police officers who were out there doing crowd control.  Thank you, officers, for your service and for being out there for we participants.


    The event race shirt


    My beautiful friend, Ceci, from, that did the race timing and course setup.


    Ceci and her crew.  I do a lot of events over the year and, as usual, this one was no exception...another great job done by them.


    Volunteers, supporters, participants, etc., pre-race


    Go Runners!  These volunteers were sporting UTSA shirts, the university for which I work.  The lady on the right is showing the UTSA Roadrunners sign (looks a lot like the Hawaiian  "Shaka brah!" symbol I recall from my days in Hawaii), with the thumb representing the tail of the Roadrunner and the little finger the Roadrunner's head.



    A few fiesta souvenirs sold by two lovely ladies




    Two lovely ladies and their fiesta hats



    Fiesta medals are a big thing at Fiesta San Antonio.  Sometimes there are contests each year to see how many Fiesta medals a person can get.



    A couple of the band folks marching in the parade, here with their 'sister."



    This is a dog friendly event.


    Festive band ladies








    This young man is on the x-country team of University of Incarnate Word, one of our many San Antonio universities.  He was the one who was first finisher.  After the race he told me that   he had gotten up early and done 8 miles already before he came out to do the 5K.  Dang, I wish my old-man bones had his energy!



    Air Force folks were also participants in the parade


    The young active-duty Air Force folks graciously allowed an old Air Force retired guy to have a photo with them.


    The parade was beginning to set up so before I headed to the start line, I got a few photos of some of the parade folks



    The young man on the right was the Fiesta Especial King


    Start line area right before we started



    More UTSA Roadrunners


    Festive hair ladies.  I ended up doing most of the course in the proximity of the young lady on the left.



    On The Course


    We started and finished at Windcrest City Hall.  We did a little loop on the streets that went around the local golf course, then came back to the start/finish area, went past that and then ran a big loop, with many turns, through some of the neighborhood streets of Windcrest, finally coming back out on the street upon which we had started that took us back to the finish line.


    Along the golf course area...







    As we  headed into the neighborhood on the other side of the golf course, we passed over the start/finish time for the 2nd time - we'd only gone a little over a half mile - I saw Ceci sitting at the timing table and I jokingly called out to her "That was the fastest 5K I've ever done!"


    As we headed into the neighborhood the parade folks were on our left waiting for their start.  I saw a very interesting character and just had to stop and get a photo


    Looping through the neighborhood, working our way to the finish line







    After the finish


    After crossing the mat, I walked down the parade line and got a few more photos.


    I found Torchy again, this time with some friends...





    Two of the Fiesta Especial Royal Court


    This lovely young lady was the Fiesta Especial Queen


    The Marching Band, who would be leading, were getting ready on a side-street, and were playing a lively rendition of Yellow Rose of Texas.  They sounded quite good.




    There were some donuts as part of the post-race goodies...oh yeah, I indulged in one.


    Rogelio, from iaapweb with "Gargamel", one of the sweetest dogs ever.  And she is a speedy runner too!


    Some of the "Happy Finishers", volunteers and supporters


    Me and my new running bud, Jerry.  We had a nice chat pre-race and post-race.  Very nice guy.












    This young man was first in his age group.  First place folks got a really nice bag as the award, which he is holding.


    The young winner and his lovely not-so-older 'sister."



    This lady wanted a photo of the back of my shirt with us doing 'thumbs up' I obliged... with a bit of clowning.  As my wife says "Can't you ever be serious?"


    Before I left, the band had just finished the golf course loop and was now heading into the neighborhood we'd just run so I got a photo of some of them 'on parade."




    Windcrest folks are some of the friendliest people I have ever met.   Everyone was great, from the police officers and other professional folks, all the volunteers were smiling and cheerful - at least the times I saw them anyway, and along the course we even had a few of the residents out there cheering us on, which was nice of them.


    The course - it was PERFECT.  After the race one of the iaap.web folks told me it was just a tad long - 3.18 instead of 3.16 - but don't care, it was still perfect. Nice wide streets, very resident friendly atmosphere. Also, one of the best organized courses ever.  You could NOT get lost on this course.  We wound around quite a bit through the neighborhoods but even if you were running alone, you would come to a turn and KNOW which way to turn because the street in the other direction was barricaded.  These barricades were at every one of our turn streets, so that was very well organized.  There was also either a Windcrest police officer or a volunteer - and sometimes both - at  just about every turn, nice!    I only saw one problem on the course - when I was running toward a turn, a vehicle just drove right past one of the barricades and turned onto the course, making me slow up a bit to avoid this idiot - he doesn't see the road is barricaded?  However, the idiot was not on the course long, one of the police officers was right there and stopped the driver very quickly, thank you very much.  Glad this was a fairly small event (so far) because if runners had been all over the road, wow, someone might have gotten injured. As it was there were only a couple of us around the vehicle and the local police did a great job in quickly resolving the problem.


    Also, for you of my running buds who are SPEEDY runners  - this is a great course upon which to shoot for a PR (other than it being a tad long). VERY flat.   The only 'hill" we had was a very small incline going up the first street by the golf course, and that incline was so negligible I don't even think you can call it any kind of hill.  So if you're shooting for a 5K PR in the future keep this one in mind.


    And as a participant you get a closeup 'first look" at the parade.  No waiting, you have the best seat in the house, you get to enjoy some post-race goodies, nice!  And, of course, the proceeds go toward a very good cause.  This event will definitely be on my race calendar in the future.

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

      Looks like a great event, Scotty!  That's gotta be a treat to try a new event when you're already so familiar with most of the local ones, and to have it be a winner. Smile


      Love Gargamel, by the way.  She looks a lot like Zoe.


      Caretaker/Overlook Hotel

        Awesome, Scotty!!  (Love the runs for a cause!)


        After posting a handful of pics yesterday, I can only imagine how many hours you must start your RR before posting......


          Nice pics as always, Scotty.

            Looks like a good race and a fun event.  Love the petticoats/tutus on the band members and all the flowers.  What was Torchy in honor of?


              Very very nice event, Scotty! Thanks for sharing, it was fun as always! 

              PRs: Boston Marathon, 3:27, April 15th 2013

                      Cornwall Half-Marathon, 1:35, April 27th 2013

              18 marathons, 18 BQs since 2010

              I'm out of ideas

                Sounds like near perfect weather for a race, not so much for a parade. At this rate you should have about 80 races by year's end.

                2019 Races:

                      4/13/19 - Whiskey Basin 33K

                      5/11/19 - D3 50K

                      6/08/19 - Eagle Up Ultra 24-Hour

                      9/21/19 - NC24

                Jack K.

                uʍop ǝpᴉsdn sǝʇᴉɹʍ ʇI

                  "Torchy,"  lol.  Nice one, as usual, Scotty. It always looks like you have a great time at your races. Smile


                  Smaller By The Day

                    You find the coolest 5K's.  That looks like a LOT of fun.


                    Weight 100 pounds lost

                    5K 31:02 Sept. 2012 / 23:36 Sept. 2013 (Same Course)

                    10K 48:59 April 2013

                    HM 2:03:56 Nov. 2012 / 1:46:50 March 2013

                    MARATHON 3:57:33 Nov. 2013


                    Barking Mad To Run

                      Looks like a good race and a fun event.  Love the petticoats/tutus on the band members and all the flowers.  What was Torchy in honor of?


                      I had to look it up.  Torchy is apparently the mascot of the Fiesta Flambeau Parade, the last parade held for Fiesta San Antonio (the night of April 26 this year).  The Fiesta Flambeau parade is the largest night-time parade in the US.  It starts a little after 7 PM and just about all the floats have torches on them for lighting and there are torch jugglers, etc.  "Torchy" often is a guest entry at some of the fiesta parades previous to the Flambeau one.

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


                        What a fun, fun event!  Congratulations on another great race!


                        "We do not become the people who this world needs simply by turning our backs on anyone we don’t like, trust, or deem healthy enough to be in our presence. "  ---- Shasta Nelson



                          I wanted to go to the air force but did not score high enough on the ABSVAB for that.  I could have joined the army or marines but said screw it and joined the trades instead.


                          Barking Mad To Run

                            I wanted to go to the air force but did not score high enough on the ABSVAB for that.  I could have joined the army or marines but said screw it and joined the trades instead.


                            Well, I thought once about joining the Coast Guard..cuz I figured if the boat ever sank then I could just wade to shore....    However, I went


                            Air Force and had a very satisfying 24-year career, and got to see a lot of the world.


                            Air Force, Coast Guard, and Navy joining requirement:  At least a high school education; and some college credits would be good.


                            Army Requirements:  Some high school.


                            Marine Requirements:  Have a juvenile record that includes fighting, brawling, weapons charges.....



                            Just joking, of course.  The folks in the services jokingly make fun of each other's services but there is a respect for ALL of them.  Each service has its own unique mission and when it comes down to "crunch time" in an operational theater, they all work together to get it done. I am lucky to have worked during my career with several joint-service units and I have the greatest respect for those folks in the other services, they are very good at what they are trained to do.   Those Army folks - specifically the 10th Mountain - and the Marine folks there got my 'non-combatant" Air Force butt out of a few hairy situations when I was in Somalia, and the Navy "rescued" me when I was in Asia and gave me a ride home on one of their ships.    And yes, I did puke a lot, lol, I am definitely no sea-farer.  How those folks can live on those ships all the time is amazing to me.

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


                              Another wonderful race, Scotty!   I always look forward to your RRs - you write well and your pictures tell a great story!   Congrats!   Thanks for sharing!

                              But The Smile That I Sent Out Returned With You.