Beginners and Beyond


Report/Photos: Dragon's Den 5K, 10K, and Half (Read 5 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 not have come out so well; sorry about that.   Plus, at times post-race I forgot to wipe my sweaty lens - duhhhh - so there might be a smudge or two on some of them.     All in all, I think they came out fairly well.  I am certainly no professional photographer with skills; but at least all the photos are free to save.


    The Dragon's Den 5k was my 54th race of 2017.  Held on August 12 at Pearsall Park in San Antonio, there was also a half marathon and a 10K.    Got my race shirt the day before the 5K and, very cool, the RD, Erik, had my personal logo put onto my race shirt...


    Front of shirt


    Back of shirt







    Had to be there early.   The half started at 6:30, the 10K at 7 a.m., and the 5K at 7:15 a.m.  With the parking situation at the park, early was a necessity, so I was up at 4:15 a.m. to get some breakfast, etc., and then arrived at the park just a tad past 5:30 a.m. Wandered around getting some pre-start photos.  It was still a bit dark and my old-time camera, even with the flash, does not like dark too much, so some of the photos are a bit dark, but in the lighted areas of the park, they came out okay.


    I have arrived



    Our MC and official photographers






    Our Music Man providing us some tunes as we wait


    Race Director Erik, co-owner of Dragon Tees

     photo 022_zpspjojikyt.jpg




    Various Participants, Volunteers, etc






    no bright light, a bit better











    National Anthem


    The half marathon folks getting ready to start



    And the 10K and 5K folks were left...





    Ahh, going to get lighter now....sun beginning to come up over the hill


    My friend was there to support her hubby who was doing the half.




    Waiting for 10K/5K start






    MC Mark telling us to line up..



    And we are off!  This is really  a brutal course.  If you ever want to do hill training in San Antonio area, there are two place where you will get a plethora of hills:  Helotes and this darn park.  The 5K was the shortest of the 3 events and our hills were crazy so I can just imagine what the 10K and half marathon folks had to deal with.


    About 1/4 mile in and we are already heading up our first hill


    Nice view of the area below


    People coming up behind me



    Down the other side..


    A longer downhill farther on - the first time I did this event,  this trail was an uphill on the route...a loooong uphill





    After that, onto some paved trails for a while with a short uphill incline, then we went off-road and did a loop around on this trail







    This lady has courage..doing this whole course pushing a stroller.


    That was the flattest part of the course.  We came off the trail and started heading toward the finish by going up a very steep hill, then it was flat for a short bit, then we climbed another hill that took us to a switchback that took us up yet another hill, and then it was downhill, a right turn, and back to the finish.


    Looking back the way I'd just come



    Looking ahead




    I am heading to the turn that will take me up where these people are


    Up this hill, heading to the switchback


    Now up this hill and then that last one where the higher people are



    Finally got on the downhill and then the turn to the finish.  Good grief, that was hilly!  It usually takes me about 33 - 35 minutes to do a 'normal' 5K.  This one took me 38 minutes and change and I was just happy to finish standing up, lol.  There were only 3 in my age group (60 - 69) for the 5K and I ended up being first in my age group. A slow first.  Don't care, I'll take it just for surviving, lol.   All participants did get a finisher medal and we all earned it for this one.



    First thing: WATER.  I had been able to park pretty close to the start/finish, so I went to my car and just sat in there for about 10 minutes with the a/c running, cooling me down.  Ahhhh, nice.   Then I changed into the race shirt - which I had put into my car to use as a dry shirt to change into cuz I knew I'd be soaked in sweat after this race - and it was off to get some photos of the supporters, volunteers and the "happy finishers" - very happy, lol, to be done.






    My friend on the right did the half-marathon, carried the flag the whole way, and finished in 1:49





    Me and my friend, who works for Men In Black and came down from the mother ship to do this race.



    My friend here is very happy to be done with her 10K



    My friend Joe is one of the runners there that was sponsored by Amstel Light


    Serving up some cold post-race brewskis



    Two of the iaap folks..they did the timing, course setup, etc



    The iaap family members also own Runners Ranch, a very nice place where a lot of events are put on and has trails to run or walk on.



    And post-race Turkey Legs






    Sign up for the 5-mile Whine Run on Labor day, location Comal Dry Creek Winery, one heck of an after-party.  You earn the wine with yeat another very hilly course, but at least this one is paved.


    Ahhh,  a bit of shade and a place to sit after the event






    My friend here did the half





    Thanks for volunteering for us, Kim!



    Kim and Co-race Director Kristine.  All these folks, volunteers, directors, etc. had to be here REALLY early


    Some of the half people were still coming in


    And good ole MC Mark was right there until the very last person came in


    And as I finally left myself, the park's splash pad was turned on.  Nice way to cool off a bit after a very very warm race.




    I did the inaugural event of this one many years ago.  That was before the park was renovated and there were no PAVED trails at all, it was all natural dirt, gravel, etc.  Well, the park has been renovated, there are some paved trails now and better facilities..but the course is STILL brutal, lol.  Of course the Race Director would use the word "challenging", lol. Yeah...BRUTAL!  But you certainly do feel a real sense of accomplishment after getting any of these events done.  Nice touch this year was music along the course as there were speakers hung up along the way at various places. Really nice tech tees as the race shirt, pink for the ladies and orange (my favorite color!) for the men, and I got a singlet, very nice.  Post-race Turkey Legs and Amstel X Light beer, also nice - although Amstel only gave one serving per person, and it wasn't even a full cup; as a beer lover I found that kind of annoying post-race, you could not get a second, but that's probably just me; and I get it, they want to make sure there is enough for everyone.  So next year  I will just have to bring my own.

    All in all, though, a very well put on and organized event.  Yeah, the course is brutal - oh, I'm sorry.."challenging" - but it is well thought out so you do get a break here-and-there at times from the hills. I would recommend this one to my fellow runners and I would do this one again.


    MUCHO THANKS to all the people who got this one organized for we participants; all the volunteers, Race Director, sponsors, park authorities, law enforcement, Dragon Productions/Dragon Tees, etc.   Without all you do there would be no race for us, so thank you very much for what you do!

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