Beginners and Beyond


Report and photos: Heidi Search Center Big Steps for Hope 5K (Read 10 times)


Barking Mad To Run


    I am Scott aka Scottydog aka Scotty Dogg, 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.




    This was my 41st race of 2015.  Supported the Heidi Search Center (<cite></cite>), established in August, 1990, following the abduction of 11-year-old Heidi Lynn Seeman.  The center " now serves as a resource for families and communities by providing educational programs, referrals, advocacy, and assisting law enforcement in search efforts for missing children and adults." Start and finish near Los Patios, a very good local restaurant.  Our San Antonio weather for once was very cooperative for August, with a nice morning temp of around 70 degrees for the 8 a.m. start and a dew-point only in the low-60s, making it feel pretty nice out there.  This was a fairly small event, with about 67 finishers, 23 male, 44 female.  I ended up 2nd in my age group - there were only 2 in my 60 - 69 age group, lol - with a chip time of 33:34.




    Before the Start


    I arrived about an hour before start time and got a few pre-start photos.


    Los Patios area is a very nice area with a great restaurant, several shoppes, and the park trails nearby...and some nice walking areas near the restaurant and shoppes:

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    The lonely start/finish line before the start

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    Balloons with photos of missing ones, which would be released to the Heavens post-race in memory and hope.

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    My good friends at AthleteGuild - including one of my 'running crushes", Sherri -  did the course set-up, timing, race results, etc.


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    This lady on the left, with her co-volunteer,  is the Heidi Search Center Director

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    Our MC, Mark Purnell, who does several local events during the year and does a great job at all of them.

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    Team RWB (Red White and Blue) represented...a veteran's organization of which I am a member, and also Sherri, of AthleteGuild.


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    Some of the other  participants, supporters, sponsors/vendors, volunteers, etc.

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    Sherri and Mark with one of the Heidi Search Center folks.  Mark and Sherri are brother-and-sister - although at one time I mentioned to them I  had thought they were husband-and-wife since they had the same last name...which cracked them up.   photo 008_zpsqf3drhup.jpg


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    On the Course


    The course was an out-and-back done on the paved trails of Lady Bird Johnson Park.  Since we were at Los Patios, which is about a mile from the beginning trailhead of the park, we went from the start line toward the trailhead and then onto part of a trail that eventually ends up at another park, McAllister Park.  We did not go all the way to McAllister Park, instead turning around at a certain point and then heading back to Los Patios.  The course was "open' so a lot of cyclists and non-race runners were on the trail doing their thing.  I thought it was funny that, as I ran along, several non-race runners and a few of the cyclists out there knew me and I kept getting calls along the way of "Scottydog!"  and "Go Scottydog!" and so forth, like I had my own little cheering section, lol.  It was quite entertaining.


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    The organizers didn't tell us there was a 'water hazard" on the course.    This "boardwalk" part of the course was a bit slippery in places.  At my pace - SLOW, lol - I didn't have to alter my pace much, but some of the speedier runners may have had to adjust a bit while on this part.  Everyone did okay, though, no slips or injuries that I saw while I was on it, or heard about after the finish; and the boardwalk certainly added some 'uniqueness" to the course.


    I had already made the turn-around - which was a little ways down the boardwalk - and when I took these photos, I was heading back to the paved trails that would take me back to the finish.

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    After the Finish


    Happy Scottydog after the finish.

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    My two "running wives" lol.  I see my pals Sherri and Bernadette at more running events I do than any other local lady runners.  And Bernadette (on my left) does just about as many races in a year as I do - I can usually get away with doing a ton of races because I do run/walk and take photos and I'm not that speedy anyway  - but Bernadette actually RACES her events, placing in just about all of them, zowie!  It amazes me she can RACE that many races in a year without getting injured, but she does manage, and she does very well too.

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    Other "Happy Finishers, et al....


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    These lovely ladies are wearing the race shirt participants got

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    Breakfast tacos post-race provided by Los Patios.

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    Enjoyed on the patio

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    Heidi Search Center Directors, post-race ceremonies


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    Mark announcing age-group award winners

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    My speedy pal Bernadette got 1st in her age group, finishing in the mid-20s minute range

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    A few more medal winners

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    I think the guy on the right is eyeing the left-over tacos...  

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    Balloon release in memory and hope of the missing...and Mark added a nice touch, playing Taps...

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    This is a really nice event, very well done!  And post-race breakfast tacos too and orange juice, ice water, and a cool shady place for the post race activities? Yeah, very nice!  There are not that many August races toward the end of August - especially given our Texas weather in August - so I hope this one gains some notice and gets more entrants in the future, because it is really a good event for a very good cause.   Mucho thanks to all the volunteers, sponsors, etc. who all made this happen for us, and a big thanks to Los Patios for allowing us the use of their restrooms and allowing we post-race sweaty participants into their very nice restaurant patio area, mucho appreciated! And if you are looking for a 5K PR, this would be a good one to consider for it.  The course is mostly VERY flat, with just a couple of minor inclines, and plenty of shade along the way.  Yes, I certainly would recommend this one to my fellow runners!


    Next up for me:  The San Antonio Roadrunners Whine Run on Labor Day.  5 miles of just about ALL hills and no shade. Followed by one GREAT after-party  at the nearby Dry Comal Creek Winery.  I'm not much of a wine drinker though, so if any of my fellow SARR members are reading this report....please have a cold BEER for me after the run. 

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


      Scotty, congrats on the AG award.   Your races always seem so fun and with cool stuff like breakfast tacos, yeah!  Maybe I just don't do enough local races to figure out which ones have great after parties.  (of course, I'm the one who did about a dozen half marathons before realizing that I could slip my driver's license into my pocket to get a FREE BEER at the end of most races!)


        Is the boardwalk over water or is that condensation from the surrounding plants?




        Barking Mad To Run

          Is the boardwalk over water or is that condensation from the surrounding plants?




          The boardwalk is over an area that floods badly when it rains and there is just about always a bit of standing in several places in that terrain.   But mostly on sunny days, yeah, the condensation is from the surrounding vegetation, morning mist, etc.

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