Barking Mad To Run
INTRO: I am Scott aka Scottydog, runner since 1983, cancer survivor, retired Air Force, 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.
SHORT VERSION REPORT
My 30th race of 2013. Jon's 5K Run/Stroll - http://www.anybabycansa.org/news-events/10th-annual-jons-run/about/ - had its first 5K in 2003 to benefit Any Baby Can’s Center for Infant and Child Loss. The inspiration for this event is Jon Carl Stephenson who died of SIDS in 2002. Altho named in his memory, this event honors and remembers all children whose lives ended too soon. Schedule permitting, I try to do this one every year that I can, in remembrance of my own 4-month old son who was killed, along with his mother, my first wife, by a drunk driver in 1974. My heart goes out to any parent who has suffered the loss of a child. It is a terrible thing, something you never get over. You learn to live with it, you learn to cope with the loss, but you never really get over it. This event had a great turn-out - one of the packet pick-up volunteers told me 1200 had registered and that was the day before the race, so probably had more than that, with race day registrants. After getting some pouring down-rain on Thursday night and Friday morning, Jon must've been taking care of us from Heaven for this event, because Saturday dawned just beautiful...sunny, light cloud cover, a slight wind, 64 degrees. Humidity was 87% but wasn't even a factor as the dew-point was only 59, so the air felt nice and 'fresh.' I ended up finishing in 34:45 gun-time, 34:17 chip-time. Thanks to iaapweb.com for providing their usual great race-course set-up and timing results.
LONG VERSION REPORT WITH PHOTOS
BEFORE THE RACE
The race was held at Morgan's Wonderland - https://www.morganswonderland.com/ - a park designed with children with disabilities in mind. This park has such things as wheelchair accessible rides, play areas designed to accommodate those with disabilities, a lovely small lake in the center of the park, a "waterworks' play area, with all sorts of pretty cool "water toys" and water gadgets - heck, I wanted to play with those myself when I saw them - and so forth. There are also lots of youth soccer fields which are very popularly used by youth leagues, school teams, etc. Established my Gordon Hartman, one of our local citizens who has done so much for San Antonio, including bringing to San Antonio the Scorpions, a professional soccer team.
Me and Jon's mother; her son is for whom this event is named.
When you first enter the park, this sculpture greets you; accompanying dedication on the rear of the statue. Harvey Najim is a local businessman and philanthropist.
These figures are at various locations around the park
Lake at the park
Ship play area
These young men were providing some live entertainment
The start area just outside the front of the entrance to the park's main building
The finish line inside of the park
Our MCs for the event
Two of the many great volunteers out there for we participants
Participants and supporters pre-start
Just before the start
Balloons were released carrying to Heaven messages to the loved children lost
There was also a prayer, and a lady beautifully sang the National Anthem and then we were off!
ON THE COURSE
We ran on park roads to start, going by Toyota Field, home of the Scorpions, and Heroes Stadium, a football/athletic stadium of Northeast Independent School District, did an out-and-back up and down a hill, then a small loop in front of Heroes Stadium, and finally back the way we had first come out. We finished by doing a circuit inside Morgan's Wonderland, alongside the lake, park rides, play areas, etc. A very nicely designed course.
Out-and-back up and down the only hill on the course
Loop in front of Heroes Stadium
Got a photo of this person taking photos
Just before Mile 2 for me....nearly halfway point for these last of the runners and the people walking the 5K making their way up the hill I had already done
A view of part of Heroes Stadium as we passed it
A bit past Mile 2 on this road
The last on-course photo and then I hoofed it back to the finish. A funny thing happened along the way. I've been dealing with a hamstring issue for the last couple of days but I was able for this even to run nice and steady with only very slight discomfort; no pain, just a bit of a niggling discomfort. With just under a mile to go I suddenly felt a 'pop" in my leg...and my discomfort was suddenly gone! Yay! So I guess maybe I just had a cramp in there or something and somehow I 'popped' whatever back into place, or knocked the tightness out. I was actually able to pick up the pace a bit more right before I finished.
After I finished, I got this photo of some of the other runners in the park making their way around the lake, where I had been a few minutes ago.
AFTER THE RACE
"Happy Finishers" and Supporters. Sorry about a couple of the photos having some blurry spots. What can I say? I'm a fat guy... I sweat!
These guys were from La Madeline, a premier bakery, etc. in San Antonio. They had all kinds of nice pastries, buns, etc. for us post-race.
I was in proximity of these two for most of the race. The young lad fell down a bit before Mile 2, skinned his knee a tad; got up, kept running with his Dad. I told him post-race " Way to go, you're a Warrior, little buddy!"
Took this from a pavilion above. The finish line is to the left, out of the photo. The Waterworks toys and stuff are in front of the building in the photo.
More important volunteers: food ladies! They had all sorts of stuff at their table..bagels, cream cheese, some kind of pecan-treat thing in the pan there, and more. Yummy!
Darn...another blurry one, sorry. This photo does NOT do justice to these lovely folks, believe me they are much better looking than they appear here.
Altho the reason for this event is sad - the loss of a child is a terrible thing - the cause is good, to help the center that helps families deal with the loss, and the event is a very enjoyable one, with lots of good people, both participants and volunteers, lots of camraderie, and a really nice race venue. This event is normally done in local Brackenridge Park but could not be used this year due to some construction, and other things. Personally, I'd like to see the race stay at Morgan's Wonderland if the logistics can be worked out for that. This is a very popular youth-soccer venue but because the fields got so soaked we participants for this event got lucky, all the soccer games were canceled so as not to damage the fields. So we had the place all to ourselves, which made parking easier. So, as said, if the logistics between the event and the soccer use in the future can be worked out, this is a wonderful place to do this run/walk. Kudos and many thanks to the Morgan's Wonderland staff who were out there for us today, giving us use of their facility.
On thing impressive to me for this event: The guy who finished first overall Master's - 22 minutes and something - pushed a stroller the whole way! UP that darn long hill on the course too! Dang! Speedy guy!
"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." Theodore Roosevelt
A race for such a worthy cause, beautiful. I can't even imagine.
You did a great job, excellent pictures as always.
Great RR Scotty!
Nice report, Scotty. I miss running with you! This race used to be one of my favorites in SA.
I'm so sorry about your son and first wife, Scott. So glad you later met Gail and could start a beautiful life together. Such a worthy event! And you did it justice in photos again. It was fun looking at them.
"It's not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves."
~ Sir Edmund Hillary
Scott, you are amazing!
Thanks Scottydawg for taking these pics and reporting on Jon's Run. It was a meaningful day for those who have lost children. I am sorry for your loss.
As usual.......awesome RR!!
Love the races for great causes. (Cancer....ALWAYS......Lou Gherig's, etc.etc.)
And the photos always appreciated! You never disappoint in that regard! Looks like an awesome park, awesome race and great bunch of people within and participating in that well organized race!
Another great race report. It does look like a nice venue for a race. Glad your hamstring popped back into place. I'm sorry for the loss of your son and first wife. It isn't something you ever really get over. (My parents lost a child.) It's good that the race is proving so popular. Looks like there were a lot of teams, running together in support of individuals.
Team Jaxon Running Friends loved the photos, as I shared your race report on our facebook page. Cory and Lenzie heard about the race from me and Lenzie immediately decided this was the place to be since this was her first Mother's Day since Jaxon died. I love the photo of Cory with Jaxon's sister Hallee. So sweet. Thanks again.
Thanks for sharing Scotty.
Great report, Scotty. Reading the "short report" and pre-race stuff made me sad. It looks like a great event.