Beginners and Beyond

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2018 Race 81: Comal Cops for Kids Turkey Trot 5K (Read 4 times)


Barking Mad To Run

    INTRO  

    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 runningahead.com 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:

    http://s166.photobucket.com/user/scottydog69/slideshow/2018%20race%20reports/2018%20Race%20Number%2081%20Comal%20Cops%20for%20Kids%205K?sort=2

     

    BEFORE MY START

    My 81st race of 2018 was the Comal Cops for Kids Turkey Trot 5K held on Thanksgiving Day. Race location was historic Gruene (pronounced green) Texas, about a 35 miles from San Antonio.  This event raised funds for the Comal County Police Department's Blue Santa program for kids in need.  This was the 10th anniversary of the event and it sure has grown.  I remember doing the first one and there were about 400 participants.  For the 5K this year, there were 1, 790 finishers, a mix of runners and walkers. Several people were festively dressed in various Thanksgiving garb.  I arrived with about an hour to go and got a few pre-start photos. This was a dog-friendly event, so lots of doggies too.

     

     Welcome to Gruene Hall area

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    Local firefighers set this flag up for the National Anthem

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    Athlete Guild local race management company, who did the timing, results, etc

     

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    Two turkeys near Gruene Hall

     

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    Our Race Director (left) and our music and sound person

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    Very popular local restaurant.  Has a terrace at the back where you can dine and enjoy views of the Guadalupe River

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    On display

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    Busy packet pickup morning with this many participants

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    Various participants, volunteers, supporters, etc

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    Getting ready to start.  The official photographer in the sky, courtesy of the Fire Deparment, to take crowd photos.

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    ON THE COURSE

    This is really a nice course, mostly flat, with the only 'hill' being a very small uphill incline as we went into a nearby neighborhood.  Event started and finished in front of Gruene Hall.   It was a pretty crowded start - took me about 2 minutes just to get over the starting chip mat - and lots of weaving in-and-out for a while until we got onto the main road and began to string out.   This was an open road, but lots of officers out there keeping us safe and most of the local drivers were pretty patient about it all, knowing this event takes place every Thanksgiving.  I only saw on idiot driver, who came out of a parking lot and turned right, going against the oncoming participants,so we had to make way for her, and luckily she did not hit anyone. We were pretty close to the intersection we had made the turn on to get into this neighborhood and when I looked behind me the officer at that intersection had stopped her - thank goodness! - and was having a few words with her, lol. Thank you Comal County officers for watching out for us!  I ended up finishing in 32:32 chip time, 17th in my age group, 403rd overall male and 748th finisher. I was happy with that. Lots of participants at this one.

     

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    Strung out and heading to the halfway mark

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    This was a little past the half-way mark.  On this open road where we made a left turn onto a neighborhood road and then another turn to get on the road that took us back to the start/finish.

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    Around that curve ahead was the road that would start us back to the finish

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    After My Finish

    Lots of post-race goodies including sausage wraps, water, sodas, beer, various frutis, and snack stuff like PB crackers, chips, and so forth.  Gruene is a pretty popular "old-town" shopping area too so since it was a holiday and most places were closed, lots of patio tables and picnic benches and porches and so forth where people could sit down and enjoy the post-race refreshments.  Enjoying my beer and sausage I wandered around taking some after-photos.

     

    Done!  Happy dog, happy dog. 

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    Two speedy guys who finished way ahead of me, lol.

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    My speedy friend, who also finished way ahead of me

     

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    One of the after-party areas

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    Oh yeah......

     

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    The sausage wrap crew who had to be onsite really early.  Thanks!

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    Encountered some Virginia Tech Hokies. I grew up in Falls Church VA, my dad grew up in Blacksburg, was a Va. Tech alum, and we used to go every year to the homecoming game when I grew up.  Visited Blacksburg often and roamed around that campus a lot.  There is even a street in Blacksburg named for my family.

     

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    With my speedy friend who was first in his age group

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    There was also a kids run and the Comal County Sheriff here was the Turkey that all the kids chased on the kids course.

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    Epilogue

    This is my favorite local-area Turkey Trot.  I ave not done all of them there have been, but I remember the first one and I did this most recent one - how it has grown since it first started! Some people don't like them, but I personally love the big-and-crowded races, especially when they are as well put on as this one is.  Over the years, even as it got bigger each year, the organizers always had this one going like clockwork and  where I was at any given time at those races I never saw any problems or trouble; of course probably also helped that since this was a funding event for a police program, lots of police were on hand; probably helps to keep things calm.   Always meet lots of interesting people, always something going on to watch.  Really nice course, and really great post-race party.  Definitely will continue to do this one and would most definitely recommend it to others.

     

    Much Gracias to all the folks who make this one happen each year for we participants.  All the volunteers, the police and firefighters that were there for us, all the sponsors and vendors and, of course, all the residents and business people of Gruene who let us invade their space for a few hours and allow us use of their properties for the after-party and so forth.  If I missed anyone, sorry, thanks to everyone who had a hand in getting this one done.

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