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 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:
BEFORE MY START
My 74th race of 2018 was the Run With A Mission 5K on October 21. Held at Morgan’s Wonderland, this event was a fun-run fundraiser for the 38 Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of San Antonio. It was also the only local race around on Sunday. Since I only live about a 10-minute drive from Morgan’s Wonderland, I figured what the hell – oops, guess I should say that for a church-organized run, lol – and went out there and registered. This was a no frills race, with no bibs, no official timing and results, no awards, etc. Just a whole bunch of folks getting out there on a Sunday morning to support local education. And there sure were a lot of people, wow. Mother Nature was very kind to us for this one, with a very cool morning in the low 60s, very low dewpoint, sunshine – appreciated after about a week of rain behind us – and a slight breeze. I slept in a bit and got there with about 20 minutes to the start so got a few photos before heading to the start line.
Morgan's Wonderland is an amusement park designed with the disabled in mind, but is accessible for everyone. Designed by Gordon Hartman in San Antonio, this park has been modeled in different places in the world.
When you come through the front entrance of the park, you first see this sculpture. A bit dark here, as I took a photo of it with the sun still coming up behind it.
With friend Peter and his wife. Peter is much faster than me and finished about 4 or 5 minutes ahead of me.
Park open-air auditorium behind us
Friend Ralph with his son. A speedy young guy who finished before I did
All types of participants for this one
One guy walked the 5K and carried this 'totem" the whole way
The blue-and-yellow building was the start/finish area; small pavilion just underneath the front of that building
In the start crowd. That big tower in front of us is located next door to Morgan's Wonderland at the recently opened Morgan's Wonderland Splash Park, so now the disabled too can enjoy some water fun during Texas summers in San Antonio.
ON THE COURSE
I figured the course would probably be the usual course for Morgan’s Wonderland – once around the lake inside the park and then out on the very flat roads surrounding the park. But nope…..the MC announced that runners would be doing FIVE LAPS around the lake path, good grief! For a brief moment I thought “do one lap and then head out of the park and do your own thing and then back in the park for a last lap.” But I guess that would have officially made me “DNF” or “DQ” and I’ve never been DNF or DQ in any race I’ve done since I started running 35 years ago. I have always finished every race I’ve ever started. So I just sucked it up and started doing laps. I had done a very hilly race the day before and finished in 35:41, so my goal today was to go a bit faster since this course was very flat; but also very crowded with a ton of people running and walking along the lake trail. We runners started first and then the walker started, I think, about 10 minutes after us, which was nice for the first lap, but of course the runners caught the back of the pack walkers as we started on our 2nd lap. I figured I would be bored out of my head doing all these laps – I really hate running on a track – but I was quite surprised to find I was really enjoying myself doing some people watching – some of those folks were quite entertaining, running or walking in various costumes, and some of the kids were pretty funny too, seeing them react to it all - as I did my usual 8-min run/2 minute walk thing, and during my walk breaks I did take a few photos at different spots around the lake. There was also lots of support as mucho numerous people were lined up on both sides of the trail as we got back to the main part of the park; several cheerleader squads cheering everyone on, volunteers handing out water and other goodies to those participants who wanted it, and so forth. I was feeling pretty good and pretty strong, and ran the last 2 laps nonstop, finishing in 33:17, very nice.
Looking across the lake from where I am on the trail
Lots of participants, but it was all good
On the other side of the lake now, looking across to where I'd just been. Sorry about the darkness, my camera skills are so good I think I forgot to turn off the flash, lol.
2nd lap...looking across the lake at the main part of the park where we started and finished
The 'pirate ship' pier at the park
This guy was on an inside curve of the trail - and I like using inside curves - so I saw him 5 times at this event, lol, along with lots of these other folks cheering everyone on as we passed by.
3rd lap...a closer look at the pirate pier play area
Heading back into the main part of the park. Lots of both runners and walkers now, so a lot of lateral movement, weaving in-and-out-and -around people....it was actually kind of fun.
Nice bright sunshine now, but still nice and cool..and a better look at the other side of the lake we started on
Lots of different cheer squads doing routines and cheering everyone on
In the main part of the park. A short ways around this curve was where we started and then crossed the start/finish line 5 times before being done
Last lap now, yay! This cheer squad was shortly after where the start line was
AFTER MY FINISH
One thing about this event, they had a ton of sponsors and vendors there. All kinds of booths from which to get various types of goodies, such as various fruits, cookies, energy bars, plenty of bottled water, and also coffee for the coffee drinkers, found one table full of pastries – I admit I had a couple – and lots of other stuff. In between munches I wandered around taking some after-photos and also getting some photos of some of the stuff in the park.
Done! View of the lake from the start/finish area
During the lapping, I was in proximity of the lady on the left. We ran and chatted. Here with her and her friend.
And the two of them together, with no wrinkled old man
Some school musicians out there playing for us
With one of my Team RWB friends.....again, a guy much faster than me, lol. I seem to have a lot of speedy friends.
Thank you, volunteers
The nun I kissed on my 3rd lap. She was out there handing water to anyone who wanted it. I stopped and asked "Can I give you a kiss? It's on my bucket list...kiss a nun." Made her laugh, and she let me kiss her on the cheek. Very nice lady. Photo with her post race. She is wearing the race shirt of this race.
Happy finishers and supporters
They asked me to be in a photo with them...
This guy cracked me up, walking with this costume/outfit on
Doing a cool-down park, wandering around looking at stuff in the park
A back view of the sculpture
Gordon Hartman's inspiration for Morgan's Wonderland was his daughter, and the park is named for her
Toyota, which has a manufacturing plant in San Antonio, is the park's primary patron. Toyota Field, a professional soccer stadium, is right across the street from the park.
This is the first time I’ve done this event and it was a very pleasant surprise. For the amount of people that were there – and there was a LOT, probably a better turnout than most local races have – very well organized. For as crowded as it was on the lake trail course, everyone was pretty darn patient and polite about it all and the walkers – at least where I was at any given time on the course – were very good about moving aside when I came up behind them, calling out “On your left!” or “On your right!” I never saw anyone fall around me and I hope nobody fell anywhere. As said previously, I ended up enjoying myself. I would probably do this one again and would recommend it to others, with the caveat of just have fun with this one and don’t expect any speeding along the course – although the first guy that finished the 5K did do it in 19 minutes, lol, even with all the people out there. Just kick back and have fun and then enjoy the post-run atmosphere.
Mucho thanks to all involved with this event that made this one happen for we participants. Thank you organizers, volunteers, sponsors, vendors, Morgan’s Wonderland folks for the use of the venue, and anyone else involved that I may not have mentioned here. Thank y’all so very much!
And after I got home I found 3 of my cats napping on the bed...Scoop in front, P2 in the middle and Sinatra the Siamese at the back. A nap seemed like a good idea to me too, lol.
"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." Theodore Roosevelt
Looks like you had a great time for a good cause! Nice race report!