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
Here is yet another of my photo reports. Full report below.
Link to photos only: http://s166.photobucket.com/user/scottydog69/slideshow/2017%20Race%20Reports/2017%20Race%206%20Snowball%205K
A couple of the photos came out a bit blurry, sorry about that, I am definitely no professional photographer, lol, but at least the photos are free.
BEFORE MY START
My 6th race of 2017, held on Jan 28, was the Snowball 5K held at Morgan’s Wonderland [www.morganswonderland.com], a beautiful park designed especially for those with special needs. This park now has a world-wide reputation and parks like it in other locations have been made using its design. This event supports The Academy at Morgan’s Wonderland, a special needs school co-located near the park. I live about 3 miles from the park so, with a 9 a.m. start time, I was able to sleep in a bit. Then it was off to the park, arriving with about 40 minutes to go to start time and getting some pre-start photos.
I have arrived!
Me, with wife/love of my life, Gail, who walked the 5K. Living with me, this lady has a LOT of patience, lol.
Me and Gail with great friends
Me with Gordon Hartman, all-around great guy and the founder of Morgan's Wonderland, named for his daughter.
A couple of my Team RWB teammates there. This guy held the flag for the National Anthem and ran the whole route carrying the flag.
Me with friend, Karen - no talking during photo time!
The Morgan's Wonderland welcoming sculpture as you come through the front entrance
Nice, peaceful lake in the park grounds
There actually were snowballs at the race too - frozen and in this cooler. The kids had fun tossing them at the snowman
Athlete Guild folks that did the course setup, timing, results....since I do so many events over the year - 75 done last year - I have gotten to know these friendly folks
Various participants, supporters, volunteers, etc.
Getting ready to start...
ON THE COURSE
Start inside the park, then out onto a road in front of the park, a loop around nearby soccer fields, back onto the road and on to Heroes Stadium – a site where many local events, football games, races, etc., are held – did a little route through the parking lot area there, then back to Morgan’s Wonderland to finish doing a lap around the park’s man-made lake. This is a very well-thought out course, nicely done, lots less crowding at the start than the usual course done for this venue, and not a lot of ‘repeat’ back-and-forth running on the roads around the park. I wish every race director who has a run at Morgan’s Wonderland would use this route, so much better!
As usual, the San Antonio weather – and probably all around Texas too – was crazy again. We were just in the low 80s on Wednesday and then for this event, the temp dropped 40 degrees or so, with a start time temp of around 43, with a bit of a wind making it feel a little chillier. So a lot of we South Texans were really ‘wrapped up’ for what was cold for us. I had to laugh on the course when I ended up running beside a young man running in shorts and singlet. He told me he was visiting from Wisconsin so this was ‘spring weather’ for him, lol, and a nice change from the winter they were having there. I guess it all comes down to what you’re used to, right?
I did my usual 8-min run/2 min walk thing and took 2 walk breaks, getting some on-course photos during those. After that, it was non-stop for me to the finish for the last 1.3 miles. I was feeling really good and, WOW, could not believe it, I actually almost broke 30 minutes for a 5K, which I have not done in many a year. I guess those weekly hill routes I push myself to do once a week are starting to pay off, lol. My finish time was 30:29, good enough for 3rd in my 60-64 age group – the first 2 guys in my age group were both in the low 20s….some speedy old farts in my age group, lol.
My friend, Gene, jokingly told me “You know, Scotty, if you stopped taking those photos and just ran, you probably would get sub-30 every time.” Well, maybe, but I probably won’t do that, lol. It’s all good for me; I enjoy being doing the photo thing and being just a ‘fun runner’ these days. I ain’t trainin’ for nuthin – and I’m lovin’ it!
Looping around the soccer fields
At Heroes Stadium area
AFTER MY FINISH
The wind was picking up a tad, so I was glad I had stored a dry bottom layer in my car to stay warm and dry. Got that on, drank some water as I went back to the park, and then wandered around getting post-race photos.
This gentleman and I ran together a bit on the course.
Me and Brianna, a very nice young lady....
Ummm...now where was THIS lady on the course with that ride and blanket when I was out there?
Me and Angel, one of the race organizers. Gail and I have known her a while. Beautiful lady, beautiful heart, beautiful soul, beautiful all around.
Our MCs for the awards ceremony...did a great job.
Some post-race entertainment...these entertainers must've been freezing out there...especially poor ole Tinker Belle...
Before I left, got a photo with these folks....and asked Aladdin if he could use the lamp to make it warmer....he must have...the sun came out after I got home....
Aside from having no post-race beer for me - - this is a really enjoyable event. When you get to run inside the Morgan’s Wonderland park grounds, it is always a very unique venue. Also, one of the “friendliest’ races of the year, lots of good people – both participants, supporters, and volunteers – lots of smiling, camaraderie, joking, and so forth.
Also inspiring seeing some of the Academy students out here, volunteering, walking, running, really getting into it. This is what this one is all about – them! It really does touch your heart when you do this one. Hope this one continues to grow. Unfortunately, i t does have competition. San Antonio runners have kind of a good/bad thing going, because on this same day there were at least 3 other local races being done. So it’s good that our running/walking community has all these choices; but bad when so many good events are done on the same day…doncha just hate that, lol.
And I noticed for this Sunday – Jan 29 – there are NO local races. Somebody move a race to Sunday next year for this weekend! I think all the local area Race Directors need to have an annual convention or something in December – when local racing usually winds down quite a bit for the holidays – and divvy up all the race days between them for the race year, so there are no conflicts – that would work, right? Yeah, Scotty, sure it would…lol.
MUCHO THANKS to all the people who made this one happen for us, volunteers, all the sponsors/vendors, law enforcement/park police, Athlete Guild for doing timing/results/course setup, Morgan’s Wonderland and The Academy staff, and so forth. And God bless all those Academy students who were out there today, a shining example for all of us.
Hope you enjoyed the report and photos. If so, my work is done here…so now I can nap…
"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." Theodore Roosevelt