Beginners and Beyond


Report and Photos: Miles for Michael (young cancer patient) (Read 6 times)


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.”


    Here is yet another of my Race Reports with Photos.  I am not exactly a good photographer but hey, at least all the photos are free so my ‘subjects’ can save and share their photos if they so desire. Mucho thanks to all the people I interacted with at this event for their graciousness, patience, and good humor in letting me take photos of them.


    And a big thanks to 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!




    Held on July 9, 2016, Miles for Michael was a fundraiser for 15-year old Michael who is currently fighting bone cancer in his leg, and his family.  Michael is currently in the hospital after going through a very major surgery on his leg and currently dealing with recovery from that and other issues.   He is a really good kid and his parents are really good people too, so the turnout  was pretty good for this event, everyone wanting to show their support for a deserving family.  The event was held at "Runner's Ranch", a local property very kindly opened up to we runners and walkers by great people, Jose and Minny, who own-and-operate one of the very best top-notch local race management companies.  Besides the run there was also a silent auction of many nice goodies to raise additional support, and "Miles for Michael" shirts were also being sold on site.




    As I am 'directionally challenged" - even with a GPS, lol - I left my house a bit early in case I wandered in the wrong direction, and arrived at Runner's Ranch with about 45 minutes to go to the start time.


    C'est moi!  It's hard to take a selfie with a 'regular' camera, but I think I'm getting the hang of it, lol.


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    Thankfully, another runner there kindly offered to take a photo of me...

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    The first person to greet me was Runner Extraordinaire Paul B., today "Parking Master"  as he directed us where to park, and he helped out with MC duties.

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    The race start line/finish line was all set up and the race day volunteers/crew were busy with pre-start preparations

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    Erik Burciaga, a very speedy runner, who took on the announcing duties today and did a great job.  His company , Dragon Tees, also kindly donated all the race shirts for the cause.

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    The lovely Mrs. Burciaga - another very speedy runner - and Little Burciaga, probably a future Olympics runner with the genes he has.

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    Some of the Silent Auction items


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    Some of the participants, supporters, volunteers, etc


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    Getting ready to start.. people ahead of me and behind me...


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    The course was a trail run on very sandy terrain. It was like running on beach sand, so really worked your calves.  As we haven't had rain in a while, it was quite sandy - the rain sometimes help 'firm up" the trails a bit - so you could really feel it today.   The weather was a mix of sunny/overcast and the temp was already shooting toward 80, with high humidity and dewpoint.  Thankfully, there are some nice trees along the trails giving some shade at certain points.  Participants had the option of doing one loop of 1.75 miles or two loops of 3.5 miles.   As I was scheduled for another race on the following day - and plus this sandy stuff really annoys my spinal arthritis -  I opted for the 1 loop course - although I think I did closer to 2 miles than 1.75, lol, as I kept doing lots of lateral back-and-forth and all around the area movements during my walk breaks to take photos.   I ended up finishing in 22-something - really slow pace - but I felt pretty good, back and all, and I did enjoy myself, so it's all good.   This really is a beautiful place to run or walk - although I jokingly told Jose, he should pave a small part of it just for me


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    This kid in front blasted past me twice on the course, here, and near the finish line.  He did really well out there.


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    Having run here before, when I got to this point I knew I was almost done.

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    After I finished, I got some photos of others coming in to finish or to start their second loop.   This is a tough finish because you come uphill a bit on some very soft sandy surface - tough footing! - before you finally make the little rise to flatter ground to cross the matt.


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    The lady on the left is Michael's mom, Jessica, coming in for her finish.  Way to go Mom!


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    After The Finish


    Our little "thirst-aid' ladies, handing out water and gatorade


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    The little ladies with Mr. Speedy

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    Mr. Speedy even got an award.  Well done, young lad!

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    More "Happy Finishers" supporters, etc


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    Love this photo, they all look so happy.


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    3 photos of a group of lovely ladies.  They can decide which one they like best.

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    Me and Lana, one of my very favorite people.


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    My friend, Anthony, with Lana.  Anthony is very speedy and passed me on the course.  I think he lapped me, doing his second loop, while I was on my first-and-only loop, lol.


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    Michael's parents.  No doubt in my mind, Michael's strength of character, good humor, etc, all come from these two good people.  No doubt in my mind that with them in his corner, Michael is going to beat this thing.


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    Our hosts, Jose and Minny, who opened up their ranch for all of us - two of the best people you could ever meet in a lifetime

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    Minny and daughter, Lana.  I jokingly call them 'sisters."  I was chatting with a friend at this event and she asked me 'Is Lana Minny's sister?"  I said no, daughter.  She said "What? You're kidding!"  So you see, Minny and Lana, I am not the only one, lol.  Two ladies who will be young forever. 


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    The little family.  Three of the best people you could ever hope to meet.


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    Post-race goodies....where else but in Texas can you have a meal of brisket and sausage, beans, and potato salad - and there was beer too! - at 10 in the morning, lol.

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    What can I say?  Another class-act event put on by and for such a good cause.  Really nice turn-out in support of Michael and his family.  Also a great event venue.  I know I joke a lot about running on these sandy trails, but when it comes right down to it, this really is a beautiful place and I definitely would run here again.  Jose, Minny, Lana, and all their family and helpers really do throw a good, good food and drink - and hey, they'll even let you use the INSIDE bathroom instead of the outside that's Hosting!    They also have lots of doggies at home, which is always a plus for me.   MUCHO thanks to everyone who put this all together to make it happen for we participants.  And please keep Michael and his family in your thoughts, prayers, cosmic vibes, good karma or whatever is your personal choice/method of helping in mind-and-heart-and-soul good people.  They are going through the battle of their lives, as any parent who has ever had a hurting child can tell you - and especially when one has a child with a serious illness, injury, etc -   so all support of any kind is appreciated.  Help them stay strong;  nobody beats cancer alone, its a team effort, family and friends.  Even just a few kind words and gestures can be helpful.  So show them the love, show them the faith, and show them the hope that this thing can be beaten and WILL be beaten - and personally , I firmly believe Michael will beat this thing, he has a very strong team on his side.  NEVER GIVE UP!

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


      I hate cancer and I hate it even more when young people have it. I'm glad a lot of people turned out to support Michael. I hope everything goes well for him. Good job!