Beginners and Beyond


Report and Photos: Thankful Turkey 5K (Read 25 times)


Barking Mad To Run



    I am Scott aka Scottydog, runner since 1983, cancer survivor, retired Air Force, employee of University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), 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.



    • My 65th race of 2014.  I was originally to do the Shiner Beer 5K but my wife and I are getting ready for a family event, so I felt it would be better to stay closer to home just in case we had any last-minute errands to do.  So I chose this one to do since it was at a new venue I'd never done before, and also knowing San Marcos Running Club puts on quality events.
    • Held on November 22, 2014.  Put on by the San Marcos Running Club.  This event done each year is usually one of the first done local-area Thanksgiving-themed races.   Small turn-out this year - probably weather, and also lot of other events were being put on in the local area.  Maybe around 50 or 60 participants, maybe a bit more than that.
    • Held at historic Freeman Ranch in San Marcos, TX -   The ranch is now part of Texas State University, which graciously allowed us the use of the venue for the race.
    • Weather:  POURING off-and-on.  We had a weather front move in on Saturday morning and it was a very 'active rain day" across our whole area with periodic downpours, thunder, lightning, as 'pockets' of rain passed over.  Then it would stop for a while...and then start again. Mother Nature was kind to us.  Right before the start, it slowed down to a drizzle as we all walked to the start area.  Then right before we got started, the rain stopped completely and did not start up again until after we finished. Thankfully, too, it was not cold either.  Temp for us was in the low 60s, although a few times it felt a bit chillier when the wind blew.   Folks that did this one last year told me it was a nice change, though, since last year the temp for the event was 22 degrees!
    • I ended up with a finish time of 34-something.  There were 10-year age groups and I finished 5th in my age group.



    With the local San Antonio weather guy reporting on Friday about all this thunderstorm and lightning activity to be going on starting Saturday, I REALLY thought about just staying in bed Saturday morning, lol.  But Saturday morning came and no rain in the San Antonio area yet when I got up (5:30 a.m).  So got on my gear and started driving to San Marcos - about 40 miles or so.   Very light traffic, thankfully, not too much rain at all.....and then I got to San Marcos and WHAM!  Thunder, lightning, downpour of rain, more lightning.   Crappola.  Well, come to far to turn back now, so just headed to the race venue.   VERY good directions from the San Marcos Running Club on its website on how to get to the race venue, so that was helpful.   And to be sure you didn't miss the turn into the ranch, there was this too...



    Got to the race venue, still raining, sometimes a light drizzle, sometimes a real downpour, as the 'pockets' continued to move north and east overhead above us.  Thankfully there was a nice building with a long-and-wide covered front porch area where we participants could all 'hover' and stay dry until the start.   While I was under there I got this photo from the porch during one of the downpour periods...yeah, this was what it was like for a while...



    I got my race number, shirt, etc, and then wandered around getting some pre-start photos of volunteers, participants, supporters.  People were surprisingly in a fairly good mood in spite of the lousy weather.   Runners, golfers, and soccer players...we're all crazy, we all get out in this stuff, lol.






    Some of the San Marcos Running Club folks.  Darrel, Club President, is clowning with the umbrella



    About 20 minutes to start time...yep, still raining...







    Finally it was time to go to the start.  The National Anthem was played and then  we headed to the start/finish area. The start/finish area was about a 1/2 mile walk from the registration/packet pickup building.  About 5 minutes or so before we headed down there, the rain tapered off to a lazy drizzle, and then a few sprinkles.  As said, Mother Nature was kind to us.   Took a couple photos down near the start area.






    Right before we started, the rain completely stopped and it stayed stopped  for the whole time  when I was on the course and until I got back to the main building post-race.  For most of us, I think we all got very lucky; the rain might've gotten some of the last runners and walkers coming in, but I really don't know, maybe all of us did make it in before the rain started again.


    I did my usual 8 minutes running/2 minutes walking thing and took photos during my walk break. My friend, Darrell, the running club president,  routinely invites me to club events and if I don't have something already scheduled I try to make them when I can.  Good folks in this club and their events are always well-organized.  And usually HILLY!  The last two events I went to on Darrel's invitation - the Country Roads 10K a couple years ago and the Camp Ben McCulloch 5K this year - were both pretty darn challenging.  This course was no exception and I found myself on the course muttering that "FLAT" must be a 4-letter word for Darrell when it came to courses because he never used that word for a course.   I found out later he actually did not lay out this particular course, so my apologies to you, Darrell, for taking your name in vain at a few spots along the course.


    Darrell, I think this was one of those spots.....even the dog is ahead of me, lol.   This was on the way to Mile 1





    We had some nice views of the greenery of Texas Hill Country


    The turn-around point is where that car is located in the photo.  I'd already made the turn-around and was looking back at this point.


    Folks on the left are coming up the hill to the turn-round point. Folks on the right are heading for the finish, going up the hill that was a downhill for us coming out; we got down that hill and then we started up the hill to the turn-around point.  Then we did those two hills again in reverse. Fun stuff!    I am SO glad once a week I go to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio and hill train on their BIG hills, it was very helpful for this event!


    This gives you more of  view of that hill in the background that we came down to get to the turn-around point hill, and then had to go back up again after the turn-around


    A few of the great volunteers that were out there on the course for us.  Thanks!


    After that last photo, I headed non-stop back to the finish.  I did okay too.  My last mile by my chrono was 10:36, so that was my fastest, and I finished strong, picking up the pace for the last  1/4 mile with what I call my "kick" - it's a bit faster than a snail's pace, but a tad slower than a turtle's - and taking it on into the finish line chute.     Oh, and that little dog whose photo I took before we started....she beat me in quite handily. Speedy little lady!




    I got a couple photos near the start/finish area...a bit  'misty' as my camera lens was slightly wet


    This lady and I were pretty near each other for most of the course




    A couple of the great finish-line area volunteers out there for us...




    and then began the 1/2 mile walk back to the building....yet another uphill, sheesh!




    The darn wind was blowing right in my face, making me a bit chilly post-race, so I said heck with it, and just ran up the hill  - stayed nice and warm that way, but my legs were like "What the heck, man?!! and Brain had to take them to task to keep them moving  until I got  to the turn that put me onto the road back to the building.  Once I turned, no headwind thankfully, so I stopped running - Legs REALLY appreciated that and said "OK, you decided to behave yourself and finally stop running, so we won't punish you by cramping up" - and I walked that last small distance back to the building.


    Water, bananas, other stuff for post-race, bags of pecans on sale as a fund-raiser thing, and there were all kinds of different door prizes - none of which I won, darn the luck.   Age group awards were unique.....1st place folks got a turkey, 2nd place folks got a ham, and 3rd place folks got a pie I think it was pecan pie).  I wandered around getting some "Happy Finisher" photos - ever notice, more people are smiling after a race than before and during, hence "Happy Finisher" - and photos of volunteers and some of the non-running supporters (family, friends, etc) of the participants.


    This gentleman is wearing the race shirt participants got, a very nice quality long-sleeved tee.


    My speedy friend, Andrew, on the left, finished 2nd overall.  I saw him on the course on the way back and he was chasing a kid -  14, or 16, or something like that - and I asked Andrew if he caught him.  Andrew said with a smile and good humor,  'Heck no, that was one darn speedy kid!" lol.   The 'kid" won in 18-something.




    Darrell and me...and now I have my wet-lens and wet-Scottydog wiper towel, so the photos are a bit clearer.





    I told these ladies that with the light behind their heads, they looked like angels.  They said "We ARE angels."  I can't disagree.







    Doorprize winner...this was one of the doorprizes.


    Age Group Winners in my age group: Pie, 3rd, Ham, 2nd, Turkey, 1st.





    My friends, Buddy (white hat) and his wife (black hat) and their group.  As you can see, they did all right in the age group and door prize areas!




    Glad I got myself out of bed this morning, braved the weather, and went.  A really nice event with a lot of good people, challenging course, and very unique age-group award.       This is an annual event put on by the San Marcos Running Club and I hope they get to keep this venue for next year.  Yes, it definitely has hills...but also wide roads with lots of room to maneuver, very little traffic - I think I saw 3 vehicles the whole time I was out there, and the drivers I did see were very considerate of those of us running out there - and the volunteers out there were great too, really cheering everyone on.  For those of you who didn't show because of the weather threat, y'all really missed a good one.  Don't make that mistake next year!  Definitely one to put on your race calendar.

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

    Jack K.

    uʍop ǝpᴉsdn sǝʇᴉɹʍ ʇI

      Good stuff, Scotty. In the one picture of the hill, the one person looks as if they are waist deep in water.


        Nice RR, Scotty!



          Congrats on another nice race. I've got the same forecast for tonight's race. Hopefully I;ll get a break like you.


            I'm glad you got a break in the weather.  Very lucky.  Those hills look worse than the ones where I live.  Fun to run, but hard to PR.  I do like the prizes though.


              Those are nice prizes!  Congrats on another one and your strong finish.





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                Nice to see all the wet smiling Texans. Congrats on #65.


                  Nice job, a hilly monsoon must be tough running.


                  What the H-E-double hockey sticks is that door prize?  It appears to be a yam, some flowers, and an almost-depleted roll of TP??


                  Barking Mad To Run

                    Nice job, a hilly monsoon must be tough running.


                    What the H-E-double hockey sticks is that door prize?  It appears to be a yam, some flowers, and an almost-depleted roll of TP??


                    I think it's flowers, a rutabaga...and I don't recall what that other thing was....

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


                      That looked like a tough one! But everyone was smiling, so that's good. I'm it's your presence that puts a smile on everybody's face..  Thanks for a great RR, Scotty!

                      PRs: Boston Marathon, 3:27, April 15th 2013

                              Cornwall Half-Marathon, 1:35, April 27th 2013

                      18 marathons, 18 BQs since 2010


                        Nice report!