Beginners and Beyond


Report/Photos: Carrera Races Hocus Pocus 5K on Halloween (Read 27 times)


Barking Mad To Run


    I am Scott aka Scottydog, runner since 1983, cancer survivor, retired Air Force, 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.



    This was my #60 running event for me in 2013.  Put on by Carrera Races -<cite></cite>‎ - and supporting Child Advocates of San Antonio, that recruit, train, and supervise court-appointed volunteer Advocates who provide constancy for abused and neglected children and youth while advocating for services and placement in safe and permanent homes.  Even was held at a local park, O.P. Schnabel Park, on Halloween 2013, 6 PM start time.   The course was supposed to be a 5K but turned out to actually be 2.5 miles.  More about that later.  I ended up with a chip time of 25:47, averaging about 11-something per mile, and stopped several times along the way to take photos.





    Race shirt - a really nice tech tee.


    First off, for a little while there, I didn't even think I was going to make this race.  I left work to go to the park - only 8 miles from where I work - and it took me almost an HOUR to drive 8 miles, as there had been an accident on the highway and traffic was backed up the ying-yang.  I was finally able to get off the highway and take some back roads..but then had to turn around on one of them because we had gotten a lot of rain on Wednesday night - MAJOR rain - and most of Thursday morning - and the road was closed due to high water over it.  Arrrggg!  So back I went to find another way.  I FINALLY got to the YMCA in the park at 5:20 PM - (race started at 6 PM),  went into the Y, changed into my gear, and got over to the start/finish area, with about 25 minutes to spare.  Whew!   And then went around and got some pre-start photos.


    Before The Start


    Race Director, Virginia, and Jose of that did its usual great job of course set up and course timing.




    Tiger Dog!


    Our music DJ and one of the volunteers




    Another of the Carrera Races volunteers...and yet another costume I want to get for my wife... Wink






    Lady on the right ran the event barefoot.













    On The Course


    OK, so we lined up and that's when Jose told us the course would be only 2.5 miles instead of 3 because part of the trails were flooded over from all that rain we had on Wed/Thurs.  Someone asked Jose if there was a person at the turn-around point.  He laughed and said "Oh no, but no worries, you'll know when to turn around."  Okay.   And off we went.   O.P. Schnabel Park is a really nice park - I  do lots of training runs here over the year, as well as some races - and has trails that are part of San Antonio's Greenway system of connecting trails.  Some are cement, some are paved asphalt.  For this event we went on the paved asphalt part of the trails.





    The turn-around point.  OK, now we know why there was no person needed there...we couldn't go any farther, the trail beyond was flooded over.  These two cyclists were discussing whether they could make it across, but finally decided against it.  Probably smart, as you never know what kind of crap may be under that water.



    And back we go....


    Right before the last half-mile, I made a diversion onto the bridge that goes to the trail that is normally used for races in this park.  I took photos from each side of the bridge of the now flooded and usually dry creekbed..and down the trail a ways, this water was also over the trails, which is why we used the other trail this time.


    View from left side of the bridge, and then the right side of the bridge




    Then it was back to the finish.  We had a steep downhill going out, which was now an uphill going back. I made it up in pretty good order - thank goodness for my weekly hill training!  - and got to the finish, and then got a photo of this lady finishing behind me.




    After The Race


    One of our lovely volunteers post-race


    And probably our 'cutest' cheer person, accompanied by  one of his (her?) relatives



    OK, let's start with the post-race goodies before we get to the "Happy Finishers".  LOVE Carrera Races, they really do have some great goodies post-race at  all their events. Virginia, the Race Director, must have some really good 'food connections" in town, lol.


    The goodies table......



    ...that included.....


    cups of wine if you wanted it


    Snickers and assorted candies


    Chicken salad sandwiches, PB &Jelly sandwiches, and roast beef finger sandwiches


    Veggie chips and pretzels...those veggie chips were really good!  Gail would probably have dropped over from shock to see me eating veggie chips, lol.



    Chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal raisin cookies - my FAVORITE cookies, I had two - and more snickers


    Some kind of nut-bread too, which was also very good


    And Virginia ALWAYS has beer post-race at her events, which I enjoyed, as you can see


    I admit to also having a couple of those chicken salad sandwiches too, which were quite good.  A VERY good restaurant, and top-notch bakery,  La Madeleine, also had a representative there.  If you ever get to San Antonio, definitely try La Madeleine's goods, you won't regret it.


    And with all the wine, beer, and great food, and the DJ playing tunes, volunteers, supporters and "Happy Finishers  'partied on" for a while post-race. Big grin
















    These three lades got age-group medals


    This was a fairly small event (maybe 40 or so participants?) so even slow old me got a medal in my age group.  My lovely pal Bernadette helped me model it.    That medal, as happens to any medals I may get, will go to  the Cancer Ward at Santa Rosa Children's Hospital in San Antonio for the charge nurse there to give to a deserving child.






    Carrera Races puts on some really good events.  Even the smaller ones like this are a blast.  This one had a twist on the course too...there were 'trick or treat' stations along the course, so if you brought  your "goodie bag"  that you got your shirt and bib number in, and carried that with you, you could stop and 'trick or treat" at these tables and the volunteers put candy in your bag.   Nice touch for a Halloween race.   Fun event, good atmosphere, and I think the smaller number of participants for this one helped us establish a lot of camaraderie with each other, interacting on the course and after, with each other.   And the weather was really nice too...about 71 degrees, low humidity, low dewpoint, and the it got even cooler as the evening went on.  I am SO glad I am a member of the Y because that allowed me to go back to the Y in the park post-race and shower and change clothes before driving home.  Very convenient.


    As said, this was my 60th race for me  done in 2013, and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

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


      Congratulations on your AG win and on your #60 race of the year!   That was so much water... holy smokes.  They could have had a duathlon with running and swimming.  Looking at the pictures, I swear the funnest people in the world live in SA.  No wonder you live there.  Hope you didn't gain any weight with this one.


      "We do not become the people who this world needs simply by turning our backs on anyone we don’t like, trust, or deem healthy enough to be in our presence. "  ---- Shasta Nelson


        Woohoo, Scotty! Congratulations on AG award and 60th race of the year! You and your friend Bernadette look great. Smile Too bad there were such a small number of participants, it looked like such a fun and well organised race and a lovely course... Love the tech shirt and everyone worked really hard at their costume (except for you... Angry Where was your Halloween spirit?) Well done once again, Scotty!

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

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

        18 marathons, 18 BQs since 2010


          Looks like another fun one- what a fun idea to have trick-or-treating along the course!  I almost did a race last year that had elves handing out candy canes along the course- and some of them were marked as "winners" and redeemable for a prize at the finish.


          Those are some amazing shots of the water- too bad you had so much flooding on the course (and the way there!).


          Smaller By The Day

            A dog dressed as a tiger, only run 2.5 miles and get amazing food, age group award AND it supports a great cause.  I guess when you run as many races as you do, you find the really awesome ones.  Awesome RR Scotty!


            Weight 100 pounds lost

            5K 31:02 Sept. 2012 / 23:36 Sept. 2013 (Same Course)

            10K 48:59 April 2013

            HM 2:03:56 Nov. 2012 / 1:46:50 March 2013

            MARATHON 3:57:33 Nov. 2013


            Fear is a Liar

              What a cool race - you run, go trick or treating, and get wine and food!

              I'm so vegetarian I don't even eat animal crackers!

                Congrats Scotty.


                Wine from a lady dressed as a bunch of grapes, nice.


                Cool shirt too, orange and black are the best racing colors.  Smile

                delicate flower

                  Burn 300 calories racing, eat 1000 calories at the post-race spread.  That's my kind of 5K.  Smile


                  Congrats on the AG award, Scotty!