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/2016%20Race%20Reports/2016%20Race%2063%20Country%20Store%205K
BEFORE THE START
Held on Nov 12, 2016. This was my 63rd race of the year and my second of the Veteran's Day holiday weekend. The Country Store Run is put on by CST Brands, Inc, which owns the "Corner Stores" you see at various gas stations, etc. This event is held each year in 10 cities across the US and Canada and supports various local charities in each city. In San Antonio, I have done all of them since it started here, so I'm on a streak with it. Race venue was Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, which is next to AT&T Stadium where the San Antonio Spurs play. After I got there, there was a LOT of people waiting for the start. A friend told me there were 4,000 participants for this one. Well, I don't know the exact number...but it WAS a lot of folks. I'd picked my packet up earlier in the week, so before the start I just wandered around taking a bunch of random photos.
37 minutes and change to race time.
Me with friend Sandra...one of my personal inspirations who overcomes so much to be out and active
OK, I don't even wanna know what they're milking this cow with...
This is a lot of people ahead of me, lol.
..and behind me...
ON THE COURSE
The last 2 years this course has been strictly in the coliseum/AT&T parking lot areas. This year, however, we started in the parking lot near Freeman Coliseum, wound around part of the parking lot and then crossed over the street to a nearby golf course, running on the paved golf cart paths. Because the paths were way too narrow for this many people, lots of us - including me - ran lots of this part of the course on the grass next to the paved paths. I'm sure the golf course groundskeepers loved we runners after this race. It was slow going most of the way for the majority of the mid-and-back-of-the pack people and I saw a few people take a fall because of all the in-and-out-and in maneuvering of faster people trying to get around slower people than them. I did notice that all of them got back up pretty quick so probably were not hurt, thank goodness..but still. After the race one of my friends told me that at one point - where we crossed back over the street to the parking lot to head to the finish - a couple the police officer actually stopped all the runners on the golf course side and let traffic flow by for a while - which I get, because that was one long line of traffic, going all the way back to Houston Street; but, wow, stopping runners in mid-stride at a race, not cool. I don't blame the officers though - they were doing what they had to do to keep participants safe - nope, it was this darn course....just not sufficient for this many people. Well, I managed to keep on going on the course and with these conditions thought I'd finish in about 40 minutes; but was pleasantly surprised to finish at 36-something, doing just under 12-minute miles. I'll take it! As if I had a choice, lol.
Crowd going up a small incline...still in the parking lot area
Right after we got onto the golf course trails, we started seeing some musicians along the way..
...and here we go on the golf course paved trails....and the grass...
Doesn't that guy, bib 1046, kinda look like George Bush?
Thinned out a tad right here...
These folks are just starting out on the loop around the golf course. From where I took the photo, I was almost to the point where participants crossed back into the parking lots area.
On the left, we are heading towards the finish...walkers on the right
AFTER MY FINISH
Rehydrated....put a dry shirt on underneath my running shirt...and then into the Coliseum to enjoy the after-party. This is really where this race shines...just all kinds of stuff going on and all kinds of goodies to just 'sweep' into your goodie bag. I'll say one thing for CST Brands, they really don't hold back on giving stuff away to participants...wow! It was a 'country fair' atmosphere and there was also live music and all kinds of carnival-type games being enjoyed my many. And if you did not like the free goodies being given out, there was even a 'food truck' type of vendor where you could purchase food and drink.
My first stop in the building....
Thanks, beer servers!
Besides beer....lots of other stuff....
Apparently, this guy in the middle is in Witness Protection....or needs one of his energy drinks..
...or maybe not...
Our "Fair MC"...she did a great job.
Wandering around getting random photos....the white 'country fair ribbon' awards were the finisher 'medals' all participants got. I eventually gave mine away to a kid whose family members had some but he did not.
Learning rope tricks...
Icee Bear of ICEE company
Darn, a little blurry...it's the beer, right?
My darn beer eyes...
Me with the lovely and gracious Kim Lubel, CEO of CST Brands. Very 'approachable" lady and very nice person; I think she must have chatted with hundreds of participants after the race and got photos with who knows how many.....she definitely earned some 'relaxing time' for herself later!
Aside from the course probably needing to be changed back to what the original course was, this is really a very good, quality event Lots of pre-and-post race stuff going on, lots of things to look at and enjoy on the course - photo ops with the singers out there along the way, the balloon characters, hay bales, etc. - nice race shirts, finisher medal to everyone...and just a TON of goodies post-race. Definitely would recommend this one to my fellow runners. Just hope they change the course back....lots more room for maneuverability and less risk of falling with the old course. Sure, it's a parking lot, but the CST Brand folks have a lot of imagination and put a lot of things along the course on the way to keep it interesting. Course notwithstanding though...I'd do this one again. Of course, who knows what will happen next year, as CST Brands IS tentatively being acquired by the folks who own the Circle K branded stores...so if this race does continue, it may be a whole different animal next year. Time will tell. Meanwhile...MUCHO THANKS for all the folks who made this one happen for we participants.....sponsors, volunteers, law enforcement, Freeman Coliseum and AT&T employees, etc.
"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." Theodore Roosevelt
Looks like a really fun time- that's great that they have so much going on pre- and post- race to bring people out. But I agree, that course was not sufficient for that crowd! Hope nobody in the middle of the pack showed up hoping to PR!