Beginners and Beyond


Report and Photos: Jon's 5K Run/Stroll (Read 21 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.




    This was my 30th race of 2014, held on May 10, 2014.  This event is named for Jon Carl Stephenson who died in 2002 of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).  Organized by his parents and Any Baby Can of San Antonio - - this evens supports Any Baby Can Center for Infant and Child Loss.  It also 'honors all children whose lives ended too soon from any cause."  This was the 12th year for Jon's 5K Run/Stroll and I think I have done just about all of them. I always do this one in memory of my 4-month old son from my first wife. Both he and his mother were killed by a drunk driver.  This race always gets lots of participants.  This year the race was moved to a new location and I think it had the most participants of any year I've attended.  Probably over 600 people runners and walkers at this event , so nice turn-out.   I ended up with a time of 35:35, good enough for 2nd in my age group (60-65), as there were only 6 people in my age group, lol.  See, you live long enough you sometimes get a medal by default.   This  course was 2 loops, so everyone goes through the start/finish line twice. I thought it was funny that as I was just getting ready to cross the finish line mat to start my 2nd loop the guy that won - in 17 minutes and something - passed me to cross the finish line for his 2nd loop and take the win..and I hadn't even started my 2nd loop yet, lol.




    All my photos are below, with the occasional commentary.  However, if you want to skip the commentary and just see the photos, you can view them all in this slideshow:


    Before The Start


    Me in 'all my glory", lol, with my matching shirt, socks, shoes headband, etc.  I have several different colors that I rotate around from race to race.     When I first started doing this several years back, my wife Gail jokingly asked if I was going through a mid-life crisis.  I told her to be happy it wasn't a motorcycle and a blonde.


    Me and the Race Director, one very nice lady whom I think has been doing this since the 5K first began.


    RD and friends.  The two ladies on the right are wearing the shirts that were in the goody bags for participants.


    The lovely Virginia (black shirt), co-owner of Carrera Races, a super good local race organization company that put this event on. Here she is with some of her many great volunteers that were out there for we participants.


    Some more great volunteers


    The event was held at Eilan, a "luxury' living area with hotel, upscale apartments, dining, businesses, etc.   The style for this structures in this place is kind of 'meiterranean"...




    No idea what this sculpture is...maybe a palm, like the palms below it


    Some of the local sponsors/vendors that were there





    The guy in red, here with one of the participants, was our MC


    Some local firefighters were also there in support.  Thanks for your service!




    Pre-start entertainment


    Some of of the participants, et al, pre-start.  There were lots of 'teams' at this event that did fundraising for the cause, so lots of folks were wearing their chosen team shirts.  As you can see, we had a really nice sunny day, but in this location it caused some 'shadow-play' with some of the photos.















    Before the 5K start there were a couple of kids' runs, one for the very little kids and one for kids a bit older and Spiderman was there to help with the kids' runs.





    Karin, one of my 'running crushes" ,  with a friend of hers, and a running acquaintance of mine, whom I see at a lot of local events.  He also happens to be a running pastor...and a very speedy one too, I believe he finished in 19-something or other.


    Right before we got started there was a small ceremony of releasing balloons on which loved ones and friends had written messages to their special children who have departed from this Earth...and the balloons soared into the sky and over the buildings, and away into the wind carrying these messages, including mine. This is a moving ceremony and as Karin and I stood together watching it, there were quite a few wet eyes, including ours.   Karin and I wondered if someone far away ever found one of these balloons sometime and what he/she would think after finding it.



    On The Course


    The course was 2 loops around the Eilan area.  This is a very scenic residential/business area with lots of wide streets and good views of the surrounding area from the hills we were on.   And there were hills.   They were not extraordinarily steep, but the grade was pronounced enough that your legs felt it a bit.  Especially after two loops.


    Not quite immediately right after we started but pretty close to the start area, we made a right turn from the start/finish line and had our very first hill right off the bat.



    Leveled out a bit and then we had another climb after that...




    Over a mile now and we head down this hill to get back to the start/finish area to begin the 2nd loop.  I am so glad the RD did not have us do this course in reverse so we had to climb this hill...


    Starting Loop 2.   As you can see, with the speedier runners already done, the roads have cleared quite a bit.





    Approaching the downhill again to head to the finish.  Usually for a 5K I take only 2 walk breaks, but I was not feeling it today, so took an extra walk break and got these last few photos, and then after that I ran nonstop into the finish.





    After The Finish


    Got some cold water post-race and drank that while doing a cool-down walk, then had a couple of donuts that were part of the post-race goodies, and then I wandered around getting some random post race photos.


    This face-painting and balloon lady was a hit with the kids.


    Some post-race entertainment


    Doggie was glad to find some shade.  Him and be both, lol.


    This was one of the official photographers - who just happens to be the 'little sister" of Virginia of Carrera races.  With those darn shadows I was trying to get a good photo of her and took a I'll let her and Virginia decide which one they want to keep.


    Virginia and her 'little sister"...


    A few of the age-group winners and friends


    This guy on the right is the guy, I think, who won overall, and passed me at the finish line while I was getting ready to cross it and start my 2nd loop.


    The lady on the left I know from the Runner's World Forums from way back when, and she is also a San Antonio resident.  Here she is with her AG medal and her family.  A SPEEDY family, she and her son both finished in 27-something.



    Yep, even a slow old dog like me can get a medal once in a while if you live long enough.   Another medal for donation to the the cancer kids at the local children's hospital.


    "Happy Finishers" et al...


    My apologies to these first few folks, these came out a bit blurry since I forgot to turn my brain on and wipe my sweaty lens right after I finished the race.



    Finally got smart and went and found a napkin and these came out a little better....even in spite of my awful camera skills, lol.
















    Enjoyed the new race venue very much and plenty of room at this location for this event to keep on growing, which is nice for the event. This is one of my favorites of the year, which is perpetually on my race calendar.   Definitely one to do if you are a local area runner or are a runner visiting San Antonio when this one is being held.


    On a personal not:  a very moving and special race.   Thanks so very much to Jon's family who cared enough to take their sad loss and share it so publicly, making something so meaningful and positive from that tragic loss;  You have touched so many people and so many lives by creating this event.   And, of course, thanks the funding recipient, Any Baby Can for what you do.  The loss of a child is the most awful thing in the world and the things you do matter and do make a difference.   Thanks for being there for these families.  Mucho thanks to all the sponsors, volunteers, law enforcement folks, and everyone else who was out there for we participants today, and thanks to all the business and residence folks of Eilan for their great patience and understanding in letting us take over their area for a few hours. 

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


      I remember your report last year about this race.  Nice to see that it's growing and that the new venue is an interesting one.  I hope it continues to be as popular.  Congratulations on the AG award.


        Great cause. Nice report as usual!

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