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
I don’t have great camera skills and take photos with a camera that is like me - old fashioned, lol - so sorry if a photo appears a bit blurry, etc. However, they are free to save, share, etc.
Here is yet another of my photo reports. Full report below.
Link to photos only:
BEFORE MY START
My 40th race of 2018 was the Red Arena’s Hill Country Trail Run 5K held on June 2 in Dripping Springs, Texas. There was also a 10K. Red Arena - www.redarena.org - is a venue stadium for various events, but its main purpose is to empower individuals with disabilities through horses. The venue is used to serve children and adults through equine assisted therapies, so I wanted to support this event as I was a March of Dimes baby when I was born, and now that I’m older have some ‘fall-out’ from that with my arthritic hips, spine, etc., so I try to support ‘disability’ events whenever I can. Dripping Springs is about 66 miles from San Antonio so, with a 7:30 a.m. start I was up pretty early to get my pre-run breakfast and then hit the road. Arrived in pretty good time – roads are pretty empty when you leave a bit after 5 a.m. – got my packet and then got a few pre-start photos. This was a fairly small event in numbers – but big in heart – so photo-taking went pretty quickly.
Welcome to Red Arena
There was actually another San Antonio person there for this one, my friend Ralph. Here we are pre-start
Inside the 'arena' area of Red Arena. Kind of reminded me of Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio during the Stock Show n Rodeo time.
Athlete Guild did the timing, results, etc..
Some of the volunteers that were out there for we participants
Various other participants, volunteers, etc
I had met this guy and his dog previously at the Combat Medic Run 5K in San Antonio. Yep, the dog got a treat from me at that event and at this event too. His wife was doing the race today.
The big grassy field where we started and finished
ON THE COURSE
One of the volunteers/organizers of the race told me this was all off-road and some parts of it were ‘pretty technical’, so I was a bit worried about that with my spinal arthritis. Figured if I have to walk most of the way, so be it. We started in a big grass field – lots of nice spring flowers out all over the place – which turned out to actually be the hardest part of the course for me; my back is not really appreciative of x-country, lol. That was the shortest part of the course, however, and then we went onto trails not unlike those in San Antonio in the back country at Government Canyon Natural State Area which I run quite a few times over the year. Compared to Govt Canyon, these trails were pretty mild, so I was one happy camper. Like Govt Canyon, these trails were very rocky at various places but also very ‘negotiable’, I had a fairly easy time of getting through them. Some up inclines but no really serious hills at all. I was able to do my usual run/walk thing, taking photos during my walk breaks and finished in 36:41, about two minutes slower than I do for a road 5K, so all good. We did finish back on the grassy field and I weaved around in the field a bit – one of the volunteers told me “go this way, go this way!” and I replied “I am weaving a bit, trying not to step on and kill the pretty flowers out here.” Made her laugh. My result was 2nd in my age group of 60 – 99.
Volunteer along the way
With a smaller event, and as slow as I am, this is the view I had at several places along the way...nobody else around me, lol.
This guy and I 'bonded', lol, when he hit a rock and stumbled...and I was right behind him and caught the back of his shirt and pulled. He did not go down in that rocky area, thank goodness, but did go into some bushes - and at least stayed up right with no injury. Just glad I happened to be in the right place at the right time. We were pretty much in proximity of each other for the rest of the course. Super nice guy and also a cancer survivor. Not too fond of that NC shirt though....since NC last year in football kicked the butts of my Virginia Tech team, lol.
Thank you, course volunteers for being out there for us. BTW, that was not beer at the stop... I asked..
AFTER MY FINISH
No real post-race goodies that I ever saw, just water after the finish; but, as part of the event, Red Arena did have al little food area open where you could purchase for a very nominal price some Gatorade, donuts, and a whole bunch of other stuff, and the funds helped support the cause. I had no heartburn with that and did indulge in a couple of things post-race. Also wandering around taking some post-race photos in between drinking and munching. In the event center, there was also a bunch of stuff laid out that you could look at and bid on for a silent auction later – some really nice things too. Another nice thing - there was a YMCA very close to the venue. I am a member of the Y in San Antonio so had brought a change of clothes. The Dripping Springs Y verified my membership and then kindly let me use the facilities to shower-and-change so I did not have to drive home in my wet gear. Sweet. One very friendly town, Dripping Springs.
I am done and did okay. YAY!
Two Senior Citizens happy to be done.
Friend Ralph finishing...he got third in his age group, but had to leave; so, Ralph, I have your ribbon for you.
Some of the post-race happy finishers, volunteers, family-and-friends supporters,etc.
Glad I did not see this before the start..and glad the Race Director did not send us up this, lol.
First 5K for this young man. He did great too. Here with his pretty 'sister"...
These two lovely ladies did the 10K
With his wife, who did the 10K and was first in her age group. Congrats!
Small world! These two - who did the 10K - told me they had met me before in Kyle, Texas, when the guy did his very first 5K a few years back.
Got my 2nd place ribbon...and my dry shirt...it was a bit chilly in the A/C after warm morining run.
And the reason we were all here.....some of the therapy horses...
I have lived in San Antonio now since 1994 when the Air Force assigned me down here and this is the first time I have ever been to Dripping Springs. This was a ‘new’ course for me and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. It is a bit of a drive from San Antonio, but well worth the drive. A very scenic loop course – the 10K folks did two loops – and some very nice trails out there. Not a lot of ‘frills’ like bigger races have, but I didn’t care about that at all. Great course, very friendly participants, nice venue with indoor restroom and water fountain facilities, and air-conditioned too, which felt pretty good after a warm morning race, and lots of great volunteers at points along the course and at the start-and-finish cheering everyone on. In the goodie bag Nice quality cotton tee race shirt with a horse design, and a wristband that reads “Horses Make It Better”, and some other various goodie bag items. I will definitely do this one again in the future and would encourage others to try it too. I don’t think you will regret it.
Wristband in the goodie bag
MUCHO THANKS to all the sponsors, volunteers, organizers, Red Arena for the use of the venue, and everyone else who made this event happen for we participants. Without all of you, no event for us, so thank you very much!
"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." Theodore Roosevelt
Congrats on the AG award. And I liked seeing the bull terrier again.
Thanks. Very nice doggie, very friendly too.