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
Full report below.
Slide show of photos only:
Before My Start
This was my 90th race and my last one of 2017. Location in Round Rock Texas, which is just a bit under a 2-hour drive from San Antonio. I went up to Round Rock on Saturday, Dec 30. On the way up, I made a stop in Austin at the Town Lake YMCA and did a very nice 3.6 mile run/walk in beautiful weather - sunny, with slight clouds, 57 degrees - around the Town Lake trails across from the Y. These are great trails that wrap around a man-made lake and there are a variety of routes you can take. Showered and changed back at the Y and then up to Round Rock, where I stayed overnight in the race's host hotel, the Austin/Round Rock Hilton Garden Inn. Pretty nice place, quiet, and conveniently close to lots of eateries, shopping, etc. The USA Fit Austin Rockin' Resolution Run (austinrrrace.com/) was held on Dec 31 in the morning. The main events were a 20-miler and a 10-miler. The 5K was added so people who wanted to do a shorter distance could also be included. This was the inaugural event. Event venue was Dell Diamond (named for Dell computer company, which is now Dell Technologies), the baseball stadium of the Triple-A minor league team in Round Rock. The weather sure had changed by race day, as a cold front was moving down from the North. 57 degrees on Saturday...race morning, 39 degrees, then dropped to around 35, with a 'feel like" temp of 30 at times, with the wind blowing. BRRR! Since this was my last race of the year, and I was celebrating my 90th, I splurged a bit on this one and paid for the VIP Parking and VIP tent access. Glad I did because pre-start I could hang out in the warmer tent instead of standing in the open all the time; and the VIP paying folks also had their own private portapotty - no waiting in line - and some goodies to much on before and after the event. For a day like today, it was worth it! In between popping in and out of the tent to keep warm, I did get some pre-start photos.
I have arrived...and am wearing a hat - a big consideration to the weather for me since I absolutely hat wearing hats of any kind, lol - and 3 more layers under my top shirt. In the VIP tent with a friend
A little after 7 a.m....still kinda dark, some misting rain, and wind blowing. Welcome to Dell Diamond!
My friend, fellow veteran, and race announcer Mark Purnell.
Various participants, supporters, volunteers, etc. Yeah, it was cold. For the 'real winter" folks 30 degrees may be like Spring to you, but for us South and Central Texans this is cold! We did have some crazy people - er, that is "cold-immune people" - whom it apparently did not bother, as you will see in some of the photos below.
The guy on the left sang the National Anthem - twice. Once before the 20-mile and 10-mile start and then again for the 5K start. He did a great job, wonderful voice this guy has.
OK, I am not sure who this mascot is or what his name is - but I bet he was warmer in there under all those feathers than a lot of us were, lol.
Dog friendly event
On the Course
The 20-milers started at 7:30 if I remember correctly and the 10-milers started just about right after them. We 5K folks started at 8 a.m. Overall, I think there were 400 or so participants, maybe a bit over that. For the 5K, we started in front of the stadium, did a short bit through the parking lot and then turned into Old Settlers Park, a really very nice park with a man-made lake. Our course took us up to the lake, where we did a loop around the lake - very nice - and then went back to Dell Diamond the way we had come out. At one point a few people in the lead took the wrong road. Those of us behind them started to follow, but a volunteer came up and quickly corrected us and had us go straight past that road. For about a minute or so, me and another guy were leading the pack...at our 10-11 minute per mile pace, lol. We both had a good laugh about that. That guy that did make the wrong turn actually caught up to us and he ended up being first overall in the 5K - and with his addition, he did more than a 5K too. Speedy guy! It was cold, but once we got going I felt pretty good; and going around the lake, the wind kindly died for us. Going back, the wind was off-and-on - and primarily right in our face too when it was on - but even so, everyone seemed to be running and/or walking well. I felt pretty good and went non-stop for the last 1.2 miles, finishing in 34:17 or so. This was good enough to place in my age group. With about a half-mile to go to the finish, one guy in shorts and singlet passed me like I was standing still. Turned out he was doing the 10-miler and was the first overall guy, one speedy guy!
Getting ready to start
And away we go...
the park roads were closed to traffic...this was one of the volunteers coming to save us from more wrong turns, lol.
While on this road, lake was to my right going out
We crossed over this bridge to begin our circuit around the lake....those of you who know my running history with bridges and water...i managed not to fall off the bridge or into the lake.
Looping around the lake
After that last photo of the lake from the far side of the loop, I ran nonstop back to the finish.
After My Finish
Just like before the start, in-between popping in-and-out of the tent, munching post-race goodies, and drinking water, I wandered around getting some after photos of happy finishers, volunteers, etc. - and since this was a dog friendly event, and there were some dogs that participated, I also gave them some treats. Gotta live up to my race name, lol.
I am done!
Mark changed his hat...now he is STREAMING Live...
You could get a post-race rub here....or just crawl under the blankets and get warm again.
Me and Age-Group award. Nice touch...inscribed glass with a box of sparklers in it to celebrate the New Year, fitting right into the race theme.
For an inaugural event, this one was pretty well done. Since I only did the 5K, not sure what their courses were like - altho one guy jokingly old me it seemed like every time they got a straight-away part of the course, it was always right into a head-wind - but the 5K course was very good. Someone - I forget who - had told me the course was pretty flat; uh huh...there were a couple of hills on the course; well, okay, maybe "inclines" is a better word; but you sure could feel that when the wind was in your face. But hey, that's the weather, can't blame the race folks for that, gotta blame Mother Nature - and I did here her name used in vain a couple of times, lol. All-in-all though, a very nice park which was closed to traffic for the race (nice) and the park roads were wide enough to accommodate everyone from being crowded together, we all had plenty of room. The loop around the lake was very nice, kind of reminded me of Woodlawn Lake Park in San Antonio - except this one has a much better loop than Woodlawn Lake does. That was my favorite part of the course - that and finishing, of course. The VIP parking and tent was a great thought and probably helped raise a few more funds for the Austin Fit causes, I certainly would take advantage of that again too.
The only thing I would recommend for next time is maybe block off that "wrong road" with some traffic cones or somethhing, on the 5K course, so people don't go down it accidentally. Also, maybe have a few more 'directional signs" on the course - like maybe "5K" with an arrow pointing in the right direction to go - after the told us not to go down that road, those of us in front for a while were just cracking up - we kept our sense of humor about it all - and kept saying to each other "hey for the first time in our lives, the slower people are leading the pack!" and "now are we going the right way, I don't see any course markings?" and did we miss another turn?" and "well, shoot, let's just make up our own course!" - which made us laugh - and one guy said "I have a garmin, I will just shout out when we get to the 1.5 mile mark and we will all turn around" and that cracked us up too, as a few suggestions came in, like "okay, but no hills" and "let's try not to run into the headwind" and so forth. Actually a pretty good time of it with the runners around me, lol, and nobody was really upset about it, we just kept on joking and truckin'. Luckily, a volunteer in a vehicle came along and confirmed we were going the right way, and there was another volunteer at the turn to the lake, so it all came out well. But still..a directional arrow, sign, or two, might be helpful.
Other than that small glitch, very well done! Nice venue, nice post-race goodies, live music playing for us, age group places 3-deep in each age group - and the age group award, as said, was a very nice inscribed glass with a box of sparklers inside - nice touch, lol - to celebrate the New Year. I would recommend this one to runners and walkers and, my schedule allowing, I would certainly do this one again. Hopefully with better weather next time.
MUCHO THANKS to all the people that put this one together for we participants the sponsors, volunteers, etc. We only had to get there around our race time. Those poor volunteers, sponsors, etc., had to show up around 4 or 5 a.m. and be in that weather for hours, bless 'em. Probably the police too, who were making sure the appropriate roads were closed. Our MC Mark Purnell stayed at his post until the very last finisher came in, around 12:30, so he was out there for hours! A big thanks to all these people and to any I did not mention who were getting it all done for us. 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
Congratulations on finishing 90 this year. Will you aim for 100 next year? (I doubt I'll manage 100 races in my lifetime, so I am truly in awe.)
Congrats on #90. That is awesome!
Finding my Fuck Yeah moment in 3, 2, 1....
Don't know how many I will get for 2018; just going to play it by ear and see what happens.
Good start, though. did my first 5K of the year on New Year's Day.
Wow, 90 races!
Falls Road Running is a Baltimore store/racing team. Your weather is much warmer than what we are having here, so maybe the one barely dressed guy is enjoying the heat.