Beginners and Beyond


Report and Photos: Carnival of Venice 5K (Read 26 times)


Barking Mad To Run



    I am Scott aka Scottydog aka Scotty Dogg, 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 10th race of 2015.  Put on my Scallywompus, a very good local running event organization (web: and held at Cedar Creek Golf Course on March 7, 2015.  Night-time event with a start time of 7 PM.  Course was on the paved golf course pathways.  Weather was actually pretty cooperative, about 56 degrees at start time, with DARK.    Rain had been predicted for our area- and when I got home my wife told me it had POURED there - but we only got "rain-drop spit-on" a little bit during the event, so the running gods were kind to us!   Our Race Director,  a great guy named Bart, with his "warped"   sense of humor had put out that for where the area was, the course was relatively flat.  Uh huh...this was one of the HILLIEST 5Ks I have ever done...and these were no baby hills either!   Several times on the route I heard Bart's name being used in vain ...jokingly of course, he really is one of the nicest guys you could ever meet.  The uphills I did not mind so much; I actually prefer them over downhills as, with my spinal arthritis, the downhills pound my back more than the uphills do;  a couple of times I just went into this "sliding-my-feet-skipping motion" as I went down the hills, which did help.  Probably killed my time, but that's okay, I'd rather have an unhurting back over a good time any day.  As I was running the uphills, I kept thinking, dang, the folks that play golf here must have some awfully "zoomed up' golf carts to get up these hills!    I really thought I was going to finish in 40 minutes or so, but I surprised myself and ended up with a gun time of 35:02 and a chip time of 34:57, good enough for 2nd place in my age group.  Guess all that hill training I do faithfully once a week really does come in handy at times!




    Before The Start


    Arrived with about 45 minutes to go before start time.  Cedar Creek clubhouse - I assumed it was the clubhouse where we all initially gathered - sits on a big hill and offers some nice views of the surrounding area; and because this was a night-time run, we got a view of a nice sunset too.


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    This was waiting for us as we came into the clubhouse


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    Roger Soler (pronounced sole-air) was getting the Pinata lady ready for the after-party.  I jokingly told Roger he needs to get a real girl...


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    And, of course, got photos pre-start of some of the participants, supporters, volunteers, etc.  With the 'Carnival of Venice" theme, lots of folks were colorfully attired.


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    This lady is an inspiration!  She was cycling and was hit by a car and was in a wheelchair for a while.  Now she is walking again, and here she was at our race.  So if you are a healthy runner...what's your excuse for not working out? 

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    My pals Gene and Loyce.  With my birthday this year, I entered into SPEEDY Gene's age group.  He was first in our age group for this event.

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    My pals Neil and Tina on the left, with friends.

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    Why does this guy run?  For those of you who are old enough to remember Flip Wilson..'the devil made him do it!"   photo 032_zpsrcgfzurk.jpg



    At the start line area just before we go....

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    On The Course


    Well, it WAS a night-time run and my camera is not the greatest with night shots.  Mostly I saw....headlamp lights!  Lots of floating lights..kinda reminded me of some of my youth in the 60s and 70s.... 


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    After The Finish


    I usually call my photos of the people who finish at the races I do the "Happy Finisher Photos"...but this one was so darn hilly, I think we were all "Happy Survivors" for this event, lol.   Got a few photos near the finish line....


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    And then back into the building for the after-party!


    Massages available.  I bet several people used that after those hills!


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    And beer, oh yeah!

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    There was also cranberry juice and vodka, as modeled here by my friend, Loyce.  Good thing Gene was driving!


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    The party cake

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    Me and a couple of my veterans organization Team Red White Blue members.   This race just happened to fall on the birthday of my friend Phil, on the left - he is 21 AGAIN!     And yes, everyone did sing Happy Birthday for him.


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    There were two of us taking photos of these folks; so John turned into "Director", lol, giving us instructions

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    This guy, our MC, is grimacing because one of the birthday people, a very lovely lady, is about to take a swing at the pinata with a golf club.  She did really well too, punched that thing open in about 2 swings.  I hope whomever her significant other is NEVER makes her mad. 


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    The age group awards were carnival masks.  Mine just happened to match what I'm wearing. I can be the Green Hornet, lol...the older, fatter version...

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    This was the Official Photographer for the event, here with the unofficial photographer.  I'm sure her camera skills are much better than mine!

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    This is the tech tee participants got, very nice quality too...

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    Got home near 10 pm, sat down in my chair, and after all the hills and partying, was pretty tired and fell right asleep in my chair, lol.  My blue-eyed siamese, Sinatra, quite agreed with that notion and kept me company...


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    This certainly was a tough course!  But did I have fun?  You bet!    Bart/Scallywompus always throws a heckuva party after their events, with lots and lots of goodies and this one was no exception.  And the folks that showed up for this one were all really great.  Lots of comradery before, during, and after the event.    Challenging course, but a good one.  I'd like to do this route in the daytime sometime just to see what that's like, I bet the views, when you can see them, are really nice;  but I'm sure the golfers, lol, would probably not appreciate a bunch of runners "playing through" while they are out there.  However, mucho thanks to Cedar Creek for letting we runners invade our space for a while.  Huge appreciation to Scallywompus, all the volunteers, and all the vendors, and everyone who made this event happen for us.  I definitely would do this one again.  I would also recommend it to my fellow runners, but....just be sure to get your hill training in! 

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


      Congrats Scotty, looks like a nice course in th daylight.


        Looks like a fun race - very colorful masks and outfits.  Did people run in the masks?  Good job on the AG award, especially with all the hills to slow you down.


          The after party looks like the place to be!


            Sounds like you ran those hills really strong to finish in that time, nice job!


              Great job, Scotty! Congrats on taking 2nd in your AG! Thanks for sharing the RR and pics.