Beginners and Beyond


Report and Photos: Rattler Run 5K (Read 12 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 39th race of 2015.  Held in San Marcos, Texas - about 45 minutes from San Antonio - at San Marcos High School.  This race supported the Air Force JROTC at the school; since I am retired Air Force, had to come out and support my service! Lt Colonel (LTC) Williams was the main organizer of this event and served as the Race Director (RD).   I liked the LTC; really nice guy (maybe some of his cadets might disagree ) with a great sense of humor; and he is in some good shape, my lady friends of my various running organizations who will be reading this report...please stay calm when you see his photo and don't let your heart get all 'crazy aflutter". 


    About 160 participants for the run/walk.  Weather was pretty cooperative.  It was sunny and a tad humid, but not nearly as bad as it's been in our local area for the past few weeks; temp around 77 or so at the 8 a.m. start.   I ended up with a finish time of 34:14.




    I was up at 5:15 a.m., got my 'multitude' of cats fed, and then hit the road.  Traffic was actually fairly light going north on the I-35 in the direction of Austin, so I made pretty good time and got to San Marcos High School around 6:40 or so. Got my packet and number and said hello to my old friends of AthleteGuild - I do a lot of their events during the year - who were doing the finish line timing and results.


    Before the Start


    After I got my 'accoutrements' on - gloves for the arthritis in my hands, knee brace for the screw in my left knee, shin sleeve for the 'dent' in my right shin, headband because I sweat like crazy and blind myself if I don't wear one - sometimes as I'm getting dressed pre-race, my wife says Bullfighter music should be playing, lol, like when a matador is preparing - then it was time to get some pre-start photos.


    Yours Truly, your host for this report with the mascot of the San Marcos High School "Rattlers."


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    Me with Lt Col Williams


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    The 'lonely' start/finish line before the start.  Purple and white ballons because, if I remember correctly, those are the high school team colors.


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    My AthleteGuild friends getting ready for things to start


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    Cheerleaders out there to cheer on the participants

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    Law Enforcement that was out there for us to keep us safe. Thanks guys!

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    The before-and-after treats and the Treat Lady.  Thank you, young lady!

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    Some of the participants, supporters, etc.

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    Getting ready to start!

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    On the Course


    Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Williams, the school JROTC Commander/Instructor laid this course out and it was a doozy, lol.  Started at the school, flat for a bit, then a downhill; left onto a road to head to a turn-around point - and by the time I got on that road, some of the speedier folks were already heading back toward me - and then back up part of the hill we'd just come down.  Instead of turning onto the road we initially came out on, we went straight...and, of course, encountered another hill. Up we go...then down the other side..make a right turn...go up a small incline..make another right turn...and the LTC 'surprised' everyone with one last hill - and this was no dang baby hill either, lol - that we had to climb before FINALLY making a left turn onto the FLAT (thank goodness!) drive that took us back to the start/finish line.  During this entire 5K I was telling myself I am SOOO glad that I make it a point to do hill training at least once a week; so I got up the hills on this course in pretty good order.   However, that LAST hill was a surprise, because I though we were closer to the school - I have a terrible sense of direction, lol - and when we'd made that right turn, I though the school was right around the corner.  Not!  I chatted with LTC Williams about this when I got done and we had a laugh together about it as he said "Gotcha!"   I think he got quite a few of us! 


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    One of the volunteers out there for us. I got her to laugh by telling her that I tried to convince the volunteer before her that the cone back there was the 'Old Man Turnaround" cone, so I should have turned there...but he wasn't buying it. She laughed..making for a nice photo of her.

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    Second uphill


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    The last hill before we made the turn to the finish...I'm up at the top looking back down behind me...


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    The lady in gray - who is a coach - and the young lady in blue actually caught up to me on the finish line road and breezed by me to finish ahead of me.  They did great!

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    After the Finish


    First thing I did was get some water and then my AthleteGuild friends let me sit my old bones down in one of their chairs to sip the water down and relax a bit.  Then it was off to get some post-finish photos!



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    Unique 'rattler' 1st place awards waiting for the award ceremony and medals for 2nd and 3rd.

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    Giving the 'Rattler" hand sign, LTC Williams front-and-center

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    He won his age group

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    2nd take...a bit closer

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    This is "Mrs. AthleteGuild", the spouse of one of the staff.  

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    My pal Bernadette got 3rd in her age group

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    More ward winners

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    Right before I left, I was in my car and saw this guy and stopped to take a photo of him, another award winner.  Then I chatted with him for a minute or two, telling him where he could find the photo -  - and NOT realizing until I turned around to get back into my car that I had stopped my vehicle right in front of some poor guy/gal who was trying to back out of hi/her her space to leave.  I owe that driver my PROFUSE apologies...and thanks, too, because that driver was SOOO patient, didn't beep the horn or swear at me or anything, just sat there calmly waiting until I was done and got back in my car and moved.   I owe that person a drink of his/her choice!


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    First time I've done this event.  Small event but very well done!  If there had been 5-year age groups, as this was a small event I might have placed, as I am 61.  But my age group for this one was 50 - 99 and, man, there are some speedy dang 50-year old out there, lol, the first 3 males in my age group finished in the high 20s and 30-something.  Anyway,  I got no heart burn with the age group thing, I get it, it's a small event and gotta get the most from the budget available for the race so 50-99 for this one makes sense.  And besides, as you runners who've known me for years all very well know, .I'm not out there to chase medals - been there done that when I was younger and those days are long over for me now - ..I'm out there to chase the Great Legs and have fun!     And to treat doggies to biscuits - which I did a couple of times for this one - and to take photos.  Yeah, I'm definitely a fun runner these days. If I just happen to place - believe me, it is NOT intentional, lol - that's fine, but if I don't, that's fine by me too.    Long as I have fun and finish standing up - important at my age! - then... Mission Accomplished!  And it certainly was accomplished today.


    In spite of the hills the course is well-thought out and a very good one, with wide roads, lots of room to maneuver, where I was didn't see anyone crowding each other, and nice kind of 'loop' course, which I personally much prefer to out-and-back courses.  This San Marcos High School course must be one of the best kept secrets in the local area because it really is a nice course and very little vehicle traffic; I'm surprised more RDs (Race Directors) don't use this area for some of their races, it certainly is a good race venue. Nice post-race goodies with bagels, nutrition bars, ice-cold water  waiting for us near the finish - THANK YOU, volunteers for having it right there and not making us have to go look for it, that was a blessing after all those hills! - gatorade, etc.  Very unique 1st place awards and nicely done medals for the other age group winners.  All in all, a very good little event which I hopes grows in the coming years.  I would definitely do this one again and recommend it to my fellow runners.  Mucho thanks to all the law enforcement that was out there for us; to all the volunteers and race organizers who made it all happen for we participants; and to San Marcos High School for the use of the grounds.


    Next up for me:  Alamo Beer 5K on August 23.  Yeah, I'm doing a double for the Aug 22-23 weekend, 5K on Saturday, 5K on Sunday.  After I finish this report...I'm taking a nap! 

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

    Half Crazy K 2.0

      I really want to know where the AG winners put those awards. That would freak me out if I saw it half awake.


        I did an ROTC race last year, and there weren't a lot of older runners. Most were college age. I can see where they would just lump everyone over 50 together for this race.  The hills definitely look challenging.



          I really want to know where the AG winners put those awards. That would freak me out if I saw it half awake.


          That is definitely not your run of the mill pint glass. lol