Beginners and Beyond


2018 Race No. 1 - La Cruda 5k, Jan 1 (Read 10 times)

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 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

    After doing my 90th race of 2017 on New Year's Eve day to finish out the year 2017, I did the La Cruda 5K to start my 2018 year of doing races. La Cruda was held at 10 a.m. in Helotes, TX, a small, scenic, and hilly little city located right on the boundary line of San Antonio; about a 30 minute drive from my house near San Antonio airport.  This was the race's inaugural event, being put on my my friend, Race Director Tony G..   A cold front had come down from the North on Sunday evening, so for this even, the temp was a chilly 29 degrees with a 'feels like' of 19.  Lots of people bundled up to the max - and some not - cuz that is darn cold for we folks in San Antonio. Our average temp in Dec is about 40s for the low and 60s for the high. Luckily, we did not get any precipitation that iced the road overnight causing the local roads and highways to close - San Antonio is just not a winter-equipped city - so the race went on as scheduled.  I arrived with about 40 minutes to go to start time, with one of my usual top shirts and about 5 layers underneath that, along with some longer running pants and a hat; and my local fellow runners know it is cold when I wear a hat, lol, because I hate wearing hats of any kind unless I absolutely have to.  For this weather I had to cuz I get cold very easily. Wandered around and got some pre-start photos. Lots of people all bundled up, and some not.  Must be nice to be impervious to cold.


    Various volunteers, participants, etc.


    Volunteers helping fix the multitude of Kiolbassa sausges for post-race


    Cooked up by Grill Master Dan The Man






    Virgin Olive Oil vendor


    Timing chip volunteers






    My wife was a sponsor and vendor


    With our friend, Julie.  Gail is like..."he's got that camera again!"  lol.


    It started sleeting on us for a bit, as you can see from the black tablecloth on her table; thankfully that did not last long.






    I want a hat like this...if I have to wear a hat to get warm, might as well go all the way, lol.


    My friend Marco met a new girl on New Year's Eve...





    Our MC and Sound Man









    Getting ready to start, after the National Anthem was sung nicely by a young lady.


    Uh oh, I don't think we can go now....if you check out that orange sign...   Wink


    They let us go anyway...


    On The Course

    Helotes is known for being one VERY hilly area.  You can hardly drive, walk, bike, run, or whatever anywhere in this town without getting onto a hill or two.  RD Tony G wanted this to be a 'family friendly' 5K course without too many challenging hills and all I can say is, given what he had to work with, he came up GREAT!. He and the course planners could not have laid out any better course in Helotes that has a minimum of hills.  We started near a business called Helotes Winery, made a turn onto a fairly flat road, did an out-and-back on probably one of the flattest roads in Helotes, made a turn, passed by where we had started, then down on a small incline then "uphill" on a pretty gradually graded incline. Left turn, down a small hill, around a curve and down to a turn-round point; back the way we had come; up the small hill - this was the biggest hill on the course but not long at all; back onto the road we had started on, down and incline, then up a last and gradual incline, then a bit of flat at the top, right turn, and short flat part to cross the finish line timing mats.  In my opinion, Tony D. and his crew absolutely succeeded in getting the course they wanted.  Very family friendly - even the younger kids could handle this course - and although not totally flat, a pretty good course too for the speedier runners - very flat out-and-back for the first half mile or so to let those speedier folks really get a good start; and, although the finish was up an incline, it was not a huge grade incline, so those speedy folks probably did not lose a second on their pace.   Well done on the course planning!  As for me, I ended up with 34-minutes and change, and finished 7th in my age group (10 year age groups, mine was 60 - 69) - there are some speedy old farts in my age group, lol.  All good, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and was happy with my results.  I did get a medal though. Everyone got a finisher medal.  Well, almost everyone.  I think more people registered on Race Day and from what I heard after I finished, the race medals ran out. I am guessing - don't know 100 percent - that Tony will probably ensure those who did not get them on race day will probably get them after at some time or other.


    My friend Max who usually carries the flag every race he does.  He is speedy too, 7-something minute miles, even carrying the flag.


    Our out-and-back flat part of the course to start with









    This was one of the up inclines on the way out to the turn-round point, where I am heading.  The people going down were heading to the finish line.  My friend George, on the bike there, checking on everyone.




    Looking behind me...that guy in the white shirt on the right is almost to the finish turn




    Behind me...people on the right going to the finish; left, heading to the next turn-round point



    After that, it was nonstop for me to the turn-round point and then back to the finish.




    After My Finish

    Before I started the 5K, I took off one of my base layers to save that as a dry shirt to get back into.  Went and collected that, got it back on - ahhhh, much better on this cold day, dry shirt and WARM too cuz I left it by the barbecue area where they were grilling sausages - and then wandered around getting some after photos and getting some post-race goodies too.  I thought one nice touch was that Helotes Winery actually opened up for the event after the race - a nice warm place to stand in - and they even gave out cups of warm, spiced wine - I think it's called 'mulled" wine when it's warm, but may be wrong, I am not a wine drinker; even so, I thought it was very nice of them to do this. Kudos to this sponsor!


    I did not even see my friend Bernadette until after the finish.  She was masked during the race, lol.   As usual, she won her age group and got a nice bottle of wine for that.


    Happy finishers et al...



    Flag Carrier Max and Mrs. Max...  i think that's Mrs. Max.... hell, I'm old....I forget things...


    Gail with our friend Carolyn, who is wearing the finisher medal.





    MMMM!  Alamo Beer, my favorite locally brewed beer.   Does the beer make me look fat?  Back in my 5 layers, lol.






    After that, back home for a very HOT shower and to get warm again.  After that I opened a present my friend Liza had given me at the race.  Very funny!   lol.



    Also checked out the 'special' race shirt that friend Lisa  had given me.  Her company did the race shirts for the event.   Very nice!  I am touched and honored that she would do this for me.



    My wife, since she was a sponsor and vendor, got mentioned on the race shirt - Scentsy...




    For an inaugural event, a very nice turnout and very well done.  I am sure there was a glitch or two - there usually is at inaugural events, and most experienced race participants know this and expect it and don't let it bug them too much - but from where I was at any given time through this whole event, everything seemed to go pretty well to me. Nice quality tech tee race shirts, unique finisher medals that included a bottle opener since Alamo Beer was one of the primary sponsors and they provided beer post-race, nice; I love Alamo Beer, my favorite locally brewed beer; very well thought-out course; and nice post-race goodies.  Definitely would do this one again and would recommend it to other runners, walkers.


    MUCHO Thanks to all the people that helped this one happen for us: volunteers, sponsors, law enforcement, Helotes residents and city officials for letting us invade their roads for a while, and anyone else I may not have mentioned here.  Without all of you, no event for we participants, so thank you very much!!


    That's my story for this one.   Ahh, it's all over what do to on a cold day when the temp won't even get above 45 or like my cats and just relax indoors....  lol.




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


      Looks like a very nice event on an unusually chilly day. Nice way to start the year.