Beginners and Beyond


Report and Photos: San Antonio RoadRunners Women's 5K (Read 15 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.




    On Saturday, July 18, 2015, I was a volunteer at the San Antonio RoadRunners (SARR) Women's 5K.  This is an annual event put on by the SARR with women only participating, and several of we male members of the club doing volunteer duties.   This is quite a popular local event, especially as there are very few races held in San Antonio during the hot month of July, and this is one of the better ones held.   My good friend, Sally Seeker, served as Race Director and had asked me to come out and take some event photos.  We worked it out that I would be a Course Marshal and she placed me along the course where I had a good view of the participants.




    Before the Start


    As a Course Marshal I had to be onsite at 6:30 a.m.   Got there a bit earlier than that, got my instructions and my course location, got my vest, and then had time to wander around a bit and get some pre-start photos before heading out onto the course.   The before-and-after activities were in the shopping center area of H-E-B, a humongous grocery store chain in Texas (over $1B in annual sales), with headquarters in San Antonio, so the company sponsors a lot of local events, including this one.


    My club, the oldest and largest club of runners and walkers in San Antonio.

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    The busy Ms. Sally Seeker, Race Director, making sure everything is going okay.

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    Girls On The Run - the San Antonio chapter.  This organization "inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running."  If I remember correctly the girl participants are from the 3rd to the 8th grade.  As a volunteer, I got a race shirt, but I told Sally as many races as I do I have plenty of shirts, so I asked her to donate an appropriate-sized shirt to this organization, which is another group that Sally is a participant of.  She is a very busy lady!  There was also a volunteer raffle and I gave my ticket to them too - what the heck, I have plenty of stuff, and especially in the running gear area, lol, I think at last count, I now have about 15 pairs of running shoes on my shoe shelves - ...and that number was one of the winners, so I was happy for them.  Their prize was a gift card to Academy Sports, which they told me they would use toward a pair of running shoes for one of their girls, nice!  As we runners know, you can never have enough running shoes! 


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    Sally and Julie, who hasn't quite woken up yet...

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    Julie and John, one of my fellow volunteers, and all-around good guy.  And one darn speedy runner too!

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    My pal, Bernadette, and official photographer Tom, who runs all round the course carrying that thing and taking great photos.  I don't see how he gets around the course so fast carrying that thing, but he does and he does a great job with it.

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    Bernadette and our pal Bob, all around great-guy with a great sense of humor.  He was also a Course Marshal for this event.

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    Timing Chip volunteers

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    Play that music...

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    A nice hug from my Brak Pak friend before I headed out onto the course

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    Our MC, Mark, doing his usual great job

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    My friend Theresa ready to go

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    One of my favorite people in the world, Sandra, who has been overcoming a lot of challenges to keep getting out there. She never gives up!

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    Volunteers at Water Stop 2.  On my way to my spot I made a delivery to them of balloons and other stuff Sally had me drop off to them.

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    On the Course


    From the H-E-B parking area, the ladies walked to a neighborhood right across the street where the start-and-finish was located.  From there they did a course through Alamo Heights, a very affluent San Antonio community, with wide roads, lots of beautiful homes, landscaped gardens and yards, etc.  Makes for a very pretty run....but also hilly as Alamo Height has lots and lots of hills.   I was just a bit past the halfway mark at an intersection where the ladies went down a road from the other side of me, then at the end of that road did turn, and then turned onto the road I was on and came straight at me, so that made for some pretty good head-on photos.    I did not neglect my Marshal duties, though, keeping an eye out for cars, and I did actually have to stop a couple of them while the ladies went by and the drivers - at least the ones near me -  were pretty understanding and patient about it; but for the most part Alamo Heights is pretty laid back on a Saturday morning, so traffic overall was pretty darn light, at least where I was.


    I do not have the camera skills of my friend Tom, the official photographer, so a few of these first on-course photos are a tad blurry, as those lead pack ladies were really moving..almost by the time I got my camera up, they were already getting ready to pass me, lol.  The rest of them turned out pretty nicely.   I also thought it was funny that lots of the local ladies knew me- mainly from all the race reports and photos I post on my blog, facebook, etc. -  and as they passed I got many many MANY calls of "Scottydog!" and "Hey, Scottydog!" and s forth, so much that one of the other volunteers who was near me jokingly called out to me at one point.."What are you, famous or something?"   lol.   All those Great Legs out there and I couldn't chase any....SIGH... 


    The lead lady...

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    Followed by these other speedy front-of-the-pack ladies

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    More and more coming now...


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    The road across from me where they were before they made the turn onto the road I was on

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    And back to 'my' road


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    It's not often I get to see my pal Bernadette on the course.  Most of the same races we do, she is way ahead of me.

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    The last participants - who beat all the folks still in bed or sitting on their couches this morning. Good for you ladies for being out there!

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    And a couple of my fellow course marshals, whom I gave a ride back to the activities area.  Besides we stationary course marshals, there were also "Walker" Course Marshals  too going along the course, keeping an eye on the lady walkers because, for this event, there was also a Walk category in which the walkers got AG awards.  However, if a lady walker got a bit excited on the course and broke into a run, the walking course marshals would give  a warning because to qualify for the walk awards they had to walk the whole way; hence the guy volunteers 'walking marshals" who made sure everyone was being "legal".

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    After the Finish


    After the last participant passed, I encountered two other course marshals and gave them both a ride back to the activities area.  After that, it was wandering around time again to get some photos of the "Happy Finishers" and their supporters and some of my co-volunteers, etc.


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    My running friend, Jennifer, who ended up winning the grand prize in the door prizes, an overnight stay at Doubletree Hotel.

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    Nice ladies 'presenting Great Legs" for me, lol

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    Bernadette with a cache of post-race goodies. I'm giving her support so she doesn't fall down with all that stuff she's holding..

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    Some of the law enforcement folks that were there for us.  The officer in the middle was at the same intersection I was.

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    Three participants..two who ran and one who was carried, getting an early running life start


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    I've volunteered for this event a few times and it's always been a real pleasure.  Very well organized event, nice course - I'd run it, and I told Sally I'd even wear a wig and skirt to do it - lots of nice food and post-race goodies - H-E-B provided quite a few of them - like sports drinks, watermelon slices, cookies, nutrion-and-sports bars, and what all...a lot of stuff, so much I don't think I saw everything they had post-race.  Also several door prizes too, including a separate raffle for the volunteers, which I think is a nice touch.  Definitely an event for the ladies to put on their race calendar and definitely a really good race to volunteer for, lots of fun.   After I was done, I then went over to Fort Sam Houston and got my own run/walk in, ended up with 3.3 miles done, so a nice way to finish out the morning.


    Mucho thanks to all my fellow volunteers out there, all the sponsors, law enforcement, etc., all the folks who made this one happen for the participants.  Kudos to my friend Sally Seeker for being the RD this one for the past few years, it's a lot of work getting this all organized and she seems to me to be doing a great job at it.  And thanks to all the lovely participant ladies who allowed me the privilege of taking their photos.  Same time again next year ladies? 

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


      Good of you to volunteer!   I need to get out and do that more often...

      I love the idea of a separate raffle for volunteers too!  That is genius.


      5k - 22:53  (May 2015)

      10k - 50:00 (unofficial; part of 20k race, March 2015); 50:33 (official; July 2016)

      HM - 1:48:40  (Apr. 2015)

        Kudos for the volunteering.  Many times runners appreciate the words of encouragement from fellow runners who happen to be a course marshal for the race.

        “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” - T.S. Eliot