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
Here is yet another of my photo reports. Full report below.
Link to photos only: http://s166.photobucket.com/user/scottydog69/slideshow/2017%20Race%20Reports/2017%20Race%20No%2055%20FitPass%205K
A couple of the photos may not have come out so well; sorry about that. Plus, at times post-race I forgot to wipe my sweaty lens - duhhhh - so there might be a smudge or two on some of them. All in all, I think they came out fairly well. I am certainly no professional photographer with skills; but at least all the photos are free to save.
BEFORE THE START
FitPass 5K was my 55th race of 2017. Held on Aug 19 at Ladybird Johnson Park in San Antonio. Put on by the City of San Antonio, this is one of a series of FREE events hosted by City Council members in their various districts to help promote health and well-being for the San Antonio population. LBJ Park is about 10 minutes from where I live, so I slept in a bit, but still got to the park early enough to get good parking as, being a free event, knew this one would be fairly crowded. Had already picked up my race packet for both my wife and I, so Gail - who was doing the competitive walk of the 5K - went to do her thing while I went to do my thing: wandering around taking photos before the start, chatting with friends and making new friends.
At the park with my wife and friend, Bernadette
iaap raceday registration volunteers and workers. Local race management and runners training company iaap did the course setup, packet pickup stuff, race day registration, etc.
Local radio station 94.1 was on hand...
Our MC/Announcer for the event. He did a great job.
Thank you, Parks people, for being out there for us!
Some of the stuff for the kiddies and to stay amused until start time...and for having some fun after the finish. I liked the big dart-board, lol. You kicked a ball at it to try to hit one of the numbers.
Various participants, volunteers, etc.
In the start area
ON THE COURSE
Start near the park's community center, down to the trailhead in the park and then onto the park's paved trails. This was an out-and-back course, to the trails got pretty darn crowded, especially for the speedier folks who made the turn-around point quicker than others, because then on their way back to the finish they had to be watching out for people still heading to the turn-around point and I noticed several people would just not move to the right (my right, as I was heading to the turn-around point too) to let these folks by - even though up-and-down the course several of the more experienced runners, like me, kept calling out MOVE RIGHT! MOVE RIGHT! Good grief. I felt so sorry for some of those speedier folks - like in the 20-someting minute range - making their way back as some of them were obviously trying to place and just got interfered with at times by the slower people still heading to the turn-around point. I still did my 8 minute run/2 minute walk thing - and made sure to step off the course during my walk breaks, there was plenty of room in the grassy areas along the way to walk along right beside the pavement - and took my photos during those walk breaks. I finally made the turn-around point. At my pace, for me going back, it was sure less crowded than for those more front-of--the pack folks, but there were quite a few participants, so even I had a couple of 'challenging moments' heading back. Thankfully, I managed not to interfere with anyone the whole way and ended up with a finish of 33:41 chip time, which I was very happy with. I did not place in my age group - and knew I wouldn't anyway, cuz I saw 3 of my friends there who are in my age group and are very speedy guys (they all finished in the low 20s) so I knew I was not getting crappola today for placement, not even by default, lol. It's all good.
And away we go....you can see how crowded it is on the trail at a few points
One of the course volunteers
AFTER THE FINISH
Got some water - no beer available, darn the luck - walked around sipping that, cooling down, and then off to get some photos of the finishers, volunteers, supporters, friends, etc.
My happy finisher spouse...she finished in 54 something chip time
Finish line volunteer cheering us in...thanks!
This lady told me that kid was her son...yeah, right...I thought it was her younger brother...
The next 3 photos are all in the same family....runners and walkers, all of them. Good for them!
This lady on the way back to the finish stopped in front of me to walk. I jokingly told her "Young lady, you can't stop, you have to keep those Great Legs moving to motivate Old Man Me to keep moving forward by following them." She laughed and did keep moving foward...and I did follow them, lol. Thank you, young lady!
Competitive Walker division winners. My friend Lynn (blonde in front row) was overall first woman.
Bernadette, as usual, placed in her age group. With my wife and friend Beryl
These two lovely speedy ladies got awards too
Considering how many participants there were, this was a well-thought out course to try and accommodate them all. However, this park is really not a great venue for this many participants. My suggestion would be to move the locale to a park - like nearby McAllister Park, which is in the same district as LBJ park and only right up the road from it - which has a lot more parking and a lot more trails and this park's trails allow for a LOOP course so everyone would be going only in one direction for the entire distance. I am sure the runners competing for awards would definitely appreciate this more too. So we shall see what will happen next year. Aside from that, this is a well organized event and had lots of activities going on such as health-fair, rock climbing wall, bouncy play and slide area for the kiddos, lots of vendors offering some freebie stuff and so forth. I would do this one again - even if they still chose LBJ Park again as the locale -but I sure hope they don't.
MUCHO THANKS to all the people that made this one happen for we participants - City of San Antonio, District 10 Council office - this is actually the district my wife and I live in - San Antonio Parks and Recreation employees that were out there for us helping to ensure everything was going smoothly, all the many many volunteers and all the sponsors, and so forth. Without all of you, we participants could not be out there, so thanks very much to all of you!
"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." Theodore Roosevelt
Out and backs are tough on a narrow path. I did one a about a month ago where in a number of spots they used the small cones to try to keep runners too the right. Didn't work, but nice effort. Heck, at the race I did last week, people refused to stay inside the cones when on the other side was traffic! Nice that it was a free event and that it was well attended.