Beginners and Beyond


Report and Photos - UTSA Alumni Association Diploma Dash 5K (Read 14 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.” Here is yet another of my Race Reports with Photos. I am not exactly a good photographer but hey, at least all the photos are free so my ‘subjects’ can save and share their photos if they so desire. Mucho thanks to all the people I interacted with at this event for their graciousness, patience, and good humor in letting me take photos of them.  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, and conversation forums for runners and much more!


    My 16th race of 2016 done on March 5th was the Diploma Dash 5K put on by the Alumni Association of The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), raising money for scholarships. This event is also the Official San Antonio City Championship Race, with a 5k Certified Course around UTSA's Main Campus.   This is one of the oldest races in San Antonio, with today’s event being the 36th year it’s been held.   I don’t know exactly how many participants were there for today’s 5K but there was a whole bunch! I’d estimate at least 1000 to 1500, if not more.   The race venue was the UTSA campus. I ended up finishing in 32:13, 7th in my age group of male participants 60-64. The guy who won my age group finished in 22-something. Yep, there are some speedy old farts in my age group. My strategy is just to outlive them and then I’ll be the only one in my age group eventually.


    On to the photos! I do tend to take a LOT of photos at the events I do. So if you’d rather just see photos only without my “pithy comments” you can check out the slideshow of this event at this link:



    Arrived at the staging area with about 45 minutes to go. All the pre-start activities were near the UTSA Convocation Center, where the basketball arena is.


    The staging area view from the Campus Rec Center where I parked.

     photo 002_zpsppiykybt.jpg


    At the Convocation Center

     photo 004_zpsatfmqwfq.jpg


     photo 019_zpsx4ac6frd.jpg





    Some of the participants, volunteers, etc.


     photo 003_zpshot0wq1w.jpg


    US Army ROTC

     photo 005_zpsstogu23b.jpg


    Fixin' the post-race goodies

     photo 006_zpsj8k5ndlu.jpg


     photo 007_zpsdneumf8p.jpg


    My friend and co-worker, Heather.  I swear, her dog is laughing at me, lol


     photo 008_zps5bue1av1.jpg


    UTSA Mascot Rowdy Roadrunner


     photo 009_zpsi8fjhlk9.jpg


     photo 011_zpsdmeu0en3.jpg


     photo 024_zpssmlmo11v.jpg



    H-E-B Mascot Buddy.

     photo 012_zpsgxgnwkeq.jpg


     photo 014_zpsrddxetov.jpg


    UTSA Alumni Association race day registration volunteers


     photo 016_zpsjl5sfky5.jpg


     photo 017_zps3nk3s8bn.jpg


     photo 018_zpsdgeaahg6.jpg


     photo 021_zpsslckikhq.jpg


    Race Director (left) with our event MC

     photo 022_zpscrvttdl1.jpg


     photo 033_zpshzmf0ciw.jpg


    My friend and co-worker, Ms. Englert, who does a lot of work each year to make this event a fait accompli

     photo 023_zpsm47vkvti.jpg




    Jeez..another dog laughing at me! 

     photo 020_zpsc72boik1.jpg


    These folks on the right are giving a nice display of the race shirts participants got; gotta be the race shirt...I sure hope that letter doesn't represent their GPA. 


     photo 025_zpsxbedvvxu.jpg


     photo 026_zps5hoe35du.jpg


    Look at the doggie coming to see me; I am so popular with dogs, lol.

     photo 027_zpsbu9yj61l.jpg


     photo 028_zpsm9ggj4is.jpg


     photo 029_zpswqumqbjn.jpg


    Ummm, ladies..this is a misspelled "read"...back to school for you! 

     photo 030_zpsujbiqazr.jpg


     photo 031_zpshzdoj2ce.jpg


    Play that funky music...

     photo 032_zpsdgpzjuws.jpg


    TWo of the 'official photographers"...whose photos, I'm sure, are a lot more 'quality' than mine, lol.

     photo 034_zpsq1ppniir.jpg


     photo 038_zpsg9zgyirg.jpg


    One of my speedy friends..and his human.   As I was coming near the finish, these two were going the other way already, doing their cool-down run, sheesh.

     photo 035_zps3vkboa9k.jpg


    This sweet bull doggie and I have something in common...we both breathe the same way when we run...

     photo 036_zpszxfasw3a.jpg


     photo 037_zpspedeuyu2.jpg


     photo 039_zpsv3lbil9b.jpg


     photo 040_zps6fzc3p3h.jpg



    Start was in front of the Convocation Center. We then made a loop around the campus on paved campus roads, including routing through a large parking lot area and going into one of the tunnels underneath the building of one of our colleges. There were 3 hills on this course, not very long but fairly steep – including the one that really ‘got you’ the last hill we had to climb with just a little over a half-mile to go before the finish line; the legs could definitely feel that one after doing almost the whole course.  I sometimes run around the campus before I go to work in the morning, so I was very familiar with what was coming, and ready for it too, as I use this course in some of my training runs.


    Start line area is a bit more crowded now, with 6:24 to go before runner launch

     photo 041_zpsyjywh0k2.jpg


     photo 042_zpsbpclhmyz.jpg


     photo 043_zpsudcx4mnc.jpg


    Behind where I was

     photo 044_zpsvuvrojrl.jpg


    In front of me

     photo 045_zpsymky2s3u.jpg


    Next to me

     photo 046_zpshjmgukbr.jpg


    And awaaay we go!


     photo 047_zpseays4c2s.jpg


     photo 048_zpsc2rovcn6.jpg


     photo 050_zpsmmtjjdh4.jpg


     photo 051_zpseds8qq9v.jpg


     photo 052_zpsfojobbe7.jpg


    Through the tunnel underneath one of the campus buildings


     photo 053_zpse3iwsk0t.jpg



     photo 054_zpsuw8jazqz.jpg


    Over halfway now...

     photo 055_zpsusou612x.jpg


     photo 057_zpsjsslzgxf.jpg

     photo 058_zpsn36nyqkt.jpg


     photo 059_zpscvlf4bzv.jpg



     photo 061_zpsusdkxgof.jpg


    The last hill on the course and then it was down a bit and flat back to the finish

     photo 062_zpslgtblyta.jpg





    Yeah…where’s the beer? There it is! These are very important post-race ladies…they handed out the beer!

     photo 066_zpstsr8vkno.jpg


    Oh yeah....


     photo 068_zpsveycsmqy.jpg



    Lots of “Happy Finishers” and supporters enjoying all the treats – beer, sausage wraps, minute maid orange juice, chocolate milk, various sodas, lots of bottled water, fresh tomatoes, health bars…jeez, so much stuff I can’t remember everything that was there! – getting photos with Rowdy Roadrunner, enjoying the music, and nice awards too.


    Party Party Party after the race...everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves


     photo 063_zpsnj669u1l.jpg


     photo 064_zpsc6wkbqyk.jpg


     photo 065_zps2rqnvgw3.jpg


     photo 067_zpsajiurmoj.jpg


     photo 070_zpsnl3vk89b.jpg


    Hey, you glad she's there? 


     photo 071_zpshfx4mvls.jpg


    Apparently he is... 


     photo 072_zpsxvcpqini.jpg


    Birds Up!   The UTSA Roadrunners hand sign

     photo 073_zpschhxm2an.jpg

     photo 077_zpszwe3kt0c.jpg


     photo 076_zpsbibmkdtn.jpg



     photo 074_zpspnxy4jkh.jpg


     photo 075_zps3yo00aln.jpg


     photo 078_zpsnkwmf84p.jpg


     photo 079_zpsn2xghs2x.jpg


     photo 080_zpsplsqw9d6.jpg


     photo 081_zpsczcbylui.jpg


     photo 082_zpszfklj6dj.jpg


    If he'd been behind me..I might've broken 30 minutes... 

     photo 083_zpswuzu0wu7.jpg


     photo 084_zpsk5qsdusu.jpg


     photo 085_zpsdtgwmgzb.jpg


     photo 086_zpsjkrleykh.jpg


    This is how an old man makes himself look good...stand with pretty young ladies... 


     photo 087_zpsmsz4ddi1.jpg


    I think this is the dog that won in the Dog Category.  Yep, there was a separate category for runners with dogs.


     photo 088_zpsa6kifffm.jpg


     photo 089_zpsyojsykiw.jpg


    "Orange" is a theme around UTSA....

     photo 090_zpsguexrjac.jpg


     photo 091_zpszsqvd2gf.jpg


    Groovin' to the music...get down, my friend Michael!   2nd in his age group at 21-something, sheesh. I wasn't even at the 2-mile mark at 21 minutes, lol.

     photo 092_zpsxr9qkrwo.jpg


     photo 093_zpsulwkbcwk.jpg


     photo 094_zpsyz2m8mvg.jpg


     photo 096_zpsw3onxxgi.jpg


    EMT guys who were making sure everyone was okay on the course.  Thanks guys!

     photo 097_zpskzpcxggf.jpg

  crew who did the course set-up, timing, results, etc.  Thanks!

     photo 098_zpswpmmli5n.jpg




    Since I work for UTSA I do this race a LOT. I haven’t done every one of them but I’ve done it just about every year for the 20 years I have lived in San Antonio. It is always a very well organized event – much credit for that to my friend Anne Englert and all her Alumni Association folks and volunteers, and especially Steve Woodall who does a ton of work to get this one done right – and the course – which has changed at times on some years for various reasons (campus construction, road work, etc) in my experience has always been well laid out. The course this year – which is also, if I remember correctly (and maybe I don’t, at my senior age) the “oldest” course used for the past years – is my personal favorite. Some folks may prefer the really flat flat courses, but I kinda like the hills thrown in at just the right places along the way; no hills all at once at just one part of the course; spaced out just right to be a bit challenging but not overwhelming. Kudos to whomever laid the course out for this year. And a TON of goodies post-race. Really nice; just wander around with your goodie bag and fill up; especially nice for our student participants on a budget. If you are a runner/walker and have never done this one before you are really missing a very unique event. Definitely give it a try! I don’t think you will regret it.


    MUCHO thanks to all the volunteers, sponsors, law enforcement, bike EMTs, course set-up and race timing/results folks, etc! All the folks who do all the work to make this one happen for us participants.


    And, of course, to UTSA for the venue and use of facilities.  Love this university and love working here!  Hard to believe that in Sep 2016 I will have been working here for 20 years!    Here's to 20 more! 

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


      Great report!


      delicate flower

        That clown though...


        The tunnel would have messed up my GPS and so my race would have been ruined.


        Nice pics and report as always, Scotty!