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 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, 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:
BEFORE THE START
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.
At the Convocation Center
Some of the participants, volunteers, etc.
US Army ROTC
Fixin' the post-race goodies
My friend and co-worker, Heather. I swear, her dog is laughing at me, lol
UTSA Mascot Rowdy Roadrunner
H-E-B Mascot Buddy.
UTSA Alumni Association race day registration volunteers
Race Director (left) with our event MC
My friend and co-worker, Ms. Englert, who does a lot of work each year to make this event a fait accompli
Jeez..another dog laughing at me!
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.
Look at the doggie coming to see me; I am so popular with dogs, lol.
Ummm, ladies..this is a university...you misspelled "read"...back to school for you!
Play that funky music...
TWo of the 'official photographers"...whose photos, I'm sure, are a lot more 'quality' than mine, lol.
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.
This sweet bull doggie and I have something in common...we both breathe the same way when we run...
ON THE COURSE
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
Behind where I was
In front of me
Next to me
And awaaay we go!
Through the tunnel underneath one of the campus buildings
Over halfway now...
The last hill on the course and then it was down a bit and flat back to the finish
AFTER THE FINISH
Yeah…where’s the beer? There it is! These are very important post-race ladies…they handed out the beer!
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
Hey, Rowdy...orange you glad she's there?
Apparently he is...
Birds Up! The UTSA Roadrunners hand sign
If he'd been behind me..I might've broken 30 minutes...
This is how an old man makes himself look good...stand with pretty young ladies...
I think this is the dog that won in the Dog Category. Yep, there was a separate category for runners with dogs.
"Orange" is a theme around UTSA....
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.
EMT guys who were making sure everyone was okay on the course. Thanks guys!
iaapweb.com crew who did the course set-up, timing, results, etc. Thanks!
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
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!