Barking Mad To Run
INTRO - Jingle Bell 5K for Arthritis Report and Photos
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/2016%20Race%20Reports/2016%20Race%2071%20Jingle%20Bell%205K%20for%20Arthritis
BEFORE THE START
Held on Dec 10 at 4:30 pm, this was my 71st race of 2016 and my 2nd race of the day, after having done St. Judes Jingle Bell 5K in the morning. Put on by The Arthritis Foundation, The Jingle Bell Arthritis 5K is held in various cities across the nation to fundraise for a cure for arthritis and bring awareness of arthritis to the public. This is a very personal event for me – and I’m sure several others – as I have spinal arthritis, and also arthritis in my knee and hip. Blessedly, I am a lot better off than several arthritic people, as mine is osteoarthritis, and I can still function pretty well, although I do have my bad days. However, rheumatoid arthritis is much worse. My heart goes out to those folks. The race locale was at the headquarters of Valero Energy Corporation, a Fortune 500 gas-and-oil company that is the biggest refiner in the United States. Valero is right near the UTSA campus – the university I work for – and are good community neighbors. They support a whole lot of causes in our local area and around the state and the nation. Their campus is a really nice one, with an event pavilion, a dirt-and-gravel running/walking trail, parking garage, and much more. I arrived on site about 3:30 pm., got my race packet, and then wandered around taking some pre-start photos.
Pavilion at Valero, the main center of all the activity
One of the first people I encountered - one of the most "beautiful people" I know, inside-and-out, my friend Sandra, who does have rheumatoid arthritis. She is a fighter, though, and personifies "Never Give Up." God bless her, she got out there, cane and all, and walked the whole route in an hour and something. She is one of my personal heroes and inspirations.
Sandra and her husband, Juan, local high school football coach Extraordinaire. Another reason Sandra never gives up...Juan is her 100 percent partner and team mate and won't let her give up, lol. He probably even puts her through some team drills... These two are really super nice people. Of course, some of his players might disagree at times with that, like when they are out there doing their drills...
Another inspiring person
My good friend, Bernadette, who has done even more races this year than I have. She actually RACES all hers though, unlike me. For this one, she was first in her age group.
Like the 5K I did in the morning, Athlete Guild folks were doing this event too for timing, results, etc.
For those of you not familiar with Texas...this is What-A-Burger Man. What-A-Burger is a very popular Texas food place, founded in Texas and now with its corporate HQ in San Antonio.
The 'sausage folks..'' those things were really good too.
This guy gets around...I just saw him in the morning at another race I'd done
Getting ready to go...
Behind me...those guys wearing the green shirt are wearing the race shirt participants got
ON THE COURSE
Compared to past years of the San Antonio event, this was a fairly small turnout, with 123 finishers in the 5K. Probably due to the weather. Most years we’ve been blessed with really great weather. This year it was a chilly 42 degrees at the start, and drizzling a bit, which made it feel colder – thankfully there was no wind – so some people probably stayed home and warm. The course changed this year from its usual one. We did a route through the Valero Campus, which was very nice, then onto the trail that took us out to the corner of Valero Way and UTSA Boulevard – where the traffic police officer stopped us from crossing UTSA Boulevard as he cleared off some of the traffic that was stretching way back, almost to the I-10 frontage road, for those of you familiar with this area. Kind of unusual to be stopped in mid-race for 4 minutes – my countdown timer was on, so I could see how long it was – but I get it, safety first…if that traffic line had stretched any farther back – well, let’s just say we do have a few ‘crazy drivers’ in San Antonio, and bad accidents might have resulted. Some of my fellow runners around me were quite annoyed, from some comments I heard – I guess they were chasing a PR or something – and I get that too; me, since I’m more of a fun runner than anything else, I just kind of shrugged it off. Not like I’m going to win anything anyway at my pace, lol. After we were allowed to cross, it was onto the nearby offroad greenway paved trail (asphalt and cement) – and when we turned left on that, since I run on this trail quite a bit as it is close to UTSA, I knew we were going to have to climb that darn “sidewalk hill’ on the 1604 frontage road near the Drury Inn to get back to the Valero campus. And we did. I ended up with a chip time of 37:11, and jokingly asked my friend and the RD, Sherry, if I got 4 minutes deducted off of that for the intersection wait time. I also told her that course should be done in reverse so we can do down the hill instead of up, lol. Well, it’s all good, I managed to enjoy myself and had fun interacting with all the other participants I encountered. Just gotta keep your sense of humor about things.
AFTER THE FINISH
Yay beer! My first stop after I finished. Just like the race I’d done in the morning, there were also sausage wraps, and lots of other various goodies and freebies from the onsite sponsors, vendors, etc.
Enjoyed my beer and sausage and then it was time to get the 'after' photos.
this one a tad blurry, sorry guys..
Long day...after I got home, I had a few of my little family waiting for me....
...and after being up since 5 a.m. and doing two races in the day....our cat, Scoop, showed exactly what I wanted to do too...just lie down and chill, lol....
An event for a really good cause, and always an enjoyable event. Nice tech tee race shirt, and this year, the organization gave everyone finisher medals. Lots of vendor activities, including games, music to dance to, a raffle drawing – I won Nada, darn the luck – and much more. Fun too seeing some of the costumes some of the participants wore. I've always liked this race, right from the first time I did it, many years ago, and have probably done this event numerous times. I don't think I've done all the San Antonio ones, but I’ve done quite a few.
Mucho thanks to all the volunteers, donors, sponsors, law enforcement, etc., all the people that made this one happen for we participants.
"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." Theodore Roosevelt
Hopefully the faster runners had already crossed before they held up traffic. Frustrating for people hoping for a PR though.
Great job on the race, although frustrating about the traffic. And awww, the kitties look happy.