Beginners and Beyond


Report and Photos - Joint Base Fort Sam Houston New Year's Midnight 5K (Read 9 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.

    This run started my count for doing 2016 events. In 2015, I ended up with 70 total races done. Who knows how many I will get this year? Not even me, lol.   We shall see. Held at Joint Base Fort Sam Houston, this run started exactly at midnight on Jan 1, 2016. About 100 or so participants braving a chilly wind and a temp of 45 and ‘feels like’ temp of 40. Thankfully, although some rain was predicted, it did not rain on us at all. I ended up completing this 5K in exactly 33 minutes on the nose. My wife walked the course and finished somewhere around 45 minutes, so she was not all that far behind me. Sometimes she walks faster than I run, lol.



    Arrived with friends at Fort Sam around 10:45. The staging area was inside the Jimmy Brought Fitness Center, and it was nice to be inside, away from that wind as we waited for the start. This was a FREE 5K, so we all registered before the start – and then got FREE race t-shirts too, very nice. I took a few photos before all participants headed outside about 15 minutes before the start to get lined up.


    My wife Gail (purple scarf) and friends we came to the event with.

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    I make a fashion statement with my black cap, lol

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    On the morning of Dec 31, me and my fellow RWB team member here, George, did a run with the San Antonio Street2Feet program; then we both came to this event later in the night.  Yes, we are gluttons for punishment, lol.


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    Two of our race hosts

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    And two more

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    View of flags through the netting from where I was sitting

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    Old Glory

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    My friend Curtis - although I always call him "Clifford", lol; he is a really talented runner - over 2,000 miles done in 2015 - and I always think of him as the "big dog", so associate the name "Clifford" with him, lol.  Every time we meet at an event, he always reminds me it's Curtis...but I keep calling him "Clifford".  He is very patient about it, thankfully.

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    Outside now waiting for the wife trying to keep warm...

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    And then there was this guy.  Ahh, youth....when you are young and invincible....even to cold.

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    The course was a well-thought out loop on paved roads at Fort Sam, with a couple of small hills and inclines, but nothing you could really call a major hill. Right at midnight we all started. Turning left onto a road near the gym, we had a very nice view for about 5 minutes of the San Antonio skyline being lit up by the New Year’s midnight fireworks display; that was pretty cool. We ended up doing a loop around the Fort Sam Quadrangle, passing historic houses initially built way back when. After that, we turned on Stanley Road and headed back to the gym…right into a headwind for the majority of this portion of the course, zowie. Lots of lighting on Fort Sam streets, so no problems seeing the way ahead, although some spots were a bit dark; but lots of great volunteers out there for us to make sure we stayed on course, and periodically there were those ‘generator” spotlights shining on the roads for us, which was very helpful.


    It was dark....


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    ...and then heading into the light - one of them, anyway..

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    It can be lonely on a course when you are slow like me...  


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    Ahhh...people!   On this road we were going right into the wind, heading for the finish


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    Encountered a fellow Eagle (Team RWB) at the finish...making the Eagle sign....tough to do with thick gloves on, lol

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    My wife coming into the finish

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    After we were done, it was back into the gym where there were long tables filled with a variety of foods, and also some sparkling cider and bottles of water to cheer in the New Year. Nice variety of music also being played for our entertainment.   And warmth…which was nice after being outside in that wind for the last ½ mile.


    Inside and warm again

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    Our sparkling cider server.....she sparkles herself

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    Some of the other goodies


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    Nice FREE race shirt

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    A very nice way for a runner/walker to bring in the New Year. Very nice course, nice race shirts, party favors (hats, horns, etc) for those that wanted them. Mucho thanks to our military hosts – primarily Air Force people; lots of Air Force people on the base now since all the bases here become “Joint Force” stations; and the gyms are primarily operated by the Air Force folks – and to all the volunteers, sponsors, etc. that made this one happen. Especially the volunteers; while we were moving on the course, those outside volunteers had to stand out in that wind until the last person was done.   Thanks to the gate guards too for their patience, as this event was open to the public and so the guards were very busy checking IDs like crazy, ensuring the safety of all.   A very nice event that I’ve done before and will do again.

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

      What a great way to ring in the New Year.  Amazing that it's free, yet they provide all the goodies of a paid race.