Beginners and Beyond


Report and photos: Dragon's Den Half Marathon, 10K, and 5K (Read 18 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 was my 38th race of 2015.  Held at Pearsall Park,  a San Antonio Park that is quite near Lackland Air Force Base and Port San Antonio, which used to be the old Kelly Air Force Base. This event featured a half-marathon, a 10k, and a 5K  I did the 5K and this one - which I did last year also - usually is the toughest 5K of all the races I do in a year.  Can you say HILLY?  Well, it was not HILLY.  It was HILLY HILLY HILLY HILLY!  I thought it was funny, too, that I did this last year and two lady participants did it the first time this year...and they told me they had said to each other "Scotty did it last year, let's look at his report and photos, then we'll know something about the course."  They jokingly told me after they did look at last year's course photos and read the hills descriptions.....they then hated me, lol.   I did manage to run all the uphills;  the downhills were much more difficult for me than the uphills, much more impact on my arthritic back, so I had to take the downhills pretty slow, which pretty much killed my time...I ended up with a finish of exactly 42 minutes flat, doing about 13-something minute miles, not my best 5K performance, lol.  But no worries, I finished standing up and didn't puke..and for THIS course, I was very happy with that.    




    OK, I may have gotten a bit carried away with this event, taking over 100 photos.  If you don't want to take the time to read the long version below, with my comments, here is a link to a slide-show with photos only:


    Before the Start


    I knew from last year there is very limited parking in this park, so I arrived very early, about 5:15 a.m.   The half was scheduled to start at 6:30 am (it actually started at 6:45 due to a slight delay), the 10K at 7:05 a.m. and then we 5K folks at 7:10 a.m.   As if we did not have to do enough hills on the actual course, all participants pre-start had to also walk up a hill to get the start/finish and packet pickup area. Those Race Directors have a wicked streak in them! 


    Packet pickup in the dark


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    A few of the participants, pre-start

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    These two are wearing the singlet version of the race shirt.  The first 50 folks that registered got a singlet.


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    Our MC, Mark Purnell, doing his usual great job.  He does a lot of local events.


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  folks, course set up, race timing, results, etc.   Love these folks!

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    Half marathon folks starting up their first hill.  I took these photos through the chain-link fence near the start/finish.  In the second photo, my Team RWB friend, Roy, is carrying the flag

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    Team RWB is in the house!  A veteran's group, of which I am a member also, with many local chapters across the country, including San Antonio


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    My lovely "Great Legs' friend, who was volunteering for this race as she is recovering from an injury.  Speedy healing!

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    Race Director Erik with the lovely Lana of


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    Cooking up the Turkey Legs for post-race...


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    Some of the area around the start/finish....


    OK, I don't know what the heck this is, sitting out in the middle of a big field in the park...maybe some Aliens device to observe us....and today they were probably saying "what are those crazy humans doing there, running all over fields..." 


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    Some of the park terrain...

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    yeah, the hills get a bit steeper closer up..

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    On the Course


    The half marathoners went....they had to do TWO loops of their hills, oh my.  The 10K folks went..I think their course was a single loop of the half marathon course;   and finally it was time for we 5K folks.  We did kind of half-loop around the field of the start/finish area, then ran by the park parking lot...and then onto the hills!


    And here we go.....first hill for the 5K...


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    That fenced-in area behind the runners is where we initially started..

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    Top of the first hill..and a view of part of Lackland/Port San Antonio..


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    Another view..and some participants of the other races coming towards me

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    Team RWB member giving the Eagle sign as he comes toward me

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    Oh yay, another hill ....



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    Ahhh, some least for a bit.... a very small bit, lol


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    And down we go...

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    Some nice paved trail...


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    Water volunteers

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    We 5K folks turned in front of the water stop and started up our last hill...

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    I'm at the top now...I made it to the top running....and got a view behind me of where I'd  just come from....3/10 of a mile up....17% said previously, those Race Directors have a wicked streak...


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    After the Finish


    Thank goodness for this lovely little lady being right at the finish line, handing out ice-cold towels, I just wanted to give her a big hug and say Thank you so much!  Those towels felt great after that course.


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    Yeah, Mark, just relax as you call all the runners in.. 

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    Dragon's Den sign for photos...


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    The lovely young lady with her lovely older "sister..."

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 !  And our lovely server

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    Very Happy Finishers...happy to be done! And supporters, volunteers, etc.


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    I did most of the course near this lovely lady

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    Volunteer ladies


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    Race Director Erik's lovely wife and their future runner son


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    Erik enjoying a turkey leg


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    Street2Feet table...a very good SAMMinistries volunteer organization  that has a great annual 5K, running training program, etc.

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    Race shirt volunteers


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    Close up of the version of shirt that I got....nice tech tee


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    Award winner small plaques

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    My friend, Bob, finishing the half

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    All finishers got this finisher medal....

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    Definitely a challenging course.  The 5K course this year changed a bit from last year - and I like this year's course much better - we interacted a lot more on this course with the runners from half and 10K, which was nice, and a lot of back-and-forth bantering and encouragements going on, which was fun -  so I hope they keep this one for the future events.  Definitely would do this one again and recommend it to my fellow runners and will definitely challenge yourself with this course!   And then get rewarded with beer, turkey legs, nice shirt, and whole lot of personal self-satisfaction.  Much thanks to the Park Police out there for us, and to all the volunteers and sponsors who made this all happen for us.


    Next up for me:  I have a 'double' next weekend...Air Force Jr ROTC 5K on Saturday and Alamo Beer Run 5K on Sunday.  Alamo Beer 5K will be my 40th race for I should get the first beer, post-race.   .

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


      Yikes, those hills look tough!  Nice report as always Scotty. Smile


      5k - 22:53  (May 2015)

      10k - 50:00 (unofficial; part of 20k race, March 2015); 50:33 (official; July 2016)

      HM - 1:48:40  (Apr. 2015)

      Half Crazy K 2.0

        That just looks tough, I can't even begin to imagine how anyone can do a half dealing with hills and heat. Your races always have the best post race food!

        Slymoon Runs

        race obsessed

          Nice one scotty!


          Methinks it is darker down there then up here! All your pics start in the dark!  (and I though I got the the races early!)


            I can see why you'd slow down going down the gravelly hills.  Not a race for a PR, but the goodies more than make up for it, I think.  I like the logo for the race.


              There were enough barbequed turkey legs in this report that by the end I could smell them!


              That's a nice logo, dragons intrigue me. I would have gotten a dragon tattoo another lifetime ago if it did not have to be so big.