New Year’s Day 5K

committedAs an outgrowth of my personal fitness journey over the past year, I decided to participate in the Commitment Day 5K organized by Lifetime Fitness. The event was originally scheduled to take place in downtown San Antonio, kicking off at the relatively civilized hour of 10:00 a.m., rather than a typical early morning start for such an event. A wise move, I thought, to encourage broader participation on the morning after most folks stay up past midnight to ring in the new year. I signed up and convinced a few friends to join me.

Read more about Commitment Day, details about my personal fitness journey, and some thoughts on the obesity problem we face in a blog post I wrote for the Rivard Report.

STDTSAWhen event organizers announced that they were moving the event 16 miles north — outside the 1604 — with a new starting time of 8:30 a.m., we were frustrated and disinclined to participate. Registration for the event opened at 6:30 a.m.! On New Year’s morning? Uh, no. Still committed to the idea of kicking off our New Year’s resolutions on January 1st, however, we decided instead to organize a walk of our own in Southtown and downtown. We dubbed it the “Southtown/Downtown SA New Year’s Day 5K.” (Notice the lyrical, rhyming quality of the name?) 

Read my follow-up blog post and my thoughts about these changes at the Rivard Report.

My trainer, Tom Trevino of MBS Fitness, mapped the route we would follow, and I created a Facebook event to share with friends and neighbors, many of whom re-shared with their friends and neighbors. We designed and ordered t-shirts and planned to meet at 9:00 a.m. for bagels and oranges before stepping off at 10:00.

The crowd gathers

Photo courtesy of John Kelly. Click to enlarge.

At the appointed hour, a crowd began gathering. Individuals, small groups, and families — some with their canine companions — trickled in over the course of about sixty minutes, all dressed appropriately for the damp, grey morning that greeted us. At 10:00 a.m., about seventy of us stepped off. While the vast majority of us walked the route, we did have a couple of runners, a few bicyclists and even some skateboarders.

Stepping off on Vance Street

Photo by Hugh Donagher.

This being the morning after one of the biggest late-party nights of the year — and a holiday in its own right — the streets of downtown were very quiet, and thus quite hospitable to a crowd of our size. When we reached the Alamo, we stopped for a group photo. After missing a left turn on to Dolorosa/Market Street, we quickly corrected course at Nueva Street. We arrived back at our starting point about an hour after stepping off.

The Alamo

Photo courtesy of Jason Meredith. Click to enlarge.

As I noted in my blog post on The Rivard Report, we didn’t need a formal event to honor the concept of Commitment Day. We just got out and walked where we live. We chose a route through downtown, but we could have just as easily walked along the Mission Reach of the River Walk. We also could have walked through Hemisfair Park — at least for part of the route. We can all walk where we live. No special equipment necessary. Grab a friend, or seventy. Fellowship and chatting along the way helps pass the time and make the walking fun!

Click images in the gallery below to enlarge.

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