San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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October 16th, 2008
Run With Moe – 10/16/08

There is still time to register for the Red Ribbon 5 K Run and Family 1 K Run/Walk. The race is next Saturday, October 18th at the River Ridge course starting at 8:30 a.m. for the 5 K run and the Family (Kids) 1 K run is at 8:00 a.m. The course is flat and fast and the entry fee is only $20. This is usually a very popular race with a good turnout of local runners and this year should be no exception. Looking at the design for the entry form and the design for the race T-shirt it is well worth entering the race just for the shirt. A very nice patriotic looking shirt tied into the “Free From Drugs” theme of the race. This is a well organized race and each child 12 years or younger that enters will receive a medal at the finish line.The next week is a busy week in the area. Locally the “From Here to Eternity 5K Run” is held at Lamar Annex and runs through the San Marcos Cemetery. A challenge of a nice uphill for the first half of the race but a great downhill to the finish is great for recovery and impressing the fans with a fast finish.

Wimberley has a 5K trail run that morning out at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church and School for a different type of run. This is a real cross country course over trails and grassy areas. If you want to enter the “big” race in Austin the Live Strong 5K Challenge is also that day. Lots to choose from but the local races still have a certain appeal to them.
A topic that many runners do not think about was brought to my attention a short time ago by Ed Mendoza at one of the local races. He entered a race out at the River Ridge course a few weeks ago and when he finished and went back to his car he found that it had been broken into and his billfold, credit cards and other stuff had been taken. By the time he called the police and canceled his credit cards the bandits had already used them at several locations in town.

It turns out that he made a few mistakes and while most races have honest people around there is an element that takes advantage of runners that are in a race. Normally he would hide his wallet, cell phone, anything of value under the seat or at least out of sight. This one time some of the articles were in sight and while Ed is a fast runner and finishes the race in under 20 minutes that is all the time needed to break into the car and steal some of the contents.

He just wanted to warn runners that they need to be made aware of who is hanging around the race area that are not runners or family friends. Most runners probably do not pay much attention to spectators hanging around the parking area during the race. Ed’s car was in plain sight of all the runners as they ran past and within several yards of the road the runners followed. With all of the “eyes” that ran past the car none of them suspected someone was breaking into a vehicle for the purpose of stealing items in the car. Fast runners are focusing on the race and turns ahead and slower runners may be running with a partner and talking without really thinking of paying much attention to people hanging around the cars.
This is one of the first times I have heard of this type of crime at a race but I can imagine that San Marcos is not the only city that has experienced this situation. It is a good reminder for runners in the race to double check anything of value and make sure it is out of sight or locked in a glove compartment or trunk of the car. Visible objects make it easy for a thief to walk by the vehicle, pop the lock and make off with any valuables. Some vehicles are more difficult to break into and many now have some type of warning device when a door is opened without a key. Step one is to make sure you do not have any visible and valuable items in sight, step two is be sure the door is locked and the alarm system is on and if possible park in an open area where the vehicle is easily seen by others when you arrive at the race sight.

For race organizers this is another part of putting on a safe and secure race. It is a welcome addition that the runners appreciate to have volunteers watching the parking area for any suspicious activity.

by: Moe Johnson

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