After months of rigorous training, and a lot of perseverance, each team member celebrated their own individual accomplishment, with some walking the full distance, and others joining in along the way for a shorter duration. Regardless, each respective walker deserved a pat on the back, and a foot rub, for their dedication to fitness, health, and weight-loss.
And one of the biggest smiles came from none other than Salado, a beautiful Chow-mix dog who walked alongside his new owner, James. Certainly not unfamiliar with the marathon's starting point at Salado Creek Greenway, Salado was discovered last September by James and his wife Michelle whilst training for yesterday's event.
The dog had appeared in the park last autumn, wearing no collar or tags, and proceeded to accompany the couple, along with other SparkPeople team members, around their practice route, keeping step quite happily. At the end of the training session, James decided to take 'Salado' to the local Animal Defense League shelter, where a vet scanned him for a microchip, revealing he did indeed belong to someone. However, after numerous attempts to contact Salado's owner, it became apparent that the dog was one of many to be dumped in a public park by owners who, for whatever reason, decided they no longer wanted a pet. It was then that James and Michelle decided to adopt him, naming him after the area of the park in which he found them.
It seemed only natural, then, to include Salado in the half-marathon walk, which was completed by a good turn out from San Antonio's SparkPeople group, fronted by mobile refreshments courtesy of 78 year-old Don Thomas, who rode his tricycle ahead of the group for the entire distance. Two of Don's daughters participated in the trek, with his grand-daughter, and great-greatson, David, joining in for the last few miles to the finish line.
Salado, along with another SparkPeople member's furry athletes, Shadow, and Keira, was one of the first to complete the walk, and possibly the only one who was raring to go and do it all over again!