I don’t normally run Sunday races, especially 5Ks. But the Lunar Landing 5K in Clear Lake was too awesome not to pass up! Since 2019 is the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, Running Alliance Sport was prepared to make this a very memorable race, complete with a great t-shirt and medal that actually spins.
One of the things I love about Running Alliance Sport races is that they always have packet pick up at On the Run in Clear Lake, which is right on the way home from my Friday Toastmasters meeting. I stopped in, and within two minutes, was walking back to my car with my bib (shaped like the moon!), t-shirt, and race day instructions.
Running the Lunar Landing 5K
I made sure to arrive in plenty of time to park in Clear Lake, because parking looked limited. The course itself for the Lunar Landing 5K was new for 2019. This meant, instead of running through NASA Johnson Space Center, we’d be running through parts of Clear Lake and the new Exploration Green multipurpose trails.
When I got there, I swiped a bottle of water – the heat had already ramped up, and I was thirsty. I walked around a little bit, used the porta-potty, chatted with the Texas Beef Team folks, and then ran half a mile to warm up. That all went fine, but the heat and humidity really worried me.
But at go time, I just focused on running. As is the case every single time, I went out too fast and paid for it later. We ran from the Clear Lake Sports and Recreation Center through the aforementioned Exploration Green – that’s a new multipurpose trail system. Houston is in the process of converting an old golf course into something much more practical, with retention ponds. Exploration Green was actually pretty awesome, and I think I’m going to run there by myself sometime.
Anyway, we also ran through the neighborhood where astronauts and NASA employees used to live and still live. Clear Lake is a great place to see a lot of midcentury modern architecture, and this route was no exception. I tried to focus on just running, not the heat and humidity. (I failed.)
I crossed the finish line with an official time of 27:10. I thought that was a 5K PR for the year, but it turns out I ran the Hot Chocolate 5K exactly one second faster. Still, considering that it was a good 10 degrees hotter and more humid, I am going to call it a PR anyway. Right?