Sunday, July 19, 2015

37th annual Honeywell Lunar Rendezvous Run 5K Race Report

In a way, at times, I really don't have anything better to do than to go out and run a race - or be involved with one.

The day is doubly better when you can do both, right?

Seriously, I don't have a ton of hobbies.  Plus, this one - running - is a little cheaper than many and is a lot better for me.

At the same time, I got the media bug from my grandfather and father growing up and even at 48, which I don't feel AT ALL, I still enjoy recognizing people for their accomplishments.

I don't remember how the conversation went last year, but basically I've just assumed the role of helping out race director - and friend - Jay Lee get everyone to the start line on-time for the 37th annual Honeywell Lunar Rendezvous Run 5K as well as handling the post-race awards ceremony for him.  (I will miss Outrigger's in three weeks this year as I'll be running the Lynchburg (Va.) Half Marathon with Waverly as we leave her there for her junior year of college at Liberty University.)

I think both would be considered a success today.

On to the running.  Hot and humid.  What would a Lunar Rendezvous Run be without being so?

I have to give my daughter credit for something -- after racing with her last week on vacation three times -- and that is to go out slower than I normally do.  She does it incredibly well.

Have I heard this before?  Of course I have.

Have I heeded the call?  Ah, no.

The recent 5Ks that I have run by myself and not following this method have been slower - from 15 seconds to close to two minutes.  Put down a sub-10 minute mile and crash and burn the rest of the way.

Offset - 17.71
Mile 1 - 10:11.41
Mile 2 - 10:10.05
Mile 3 - 10:36.61
Last .1 - 37.18

Total - 31:35.24

And Lunar, given the open setting as you run onto the grounds of NASA's Johnson Space Center, is prone to a LOT of fast starts.  It is something that I warned Waverly about before we started.

I watched a few people that I run close to their time take off ahead of me, but for the first time in a long, long time, I watched as I was able to slowly and surely reel them in as I was enjoying the new approach - for me.

Waverly ran 3.4 miles before the start of the race to get a semi-long run in today.  We have about 8-9 to do next Sunday night.

Jay had astronaut Suni Williams out today to run the race and help out during the awards ceremony.  Most people, especially runners, remember that she ran the Boston Marathon on a treadmill on the Space Shuttle in space.

I remember one year when she was signing pictures and making a personal appearance at the Chevron Houston Marathon Expo many years ago, but found her to be a very outgoing, positive individual when I had a chance to visit with her before and after the race.  Astronauts, of course, have to have great fitness to do what they do, but Suni was genuine in her encouragement of other's quests for fitness when she spoke before the race.

And she was totally unconcerned about her time because after we recognized the overall winners this morning and then brought up two-time masters winner Peter Lawrence, she didn't even realize that she won the masters division like she had

Spearheaded by former HARRA president Joe Carey, Bay Area Running Club put together an out-of-season HARRA competition - to celebrate its 40th anniversary as a club -- and welcomed four other HARRA teams that put together teams.  They included the Al Lawrence Running Club, the Bayou City Road Runners, the Terlingua Track Club (with Roger Boak, Ben Harvie and Rich "Buzz Lightyear" Vega) and the Tornados Running Club.

Really made for a great and fun atmosphere this morning.

But what made it great for me, as it always does, is the number of people that I get to see and interact with.  And truly too many to name without inadvertently offending someone, but I have to say that I'm very, very fortunate.

I think the one thing that I enjoy about working races with Jay and Robby (Sabban) is that they both have teams - with many of the same players - that just know how to get things done, make things happen and do them very, very well to produce a quality, well-run event.

No drama.  Just (put on the) run.