It is really not ok to use 'Astros' and 'Race for the Pennant' in the same sentence, but that is the name of their annual 5K so I guess we will just have to go with it. Today's race attracted nearly 3,000 runners and walkers, about as many as the Astros can look forward to having at their games soon, if they don't improve the team. Despite being such a large race with many slower runners and walkers present, I must admit that it was actually quite enjoyable, if you discount the heat (much warmer than last year!) and the course which is slow due to the inclusion of the Elysian viaduct (hills!). I managed a 22:18 which was ok considering the conditions. I felt good though and not a peep from the left knee. Kathleen just missed a 3rd place spot by a few seconds, with her 24:12. Our running club, the Houston Striders, did exceptionally well with many age group placings including the following:
1st female 30 to 34 Marnie Staehly;
3rd female 45 to 49 Jackie Connelly;
1st and 2nd female 55 to 50 Yong Collins and Judy Rutledge;
1st female 60 to 64 Karen Bowler;
2nd male 35 to 39 John Yoder;
1st male 45 to 49 Lance Collins,
1st and 3rd male 65 to 69 Jim Peiffer and Barry Chambers.
Congratulations to all those speedy runners and to the many other Striders who made it out to this 'race of the quarter'. Which means club members get $15 of their entry fee re-imbursed. Now there's a recession-buster for you! Not forgetting that the Astros throw in 2 free tickets for each entrant. Put the value of that together with the reimbursement from the Striders and you've got yourself a really sweat deal.
The post-race party was pretty good too, especially if you finished towards the front of the pack. No lines for bagels, donuts or beer... Best of all? Free Parking. We will be back in 2011.