It’s time for runners to dust off their tutus and tiaras for Sunday’s Divas Half Marathon and 5K, an annual celebration of springtime, exercise, and sparkle. The run/walk event takes place at Moody Gardens, and draws thousands of participants, both male and female.

“We don’t have awards for men, but they’re welcome to run, and many do,” race spokesperson Trelle Dandridge said. “Since the race benefits Breast Cancer Charities of America, we always have men who are running because their wives can’t, due to breast cancer. It’s very moving to have them running to honor their wives and their struggle.”

Both the half marathon and the 5K begin near the Rainforest Pyramid at Moody Gardens. The half marathon heads to the seawall and goes east before turning around just short of the 61st Street fishing pier. Runners then proceed west for three miles, dropping down at the end of the seawall to wind along Cove View Boulevard and the Evia neighborhood. “It’s a fun section of the course, with lots of people cheering you along,” Dandridge said.

After looping through Evia and skirting the Moody Gardens Golf Course, runners return along Stewart Road to a bayshore finish line at Moody Gardens. Participants in the 5K start and end at the same spots, and make a smaller loop close to Moody Gardens.

While the Divas Half Marathon and 5K are known for their feminine approach throughout the race, with pink tutus distributed to all entrants, the glam quotient goes up dramatically in the last half mile. At that point, participants in both the half marathon and the 5K pass through the boa and tiara station to amp up their diva-ness in advance of the finish line photos.

The finish line at Divas events is known for other unique qualities as well. “The shirtless firefighters at the finish line are always very popular for photos,” Dandridge said. Registration will be available Saturday, April 27 at the race’s Health and Fitness Boutique at Moody Gardens.

Bernice Torregrossa: bernice92@aol.com.

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