Feeling crabby? Your chance to act like a sand crab arrives Saturday night, when the Galveston Sand Crab 5K and 10K returns to Apffel Park for a nighttime run on the sand.
“It’s a unique race, and it’s very walker-friendly and kid-friendly,” race director Bill Gardner said.
Both the 5K and the 10K start near the pavilion at Apffel Park off Bodekker Drive, below the east end of the Galveston Seawall. The courses, marked with glowing LED lights, head west along the waterline before making a hairpin turn to return to the pavilion.
“We used to mark the course up near the dune line, but everybody runs close to the waterline, where the sand is firmer, so now we stick our lights along the shoreline,” Gardner said.
While the lights provide some illumination, all participants are required to either wear a headlamp or carry a flashlight.
“There are definitely some holes in the sand, and you’ve got to be able to see what’s in front of you,” Gardner said. “Headlamps are easy to find at Academy or Walmart. I suggest getting one with the highest lumen power. A flashlight will work just as well, but not everybody likes running with something in one hand.”
The Sand Crab 5K and 10K get under way at 8:30 p.m., preceded by a kids mile at 8 p.m.
“It’s really cool to watch the kids race. It’s getting dusky while they’re running, and you can watch them surging back as the light fades,” Gardner said. “We have course marshals and other adults running with them for safety, and parents are welcome to run along, too.”
After the run/walk, which has a two-hour cutoff limit for all participants, the finish line party features beer from Galveston Island Brewing and other refreshments. Gardner expects about 400 runners and walkers. Participants have the option of $15 paid parking at Apffel Park or free parking just outside the park.
“Most people park outside the gate and walk in,” Gardner said.
Registration is available Friday at Galveston Island Brewing, 8423 Stewart Road, or Saturday from 6-8 pm at East Beach Pavilion in Apffel Park.