As the weather begins to cool, many runners extend their mileage, and Sunday’s Space City 10 Miler gives runners the opportunity to stretch their goals beyond summer’s 5K and 10K races.
The Space City 10 Miler gets its name from a course that skirts around the Johnson Space Center and Space Center Houston while making a single loop through the area. The race begins at 7 a.m. Sunday.
Almost all local races bill their courses as “flat and fast,” and the Space City 10 Miler is no exception, featuring virtually no changes in elevation. The fast designation is borne out by a course record of 48 minutes and 26 seconds for the 10-mile loop, set by elite runner Samuel Kosgei while he was attending Lamar University.
In addition to offering $500 cash prizes to the fastest male and female finishers, the race encourages speedsters by offering mile-marker premiums of an additional $100 to the first male and female runner to reach the 2-, 4- and 6-mile points.
While some of the area’s fastest runners will be competing for those awards, the Space City 10 Miler offers less competitive runners a good time as well. The race begins on the University of Houston-Clear Lake campus, heads east past Armand Bayou, and drops down to pass the Johnson Space Center before heading north to finish at UHCL.
There’s also the option of running the race as a two-person relay, with each runner or walker covering 5 miles of the course. A few runners are still looking for a relay partner, and a sign-up page on the race website enables runners to connect and form a two-person team.
The race is known for its finisher perks, which include a long-sleeve technical shirt, a colorful medal and a well-stocked post-race party. Online registration is open at runsignup.com, and in-person registration is available at On The Run, 2427 Bay Area Blvd., on Saturday and at the race beginning at 5:30 a.m. Sunday morning.