One of the area’s oldest races gets a new look this year, as the Lunar Rendezvous Family Fun Run moves to a new course for the 5K and Kids K.

After 39 years of running on the grounds of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, tightened NASA security sent the race looking for a new location. For 2018, the Lunar Rendezvous moves less than a mile away to start at St. Thomas Church, 18300 Upper Bay Road in Nassau Bay.

“We’re so appreciative of St. Thomas Church and the City of Nassau Bay for accommodating a new course on such short notice,” race director Robby Sabban said.

The course starts at the church and heads south along Upper Bay Road, looping around Lake Nassau and then heading back along Upper Bay Road. The course is shadier than its predecessor and equally flat.

While the move from NASA was hasty, race preparations were not. Glow-in-the-dark T-shirts, beer from BAKFISH Brewing and a fun post-race party all made the transition to the new venue.

The Lunar Rendezvous gets under way Saturday morning, July 14 with a Kids K starting at 7:15 a.m. The 5K runners and walkers begin at 7:30 a.m. More than 500 runners and walkers have registered.

“People are still welcome to enter, but late entries won’t receive a race medal unless we have some no-shows,” Sabban said.

The Lunar Rendezvous 5K is the fourth race in Running Alliance Sport’s Texas 5K series. To complete the series, a runner must finish five of the organization’s 2018 races featuring a 5K, starting with the Seabrook Lucky Trail in March and ending with the St. Thomas Family 5K and 5K-9 in October.

“So far, we have 210 people who have completed the first three and are registered for the Lunar Rendezvous,” Sabban said.

In addition to the Seabrook Lucky rail, those in contention for the series sweep have completed the Yuri’s Night 5K/10K in March and the Texas Heatwave on July 4.

Registration for the Lunar Rendezvous 5K will be available on race day from 6-7 a.m., or at packet pickup July 13 at On the Run, 2427 Bay Area Blvd., from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Bernice Torregrossa:

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