The Heat is On

Why Run a 5K in August, in Houston?

Need motivation? What if there’s an ice-cold Bombshell Blonde at the finish line?

By Jeff Balke July 18, 2016 Published in the August 2016 issue of Houstonia Magazine

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Image: Shutterstock

It may seem like a worse idea than taking the West Loop during rush hour, but there are a dozen 5K races taking place in and around the city this month—the most blazing time of the year. These include a trail run in Hitchcock, a run for autism in Sugar Land, and one for veterans in Hempstead, plus events near the beaches of Surfside and Galveston. All of which led us to wonder: Why would people subject themselves to such torture?

We called up Bill Gardner, president of Run in Texas and organizer of the second annual Southern Star Brewing Company 5K in Conroe on August 1, benefiting Toys for Tots, and put the question to him. For Gardner, the answer’s simple: “It’s nice to drink a cold beer to reward yourself after a 5K.” So nice, in fact, he’s expecting the Southern Star race to draw 500 participants—and planning no fewer than seven runs at state breweries this year.

The other keys to a summertime 5K: an early start (in this case, 8 a.m.), and allowing racers to avoid 110-degree asphalt wherever possible. “It will be a fairly shady route,” says Gardner, through a Conroe neighborhood. And anyway, it’s not as if participants are agreeing to run a marathon. “Even Joe Plumber thinks, ‘I could walk a 5K.’” Especially if there’s an ice-cold Bombshell Blonde at the finish line.

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