Race Recap: Saturn 5K (Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Race)

For the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon, a pair of commemorative races was organized to take place on Kennedy Space Center property. I wanted to run the Apollo 11K but that race had a 13 minute mile minimun that I wasn't sure I could maintain, so I signed up for the accompanying Saturn 5K instead.

Training & Goals
Still wonky in the Achilles. I hoped to follow a slow and easy 2:1 run:walk ratio for the race, weather permitting. The race was along the treeless NASA Causeway with no shade. With a planned 8AM start (that ended up getting pushed back) I knew the heat and full sun might be an issue. I'm in the middle of a July runstreak so this was my 14th day in a row running at least 5K.

Race Day: July 14, 2019
Arthur came with me. We were at the Space Coast the day prior for an Astronaut Parade so I was able to pick up my packet a day early. This saved us some time race morning. We arrived in time to find a good parking spot and settle in to watch the 11K runners come in.

It was 84°F with sunny skies, 94% humidity, and a feels-like temperature of 101° by the time I started the race at 8:20AM. Yikes.

Mile 1: 12:25
On the way out I was able to keep up an easy 2:1 run:walk pace.

Mile 2: 13:06
Part of the run took us over a causeway drawbridge. I walked the uphill portions.

Mile 3+: 14:35, 1:00
In the heat I decided to switch to run/walking 1:2.

After the race
Runners were offered cold water, ice cold rags, bananas and beer after the race.

Recommendation
Well, this is probably a one-off based on the unique theme, but here's my take. The late start for the 5K sucked, but I suppose that was scheduled so runners could race both events. Pre-race information said that the pace requirement of 13 mm for the 11K was strict, but there were plenty of 11K runners who came in after the alleged cut-off (over 100 were over pace). I wish I had signed up for the 11K, for the cooler medal and earlier start time. I guess these are the kinds of kinks you might find in any brand new race.

I was happy to see that there were different shirts and medals for the two races, and I can't complain about the price I paid. There was a $15 coupon offered a couple of weeks before race day which brought the price down to a pretty good bargain for a unique 5K.

Chip time: 41:04
Placement details: 159th overall out of 440 5K finishers
Race Amenities:
Unisex tech shirt and medal for all finishers (different shirt and medal for 11K runners)
Cost:
$24.95

Report written July 17, 2019

Addendum 9/28/22: I gave this shirt away (Goodwill) in September 2022

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