Yesterday I participated in the 15th Rockets Run 5k in downtown Houston. I read about the event possibly on Facebook first, in early October and became interested. I did not actually sign up at that time though. I pretty much forgot all about it until Thursday 11/3 when I was looking at the Houston Running Calendar page for upcoming road races.
I set about 3 alarms to remind myself to register on the Friday before the run. By 7pm that evening, I had finally registered. Later that night, after responsibly having a few drinks with some colleagues from work, I read the confirmation email from the event planners and it clearly said NO RACE DAY PACKET PICK UPS. I mildly freaked out and figured I had wasted my money. Being “this close” to attempting a charge-back on my Paypal Mastercard, I looked at the Rockets Run website and there it listed the packet pick up times, including Sat. November 5th 6:00am-7:30am. So I set my alarm and picked out my most Rockets coordinated running clothes.
Arriving around 6:50am, I saw tons of red shirts milling around taking all of their pre-race selfies, snaps, and check-ins. I was able to smoothly pick up my packet. The race registration included a commemorative t-shirt (in Rocket red with a nice design), a Toyota Center drawstring backpack, several snacks and coupons in the backpack, and a voucher for a ticket to a Rockets home game. The cost for the run initially was 35.00, 45.00 after the third week of October.
Since the 5k run didn’t start until 8:00am I was also able to get in nearly 2 extra miles before the race started.
The start line was on Bell street right in front of Toyota Center. Bell street was packed with runners and walkers alike. Nearly the whole first ¼ of a mile of the run it was a tight squeeze and I found myself running below my typical 5k pace and trying to carefully dodge other runners and make it ahead to the more spacious areas of the run.
We ran into Midtown Houston and back to Toyota center, looped a couple of extra blocks and then ran into the Toyota Center parking garage, all the way down to the underground level, adding a decline portion of running which is nice to cushion the finish time, lol—ultimately leading us to the finish line on the Rockets court.
I high-fived Clutch, the Rockets’ mascot, and unabashedly asked another finisher to take my pic with the finish line behind me.
All signs said “Water Up The Stairs” and that was their way of quickly getting us out of the arena and back outside to the “after party”. Walking out to the after party they had a table of food including bananas, apples, oranges, granola bars, and popcorn.
If you finished the 5k or 2 mile walk in time, you were the proud recipient of a Whataburger cookie along with some fruit gummies. The cookies were gone pretty fast and there were tons of gummies left.
I watched a few of the after party festivities and was about to jump into a “dance contest” at the chance of winning James Harden’s socks, but a super cute grandma and grandpa joined before me and I knew grandpa was going to win those socks. So I saved myself the embarrassment and just watched.
Overall I was very pleased with the Rockets Run 5k. The volunteers were efficient and had a lot of enthusiasm. The value for what was included in the race registration was great
I am a runner and fitness fanatic who is dedicated to living a healthy lifestyle 80% of the time. I live in Texas and divide my time between raising 3 children, teaching, and living a fit life.