Lunar 5K, NASA have long history

It’s hard to believe it’s been 40 years since Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon made history.

It’s almost as incredible that a 5K race celebrating the moon landing has been running for 31 years now.

The Lunar Rendezvous 5K, scheduled for July 18 at 7:30 a.m., is part of the Clear Lake community’s annual celebration of the moon landing, an event that takes on special significance in the neighborhoods surrounding the Johnson Space Center.

The race begins and ends at Space Center Houston and is run entirely on the grounds of the Johnson Space Center, providing runners and walkers with an up-close view of the NASA campus, where space exploration continues to be an ongoing effort.

In fact, race director Jay Lee is working to coordinate the race with NASA’s current shuttle mission.

“If the shuttle goes up this Saturday, we may have to dodge some shift changes,” Lee said.

The links between the race and NASA will continue at the starting line.

“We’re hoping to have someone from the astronauts office as our official starter,” Lee said.

“We were trying to get one of the guys who set foot on the moon to be our starter, but most of them will be at a special ceremony in Washington that weekend.”

The hot July weather is always a concern, but Lee and the Bay Area Running Club do their best to keep everyone cool.

“With as much heat as we’ve had the last six or eight weeks, I’m looking at maybe having a tent for more shade in the post-race area,” Lee said.

Even the race shirts are planned for maximum cooling.

“This year, we have white technical-fabric shirts,” Lee said.

Online registration for the 5K is available at, with an early registration discount available through Saturday.

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