I celebrated Earth Day by participating in an annual 5k (3.1 mile) road race held at downtown Houston’s Discovery Green Park. Some folks see this type of joyous occasion as being a bit leftist; however, I do not see this as an ideological issue; it is a global one.
According to race directors:
The Earth Day Houston 5K began 5 years ago to raise awareness on air pollution issues in the Houston area. The 2010 event will once again begin and end at Discovery Green in downtown Houston. The race will be a chip-timed run on a flat, fast loop course certified by USATF. There will also be a 5K Walk and a Kids Run. All 5K participants will receive a 100% organic cotton Earth Day Houston 5K T-shirt. Water will be served in biodegradeable drinking cups that Urban Harvest will compost, and recycling and composting stations will be available throughout Discovery Green. Runners may bring old running shoes to the race for recycling. And once again this year’s pace car for the 5K race will be a hybrid vehicle. There will also be a very limited number of race brochures being printed on recycled paper.
Discovery Green Park is a unique experiment. It is a constructed park designed in the heart of an urban (concrete) village. Houston, the fourth largest city in the Unite States, has had to deal with environmental issues ranging from poor air and water quality, to that of an endemic mass transit issue. Yes, Houston’s public transportation must rank at the bottom of the nation. But, this is a statement of conjecture. I have wanted to park my car — which by the way– gets 32 miles to the gallon, in favor of the city bus. The challenge is that Houston does not offer enough routes between work and home to make that happen. The other issue is that of Texans. They like their guns and their BIG gas consuming cars; it is difficult to develop a public mass transit system when the public views their car as a Constitutional right.
Above: Two views of Discovery Green Park
I am working to do the small things to help our planet. As a believer in global warming, I do believe I should and continue to recycle. My home is not as GREEN as it could be; I suspect that will change over the coming days and months.
As for the race to raise planetary awareness, I did well. Though, as painful as marathons are to run, 5k races are tough for me; I like to develop a pace over miles and miles of distant running. A 5k (3.1 miles) is too short. I am more of a marathoner.
24th place out of 409 runners
3rd place in my age division
6 minute and 49 second per mile pace
Here are a few race day pictures:
Above: Ten minutes before race start; I knew I needed to do well.
3rd place division finish ahead.
I received a cool mini Christmas tree as trophy with an award card. The awards ceremony above.
Janette and Abbey after the race. Temps by 9:30 pm were in the mid 70s.