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Sunday January 31, 2010 11:52 PM

Rockets Run Nets Record Turnout

More than 4,000 compete in 8th annual event

Rockets.com Staff

HOUSTON - It began as a steady stream toward the finish line. What followed was a flood.

More than four thousand Houstonians, ranging in age from 4 to 74, took part in the 8th annual Rockets 5K Run, making it the largest in the event’s history.

Bill Blancett and Janel Lambeck claimed the top spot in the men’s and women’s divisions, respectively, with Blancett running a blistering 16:16 and Lambeck clocking-in at 19:51. But all who took part can claim to be winners as each participant received one free ticket to the Rockets game later that evening, in addition to entrance to the free food and entertainment which awaited them at the post-race party on Jackson Street.

“We put this on every year to get Houston in shape,” said Senior Promotions Coordinator Leilani Borbon. “We do it at the start of the year as kind of a New Year’s resolution. It’s also a unique experience to finish center court in Toyota Center.”

This year’s event also featured a 2-mile walk for those in search of a lower intensity workout, as well as the Kids’ 1K, making the day's event perfect for all ages.

All courses took runners through several blocks of midtown Houston, before turning back toward Toyota Center. The final legs then went underneath the Tundra Garage and the arena, allowing the participants to emerge on the Rockets home court—32 feet below street level.

Proceeds from the event go to UnitedHealthcare Children's Foundation.