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The Kennedy Space Center will shift from rockets to races in an historic event taking place May 5, 2013.
For the first time, the famed space complex will open its doors to a public sporting event: the Rocketman Triathlon.
The rigorous event (which includes swimming, biking and running components) will include lengthier bike rides than the standard to loop near the historic 39A and 39B launch pads. These pads were the starting point for all 135 space shuttle missions as well as many other flights, including those of the Apollo program.
“The KSC portion of the bike ride is more than 15 miles long and is sandwiched between equally beautiful scenery of the remainder of the route on the Canaveral National Seashore and Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge,” the event website reads.
Participants will also swim in the Indian River Lagoon and run in nearby Titusville … making sure to include the city’s Space View Park, of course.
This triathlon video advertisement is guaranteed to give NASA Tweetup launch attendees pangs of nostalgia:
Event organizer Smooth Running bills itself as “ the producer of several of the most prestigious and unique endurance events in East Central Florida.” The company is no stranger to space-themed running events, having hosted a five-kilometre race — dubbed Saturn 5K — at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
Additionally, Smooth Running founder Mitch Varnes was named a 2011 Business Leader of the Year by Space Coast Business Magazine.
Registration for the Rocketman Triathlon opens Sept. 1 and full course maps will be released in 2013.
Elizabeth Howell (M.Sc. Space Studies ’12) is a contributing editor for SpaceRef and award-winning space freelance journalist living in Ottawa, Canada. Her work has appeared in publications such as SPACE.com, Air & Space Smithsonian, Physics Today, the Globe and Mail, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., CTV and the Ottawa Business Journal.