I was excited to do the Mojave Run The Runway 5K. I’m always down for a runway 5k but not only that, the race was just 30 minutes away. It meant I could sleep in and relax the entire weekend. Which for the most part, I did. Living in the middle of nowhere, there aren’t a lot of local options.
About the Mojave Air and Space Port:
The Mojave Air and Space Port houses more than 60 companies engaged in flight development, flight testing, advanced aerospace design, the wind industry, rail industry, and even airline storage. From the highway, you’ll see dozens of old airplanes being stored. Including the famous Virgin Galatic! The Mojave Air and Space Port is iconic. It’s not an airport where you can just take a commercial flight on.
Before the Mojave Run The Runway 5K:
Somehow I slept in until 5:30 and left my house at 6:45. As I left my house, I noticed it was not windy at all. I thought: guess the weather channel was lying when it said it would be windy today. LOL. When I arrived to Mojave, I quickly realized it was not. At the Mojave Air and Space Port, they were reading 30 mph winds. So I knew it was likely going to be a similar race as the Base 10k–indy and tough…and that is exactly what it was.
I did a 2.5-mile warmup, relaxed in my car and then headed to the Mojave Run The Runway 5K start. There were probably 100 people there, which was truthfully more than I thought there would be. I selected to run in a long sleeve because the wind made it feel like it was in the 30s.
Mojave Run The Runway 5K:
They gave us brief directions to “follow the signs”. I didn’t really see a lot of signs on course but luckily there were several people in front of me so I could just follow them. I didn’t really want to end up on the wrong part of the runway and then get arrested. While the Mojave Space Port is not a military base, they do a lot of private testing that they don’t want random people in the wrong places.
The first mile of the Mojave Run The Runway 5K had a tailwind. I thought: wow this isn’t so bad. I noticed my breathing did feel challenging and it was hard to take deep breaths. It felt like there was a ton of built-up phlegm in my lungs. We went around the runway and by the Stratolaunch hanger. I was sad the stratolaunch wasn’t out there. Anyway, I hit the first mile in 6:40. It felt challenging but I could see up ahead where we turning and I knew we would quickly go into a headwind.
We turned around mile 1.5 and immediately we went into a headwind. The thing about the desert is there are no trees or buildings to block the wind and it’s brutal. I try to best explain it’s like if you’re running at the beach near the water. Usually, there are no buildings to block anything. There is a reason that the wind farm in the Mojave is the third most powerful in the world. I knew the last half would just be survival mode. I tried to stay relaxed but it never really worked. I hit the second mile of the Mojave Run The Runway 5K in 7:02 and I was fairly surprised.
The last mile of the Mojave Run The Runway 5K was challenging. Not just because you were going into a headwind the entire time, but it also had several turns and you went through a random dirt ditch. I wish it had gone that way first so we could get the hard part out of the way. It seemed like most people were confused of how to get to the end and it felt like some people probably ran 2.9 and others 3.2. My third mile was 8:22 because of the wind and random dirt trench we ran through and I was working HARD.
I had a hard time picturing the course and how we would end up at the Mojave Run The Runway 5K finish line but suddenly we were there.
I crossed the Mojave Run The Runway 5K in 22:04 and as 2nd woman overall.
Mojave Run The Runway 5K Thoughts:
It was a brutal day. The wind was nuts and I could have easily run a faster time had I stayed at home and ran alone at Edwards in the nonwind. But I still had fun. It’s not often you get to run at the Mojave Air and Space Port (really just that day) so it was fun to be able to do that. I do wish they had more signage to know where to go, but other than that I enjoyed it.
You can see more race recaps here.
Questions for you:
Have you run the Mojave Run The Runway 5K?
What is your favorite 5k?