H-Town Run Tourist

Make the best of your COVID 19 quarantine by running a virtual race!

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Jovan Abernathy is an international marathoner and owner of Houston Tourism Gym. Check out her new blog, HTown Run Tourist. Follow her on Twitter @jovanabernathy. Instagram @HTownRunTourist. Facebook @jovanabernathy

I had so many goals for 2020. I was looking forward to doing more local and foreign races. Like so many other things, it would be put off until who knows when. But, where there is a will, there is a way.

Have you ever heard of a virtual race? It is a 5K, 10K, half marathon, or full marathon that can be run anywhere at your own convenience and pace. So how do you run one?

First, you would choose the virtual race that you want to run. Many people choose by the charity that it benefits. A portion of nearly all virtual runs go to charities like Make a Wish Foundation or to benefit Sea Turtles. I love charity, but I like the swag. I'm going to be dead honest. I'm going for the ones with the best medals. Because, we all deserve a medal.

Next, you would choose where you want to do your run. It could be on a treadmill in your garage, around your neighborhood, along Buffalo Bayou, or maybe even on the Strand in Galveston. Next, you would map out the correct distance to run your virtual race. You can use running apps like WHOOP, Map My Run or Strava. You can choose to run or walk your race.

The day of your special race, you can get some of your family and friends to drive by and honk to cheer you on. If not, just get some great tunes like Hip-Hop from the mid to late 90's. Now, it is time to enjoy Houston. After you finish, submit your results and take your picture and post. After everything is said and done, wait for your swag shipment.

Now, here is an even better question? Which races are out there to do? The list is endless, so I made a list of my top 5 races. Here they are:

Allstate Hot Chocolate Run: I have been spying this race for a while. Not only does it have a cool medal, but instead of a shirt, you get this awesome hoody! I'm in. Also included in your swag bag is a chocolate bar medal and some chocolate. You have to hurry because it closes on April 30. If you are anything like me, you really want that hoody.

Coffee and Donuts: This one is a unique run. Because you can choose your own course, you should end this run at your favorite Donut shop. I'm thinking VooDoo Donut on Washington Ave after a run along Buffalo Bayou!

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Zombie Apocalypse: I can see Fred wanting to run this one. Zombies are right up his alley. I'm pretty sure that you will come back alive from this run. You also get a pretty cool medal with a zombie chasing a man dripping with flecks of blood.

Run for Sea Turtles: This one is put on by the Bad Ass Running Company. It is encouraging you to run the 10K + 1 mile in one day or do it over 7 days. They just want to see you get out. There is a cute sea turtle on the medal.

Run Houston Clear Lake: Let's support Houston Races as well. You could actually go to University of Houston ClearLake and run on campus to complete your race. The Race Houston metals are always stellar.

So, don't let your COVID 19 go to waste. Use it for the downtime and choose the race you are going to run next. For more on races and touring Houston, visit my new website: HTown Run Tourist.

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Houston loses first game to Oakland

A's end losing streak against Astros with late homers

Lance McCullers Jr. went five innings of one-run ball Friday night. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After maintaining their stronghold against the A's in Thursday's home opener, the Astros had the chance to lock up the three-game series victory against Oakland with a win on Friday night. On the mound, Lance McCullers Jr. hoped to improve upon his first start against this same team, a five-inning one-run outing.

Instead, he would have the same outcome, once again lasting five innings while allowing one run, before a big tie-breaking home run late in the game would push Oakland out of their losing skid against the Astros.

Final Score: A's 6, Astros 2

Astros' Record: 6-2, tied for first in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Yusmeiro Petit (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Bryan Abreu (1-1)

McCullers Jr. makes it through five

McCullers Jr. looked sharp through the first three innings, allowing just two baserunners, one on a second-inning single, then a walk in the third. Oakland did better against him the second time through their order in the fourth, with Jed Lowrie leading the inning off with a solo home run to put Oakland in front 1-0.

They went on to load the bases with one out on an error and two walks, but McCullers would strand them all. He returned for the fifth, a much cleaner inning where a caught stealing by Martin Maldonado would help him face just three batters. His final line: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 88 P.

Oakland gets homer-happy to even the series

McCullers Jr. would leave the game without being eligible for the winning or losing decision, as an RBI-groundout by Kyle Tucker in the fourth would have it tied 1-1. Bryan Abreu was the first out of Houston's bullpen, and he would attempt to eat up multiple innings. He had perfect innings in the sixth and seventh, retiring six A's in order to maintain the stalemate.

Abreu remained in the game in the top of the eighth, allowing a single before getting a strikeout, ending his run as Dusty Baker would bring in left-handed Blake Taylor. Taylor would give up a single against his first batter, then a loud go-ahead three-run home run to Matt Olson to push the A's back in front 4-1. They'd add two more insurance runs off of Joe Smith in the top of the ninth, getting a two-run home run by Mark Canha to extend the lead to 6-1.

Oakland's bullpen would hold on to the newly created lead, allowing just one run on a sac fly by Jose Altuve in the bottom of the ninth, finally ending their losing streak against Houston and setting up the rubber game on Saturday to be for the series victory.

Up Next: This series's finale will be a Saturday afternoon start, with first pitch scheduled for 3:05 PM. For the Astros, Jose Urquidy (0-0, 4.15 ERA) will look to get a win on the board, while Oakland will hand the ball to Frankie Montas (0-1, 23.63 ERA).

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