It's almost the weekend and time for the inaugural edition of what to do this weekend in Houston: sports edition. Each week, we'll be giving you color commentary on events in and around the area you might want to choose for some weekend relaxation, all for sports fans.
It's the first week of spring, and all that winter/holiday weight you put on is starting to stretch the old pants there, buster. Time for a little exercise, but running is pretty boring, right? Not this kind. There are two "fun" runs Saturday that will make even the weirdest freaks among you -- you know who you are -- want to throw on a pair of New Balance and hit the track.
First up is The Color Run, a weird combination of the Holi Festival of Colors and a 5k marathon. Participants run while being doused in what appears to be brightly colored chalk dust. Runners are encouraged to wear white (and goggles). Race starts 9 a.m. at Minute Maid Park. Check the Web site for details and registration.
The second is part rave, part exercise -- as if all raves weren't just calisthenics and X set to dance beats. It's the Neon Splash Dash, where, like The Color Run, participants run around a track to rave music while being pelted with glow-in-the-dark water colors. The 5k runs from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday night at Reliant Park. Check the Web site for details and registration.
Now, for you fans of EXTREME sports, we offer Xtreme Meltdown Drag Racing (with a capital X) this Saturday at the "Palace of Power." According to the ad, "Two thousand horsepower and no wheelie bars, what could possibly go wrong?" Honestly, we have no idea, but we imagine something will. If you've never seen pro drag racing, it's a lot like frat boy sex: loud, rowdy and it takes less than 60 seconds. If that sounds like fun to you, visit the Houston Motorsports Park Web site for more details. Vroom, vroom.
If you think you have what it takes to not completely embarrass yourself in a game of pickup basketball against some of Houston's best, consider signing up for the annual Houston Rockets Blacktop Battle, held on the streets around Toyota Center this Saturday and Sunday. Spectators will be treated to some straight street ball, 3-on-3 style, plus three point shot and slam dunk competitions. Pro tip: If you aren't sure you are good enough to actually play, you aren't. Check the Web site for more information and registration.
If there is one thing everyone should love, it is a bunch of ladies riding around on skates beating the ever-loving crap out of one another. Thank God this Saturday is the opening night of the Houston Roller Derby season at Bayou Music Center. The season-opening bouts include the Bayou City Bosses against The Valkyries and the Psych Ward Sirens (our favorites) against The Brawlers. This is nonstop, fast-paced action, and don't be afraid to ask what the rules are since 99 percent of the population doesn't have a clue either. Visit the Houston Roller Derby Web site for information on the opening bouts and the upcoming season.
Finally, April is close and that means March Madness is upon us. Sure, your chances of filling out a perfect bracket are like one in ten to the power of infinity, but the games are usually fun to watch and it's the first chance you'll have this year to pretend you have a lunch meeting so you can spend three hours at a sports bar. Don't let the NCAA try and convince you that those games on Tuesday were part of the legit NCAA basketball tournament. They weren't. Arguably the most exciting postseason of any starts Thursday afternoon on televisions and in bars near you. Be safe so you too can "survive and advance."
And since this is the first edition of our list, here are a few other items on what is a very busy weekend in Houston sports.
The Houston Rockets continue their drive for the playoffs in a pair of games against teams going in the opposite direction. Friday, they host the Cleveland Cavaliers and young phenom Kyrie Irving (assuming he plays -- he's out at the moment with an injured shoulder), and Sunday the rival San Antonio Spurs visit Toyota Center for what could be a first-round playoff preview.
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The other pro team with its season in full swing is the Houston Dynamo, who host the Vancouver Whitecaps at beautiful BBVA Compass Stadium Saturday night. Should be a nice night for a game under the stars.
Speaking of sitting outside, consider catching one of three games the UH Cougar baseball team has this weekend against East Carolina at Cougar Field. The Coogs are 17-4 so far on the season and there is nothing like outdoor baseball in the spring. Plus, it might be the only chance you have to see winning baseball in Houston this year.
Finally, if you really, really love hockey, the Houston Aeros are on the ice at Toyota Center Saturday night versus the Rochester Americans. In person hockey may be the most fun sporting event there is, plus, you know, FIGHTS!
Enjoy the weekend!