Who is BARC?
BARC members are very diverse in professional background, age, running interests and running goals. Some members compete regularly in road races, others simply enjoy getting the BARC weekly electronic newsletter. Some members run 80+ miles per week while others run only a few miles per week. Some members have been running daily for years; others have just begun. All BARC members share one thing, and that is an interest in running and the company of other runners. BARC members, like most runners, tend to be friendly and support their fellow runners.
What does BARC do?
WE RUN. We get together and talk about running. We have socials, and we sponsor road races in the Clear Lake area, such as the Lunar Rendezvous 5k at NASA in mid-July. We have specified times during the week when we get together and run in groups, for those who want to run with others. Sometimes we even travel in groups to novel races outside of the Greater Houston area. We try to provide opportunities for members of all abilities to achieve their running goals. We also compete in team competitions and take part in local races. We encourage members to join HARRA to score points for BARC in the fall and spring series of races. But, you need not be a star to enter and compete on these teams, as just participating counts. We run first for enjoyment and fun, and then for standings. We give out scholarships annually to two deserving high school seniors, and meet monthly to update members on current running and club news.
Where is BARC?
Most BARC members reside in the Clear Lake/NASA area, including Clear Lake, League City, Pasadena, Kemah, Webster, Seabrook, and Friendswood. We do, however, have members from other parts of the Greater Houston area as well as from other parts of the country and world.
BARC was founded in 1975 by a small group of men employed at NASA's Johnson Space Center who shared a common interest in running. BARC began when a group of runners from the Clear Lake community attended races and witnessed awards given to various running clubs. Curious about how they could form a club, GAAC (now known as Houston Area Road Runners Association, or HARRA) required an organization to have at least 25 members and pay annual dues. Over the next few weeks, this group of runners sought out anyone who even looked as if he or she could run, and these people were asked to help form BARC. Soon a group of 25 were successfully recruited, and BARC was born.
Club officers were then elected. A monthly newsletter published and meetings took place. Instead of formal meetings; however, club members met at the finish line/beer station at the end of fun runs. Club policy and issues were discussed at that time. The club enjoyed socializing AND victories, as the men's Masters Team dominated the last half of the 1970's, winning the championship each year.
The core of charter members also decided to organize fun runs for themselves and for the community.
Club runs were held on Sunday afternoons during the summer, while a few public evening runs were held at the Johnson Space Center throughout the year. In 1979, the club was approached about helping put on a summer race to celebrate the first lunar landing. This was the beginning of the Lunar Rendezvous Space Run.
Our club has changed in many ways over the years, yet it has also remained the same. As of 2013, BARC includes approximately 400 members. Meetings are now held on the second Monday of each month, and social events and group runs are held throughout the year. As in the early days, BARC is still a social organization that emphasizes camaraderie through running. The club also enters many team events and attempts to establish BARC as a competitive force among the running clubs in the Houston area and routinely places among the top 3 Houston area clubs within HARRA.