Running through History at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station Published Nov. 16, 2023 By Taylor Nave Space Launch Delta 45 CAPE CANAVERAL SPACE FORCE STATION, Fla. -- CAPE CANAVERAL SPACE FORCE STATION, Fla. -- As the sun began to rise over the horizon, casting a warm golden glow on the launch pads of Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, participants gathered for a unique event that blended the realms of athleticism and exploration. The inaugural United States Space Force T-Minus 10-Miler brought together individuals from all walks of life, each with a shared passion for running and a love for space. Among them was Erin Shea, a name that quickly became synonymous with determination and aspiration during the event. The decision to sign up for the United States Space Force T-Minus 10-Miler wasn't a mere whim for Erin Shea. It was a confluence of her two great passions: running and space. Shea, an avid runner and aerospace enthusiast, couldn't pass up the opportunity to be a part of an event that celebrated both her interests on the very grounds that have witnessed countless historic space missions. “The idea of running in the inaugural T-Minus 10-Miler was just really exciting to me. You don’t get many opportunities in life to say you were a part of the very first,” Shea shared. “Being able to run on hallowed ground, through and around places where science and innovation were actualized by the tenacity of the human spirit, it’s just one of those rarities in life that I couldn’t say no to.” The T-Minus 10-Miler, named after the tradition of counting down to a rocket launch ("T-Minus 10" indicating ten seconds before liftoff), presented a challenging yet rewarding course for its participants. The route snaked around various launch pads and iconic landmarks, offering a glimpse into the rich history of space. Shea's experience in the inaugural event was unforgettable, prompting the inevitable question: Would she be lacing up her running shoes again for the 2023 edition? “Of course! There is no other race on the planet that you can park your car on the same runway that the Space Shuttles glided back home to. How cool is that!?” Shea exclaimed. “I was also really impressed with how well the race was executed for it being the very first year. You could see and feel the passion of the race director and planning team, because doing something for the first time is how you usually learn what all could possibly go wrong.” Amid the breathtaking scenery and the thrill of racing around active space launch facilities, Shea found herself particularly captivated by one aspect of the event—the sense of unity among participants. “I was very surprised by how deeply I felt the comradery from a bunch of strangers lining the course as I fought through those 10 miles,” Shea revealed. “The spectators everywhere along the course brought that same electrifying energy. I found myself between breaths thanking them for being there. I don’t know if any of them realize how motivating their support and encouragement was.” As Shea reflects on her journey through the T-Minus 10-Miler and anticipates the next installment, her eyes sparkle with a mix of determination and wonder. Her story is a testament to the power of combining one's passions and embracing challenges that push boundaries in the pursuit of ones goals. As the countdown to the 2023 United States Space Force T-Minus 10-Miler begins, one thing is certain: Erin Shea will be there, ready to run, to inspire, and to be a part of an event that encapsulates the spirit of discovery in every stride. For more information on the 2023 United States Space Force T-Minus 10-Miler, visit https://runspaceforce.com/.