2021 Virtual Houston Marathon Running Events FAQ 

Q. When is the race? 

A. The 2021 Virtual Houston Marathon Running Events will take place over the course of 10 days. Participants can complete the distance between Jan. 8 – Jan. 17, 2021. During this 10-day period you will have the opportunity to submit times for your desired distance. All times must be submitted by Sunday, Jan. 17. 


Q. Where can I find registration information for the marathon, half marathon and 5K? 

A. Click here for Chevron Houston Marathon, Aramco Houston Half Marathon, and We Are Houston 5K presented by Aramco and Chevron 


Q. I’m already registered for the 2021 event. What are my options now that the race is virtual? 

A. As a current registrant you should have received an email on Oct. 5 with your options. All instructions to make your selection have been included in the email.  Please make your choice by the selection deadline on November 1, 2020.  

  • You will have 3 options for all current registrants and HERO (except FFR). You can 1 – Go Virtual, 2 – Defer up to 2 years or 3 – Donate your entry.  
  • If you are an FFR Runner you will have the options of 1 – Go Virtual or 2 – Defer your entry for one year.  


Q. Why is a refund option not available? 

A. The Houston Marathon Committee is a not-for-profit organization and has a strict no refund policy. The no refund policy is listed on the website, as well as the waiver that must be acknowledged on the registration forms. For the 2021 event, there is an additional option to defer for FREE for up to two years if you are unable to participate in the virtual event. Please feel free to contact us with additional questions. 


Q. What are the time limits for the marathon and half marathon? 

A. For the 2021 Virtual Houston Marathon Running Events there will be no time limitsIn order to be considered a finisher for the 2021 Virtual Houston Marathon Running Events you will need to submit your finish time in your participant account by Jan. 17, 2021 @ 11:59 pm 

Although there is no time limit, the race must be completed as a single continuous distance. 


Q. What do I need to do to submit proof of my time? 

A. If you use a wearable device such as a Garmin, you can upload results from your device to your participant account. If you don’t have a wearable device, that’s okay! You can log in to your participant account and self-report what your finishing time is. 


Q. I am a Legacy Runner or a 5 – 9 Year Finisher. Will the virtual option count towards another Legacy or 5-9 Year Finish? 

A. Yes! The Virtual 2021 events will count as a finish towards both Legacy and 5-9 Year totals.

If you are a streaking legacy and want to keep your streak, you must participate in the 2021 virtual event. You cannot simply defer to next year and keep the streak. You can defer to 2022 but you have to register for the virtual event as well to keep your legacy streak. Legacy status will not be affected by participation in the 2021 virtual event.


Q. Where am I supposed to run? 

A. Anywhere! There is no set course and you may complete the distance anywhere you like. 


Q. How can we see results for the event? 

A. A leaderboard will be posted to our website during the event. Following the event, all finishes will be uploaded to our results page. 


Q. When is Packet Pick-Up? 

A. A participant box will be mailed to the address that was submitted at the time of your registration. A virtual bib will also be available online in your Participant Account as the event approaches. If you are a HERO or FFR Runner you will be receiving your Charity back bib in your participant box.  


Q. Where do I get my finisher items after the race? 

A. Upon completing the 2021 Virtual Houston Marathon Running Events, you will need to submit your finish time for the race you have completed. Once you have submitted your finish time, you will receive a finisher certificate via your participant portal. Your finisher merchandise will be shipped to you about two weeks after the event. All finishers who submit a marathon or half marathon time will receive a medal and a finisher shirt. Marathon finishers will also receive a glass beer stein. 5K finishers will receive a participant shirt and finisher medal. Finishers in the Houston Double will also receive the Houston Double medal. 


Q. What is the Houston Double? 

A. Finishers that are registered for both the 5K and marathon or half marathon will receive a third medal. You will need to submit times for both events in your participant account. Upon closing the virtual event you will receive all 3 medals in your participant finisher box. 


Q. Will the virtual event be a Boston Qualifier?  

A. Boston sets its own standards for qualifiers for the Boston Marathon. We have not seen an announcement yet from Boston regarding whether they will accept virtual races as qualifiers for their event. 


Q. How can I update my address? 

A. You can make address updates in your participant account. Please note that the deadline to make address updates is Dec. 1, 2020. 


Q. Will there be awards for age groups? 

For the 2021 Virtual Houston Marathon Running Events there will be no age group awards. 


Q. What’s the date of the race for the 2022 and 2023? 

A. Jan. 16, 2022  and Jan. 15, 2023 


Q. What is your cancellation policy? 

A. As a current 2021 registrant, we invite you to complete your race from anywhere in the world between Jan. 8 – 17, 2021. While we cannot celebrate with you in person, we will be supporting all virtual runners from a distance by sending HOU to you in a box filled with sponsor gifts and messages. Participants who opt for the unique 2021 Virtual Houston Marathon Running Events will also receive a discounted registration* for the Chevron Houston Marathon 50th Anniversary Celebration in 2022. Finisher items will be mailed post-race within two weeks of Jan. 17, to participants who submit their completed race distance timing information via their participant account. 

Participants who forego the virtual event can select to defer their entry to one of the following two years (2022 or 2023) or donate their entry to the 501 c(4) non-profit organization, the Houston Marathon Committee.   

*Discounted registration for virtual participants who wish to also run in 2022 will be $75 for the Chevron Houston Marathon and $65 for the Aramco Houston Half Marathon. There will not be a discount for We Are Houston 5K participants.


Q. What happens if I register for the virtual event and I am unable to participate? 

A. Participants will not be able to cancel their registrations. 


Q. I signed up for the virtual event and cannot participate, can I transfer my entry to another person? 

A. No, the Houston Marathon does not allow the transfer of registrations. 


Q. I am signed up for one distance but would like to switch my race to a different distance. How can I make that change?


  • If you are a current registrant and have decided to go virtual you can Go Virtual and then contact haku support support@hakusports.com to switch distances. If you are wanting to switch distances, this must be completed by Nov. 1, 2020.  
  • If you are a new registrant please select carefully as once your selection has been made you will not be able to switch. 


Q. Will I receive a refund for MarathonFoto packages for 2021?

A. Yes, you will receive a refund for any MarathonFoto packages purchased for the 2021 event.


Q. Do you offer a military discount off the registration fee? 

A. Yes. Military discounts are available for active and retired U.S. military personnel. This offer is not available for dependents. Please email the Houston Marathon Committee prior to registering at marathon@houstonmarathon.com for additional information.  

Discounts will be offered to Marathon and Half Marathon participants only.  

The Houston Marathon Committee will not issue refunds for the military discount once you have registered. 


Q. Do you offer a program for athletes with disabilities? 

A. Yes. Please click here for information on our athletes with disabilities program. 


Q. What are the options for a HERO participant for 2021? 

A. HERO participants will have three options:  

  1. Select Go Virtual and receive a discount for the following year (HERO benefits to be received in virtual event year and will have option to become HERO in 2022 by donating during registration). 
  2. Donate your registration.  
  3. Defer up to 2 years and receive HERO benefits in the year they defer to.   

Details on how to make the selection were provided via email to all registered HERO participants. 


Q. What are the options for a Fundraise For Registration (FFR) participant? 

A. FFR participants will have two options:  

  1. Select RFAR Go Virtual and continue the 2021 Fundraising campaign for your charity. Minimum fundraising must be met by Feb. 1, 2021, differences will be charged after the fundraising deadline.  
  2. Defer to 2022.  All fundraising to date will be applied towards the 2022 fundraising minimums. Minimum fundraising must be met by Feb. 1, 2022, differences will be charged after the fundraising deadlines.  

Details on how to make the selection were provided via email to all registered FFR participants. 


Q. Can I still compete to be a top fundraiser? 

A. YES! We will still have our top fundraisers awards. All funds raised before Feb. 1, 2021 will be counted towards the 2021 Fundraising Campaign.  

Any funds raised between Feb. 2, 2021 and Feb. 1, 2022 will count towards the 2022 Fundraising Campaign. 


Q. I signed up for the virtual event and I want to fundraise, can I still participate in the Run for a Reason Program? 

A. YES! You can create a “Just Fundraise” account to support your favorite RFAR charity. Visit our RFAR Official Charity Partners index, click on your selected charity, and choose the “Just Fundraise” option. 


Q. What is the Chevron Houston Marathon Run for a Reason program? 

A. The Run for a Reason program is a charity campaign that happens in conjunction with the Chevron Houston Marathon, Aramco Houston Half Marathon and We Are Houston 5K. Money raised through the Run for a Reason program goes to the official charities.  

Runners can donate to a Chevron Houston Marathon official charity during the registration process or by visiting the Run for a Reason page.  

Both participants and non-participants may create their own fundraising pages, donate to someone else’s donation page, or make a donation directly to the official charity of their choice form the Run for a Reason page. Please note that creating a fundraising page does not register you for our races 


Q. How do I raise money for the Chevron Houston Marathon Run for a Reason Program? 

A. The best and easiest way to raise money for the Run for a Reason charity program is to create an online fundraising page. Using this page, you will be able to see a fundraising goal, email potential donors, keep track of your donations and send thank you emails.  

To create your personal fundraising page, go to the Run for a Reason tab, scroll down to your preferred charity, click on their logo, then select “Become a Fundraiser”. Enter your information to complete the process and create your fundraising page 


Q. Is there a way for my business to get involved with the Chevron Houston Marathon Run for a Reason program? 

A. Yes! Companies, organizations and groups that would like to support an official charity through the Run for a Reason program can do so via our Corporate Running Team or Sidewalk Squad Program. The Corporate Running Team Program is an active way to encourage wellness, team building and charitable giving within your organization and alongside other like-minded companies. By participating in the event and fundraising on behalf of an official Run for Areason charity partner, a group of three or more team members will receive amenities that will enhance their race weekend experience. The Sidewalk Squad is a unique program that gives companies exposure in, involvement with, and recognition at Texas’ largest marathon in exchange for a tax-deductible donation to one of the Chevron Houston Marathon Run for a Reason official charities.   

Click here for more information about our Corporate Running Team program. 

Click here for more information about our Sidewalk Squad Corporate Partner program. 


Q. What is the weather typically like in January? 

A. No predictions here! Below are average from previous Houston Marathons: 

Average low temperature: 45F 

Average high temperature: 63F 

Mean Average temperature: 54F