For those who regularly make the trek out to run at Memorial Park on Saturday mornings, there was a bonus this weekend.  Beginning at 7:00 am on Saturday, June 30th, the annual Chevron Houston Marathon Run for a Reason Kick-Off Party took place in Memorial Park. An event conducted in the past on Thursday evenings in September, Kick-Off attracted thousands of visitors on its new day and time enabling more people to flock to the park who might otherwise still be at the office.  The fun was scheduled to last until 11:00 am, but unfortunately the combination of lightning in the area and ominous weather reports required tear-down and load-out to begin at about 10:15 am.

The new event location was also received quite favorably.  Moving from its traditional location west of the softball fields, this year the event was conducted in a high-profile area for runners and park visitors at the south-side entrance, east of the volleyball courts.  The high visibility location on Memorial Drive attracted those who may not have been aware of the new changes.

Prior to the start of Kickoff, over 300 runners already formed a line to pick up their free In-Training shirts. The shirts were in such high demand, all 2,000 were given away in 75 minutes. Other official merchandise available at the event included Under Armour Run for a Reason shirts that were sold for $20 apiece with all proceeds going towards the charitable program.  

Our partners at Chevron, Aramco Services Company, ABB Inc., and Michelob Ultra joined in the festivities by providing free trinkets, beverages and snacks to all of the runners in attendance.

One of the primary forces behind moving Kick-Off to an earlier date that immediately followed this year’s lottery participant announcement, is to give selected runners the opportunity to learn more about our 60 Official Charities and how to fundraise as a runner.    Visitors were also able to learn more about local running clubs to enhance their training experience leading up to race weekend on January 12-13, 2013.

It also affords those who were not selected, or who were unable to register, an opportunity to purchase a guaranteed HERO entry or a “Fundraising for Registration” entry directly from one of the wonderful charities.  Charity race entries, which are still available on our official website, enable runners to not only join in the sport they love, but also to help out a favored cause.

The Run for a Reason Kick-Off party also featured registration for the recently announced ABB 5K, which will be conducted on Saturday, January 12, at 8:00 am.

Even if you missed this year’s wonderful celebration, you can still sign up with a Run for a Reason charity in order to guarantee yourself a spot in the 2013 Chevron Houston Marathon or Aramco Houston Half Marathon at And for those who wish to purchase an In-Training or Run For A Reason T-shirt, both will be available for a low price on the merchandise page of our website,, later this week.

Please visit Flickr to view more pictures of the morning festivities.