The Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Houston Half Marathon are the nation’s premier winter races, attracting runners from all 50 U.S. states and more than 20 foreign countries. Most recently, the Chevron Houston Marathon was featured as one of the top 10 marathons to nail your goal by Runner’s World’s Magazine. While there are a number of great reasons to take part in our Texas-size race weekend, we’ve narrowed the list down to our top 13 reasons to run Houston:
- Flat, fast course. Houston is known for its flat terrain and producing both personal and course records. Ryan Hall set the American half marathon record (59:43) here in 2007, and this past January, five new records were set during race weekend including the women’s Olympic Trials record by Shalane Flanagan, and four course records in the Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Houston Half Marathon. For the past six years, a course record has been broken in Houston.
- Boston qualifier course. Use your finisher time at the Chevron Houston Marathon to qualify for the Boston Marathon. The Houston Marathon Committee will send a complete list of finishers to the Boston Athletic Association one week following the race.
- Convenient facilities. From EXPO and packet pick-up to the start and finish lines and post-race party, all race weekend activities take place in the heart of Downtown Houston. Runners can gather inside the George R. Brown Convention Center (GRB) on race morning, step outside to toe the start line, and then finish right in front of the GRB. Just across the street at Discovery Green Park, participants can celebrate their accomplishment at the Post-race Party. You won’t find another race in the country that has a more convenient set-up. We even offer Catholic and non-denominational Christian church services inside the GRB on race morning.
- Texas-size finisher swag. Marathon and half marathon finishers receive a finisher medal and Under Armour finisher shirt. Plus, marathoners get a coveted beer mug.
- Free, hot post-race breakfast. After tackling 13.1 or 26.2 miles, finishers will enjoy a free, hot breakfast provided by H-E-B inside the GRB. From scrambled eggs, sausage, hash browns and muffins to bagels, cookies, yogurt and ice cream, there’s something to feed your appetite!
- Best HOOPLA, spectators and fans. Race day generates a city-wide festival of community spirit, and runners and fans will enjoy miles of non-stop course entertainment known as “Hoopla.” We pioneered the concept and other races have duplicated its success.
- Run for a Reason. Support a great cause by raising awareness and funds for one of 50+ participating charities. In 2012, our charity program set a new fundraising record for the third consecutive year raising more than $2.3M for 57 nonprofits. The Run for a Reason program also offers guaranteed entries into the marathon and half marathon races. Visit RunforaReasonHouston.org for details.
- Great organization. From race registration and packet pickup to a city-wide course and post-race party, we strive to provide the best race weekend experience for our participants and fans. In 2012, we hosted the U.S. Men’s and Women’s Olympic Trials Marathon, a first for a single city to host both genders on the same day on the same course, on our 40thanniversary race weekend. Still not convinced? Just ask the thousands of runners who come back to run Houston each year!
- Experienced pace teams. The majority of our pace team leaders have run the course more than 10 times, and they’ll help you stay on target to reach your goal.
- Sustainable event. The Houston Marathon Committee is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and has applied for a green certification from the Council for Responsible Sport. In 2012, we collected 21.55 tons of waste during race weekend and diverted an impressive 79% of collected waste for the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon and 83% for the Chevron Houston Marathon.
- Weather. Houston weather in January is ideal with an average start time temperature of 45°F and average finish time temperature of 60°F.
- Southern hospitality. From race organizers and volunteers to spectators and fans, you’ll be greeted with southern hospitality and friendly faces. We go above and beyond to create the best race weekend experience, and you’ll feel like an elite athlete here in Houston.
- Bayou city’s culture and diversity. Houston is the fourth largest city and the most diverse city in the nation. From shopping and dining to multicultural and performing arts, Houston has it all.