Overall Rating
Overall Rating (15 Reviews)
4.5
(15 Ratings)(15 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.3
SCENERY
2.9
PRODUCTION
4.7
SWAG
4.3
The Houston Marathon Committee annually organizes the nation’s premier winter marathon, half-marathon, and 5K. Over 250,000 participants, volunteers and spectators make Chevron Houston Marathon Race Day the largest single-day sporting event in Houston. Race weekend events include: Chevron Houston Marathon, Aramco Houston Half Marathon, ABB 5K, Bank of Texas Team … MORE
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H (°F) 71 63 44 70 46
L (°F) 63 50 41 43 40
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Recent reviews

    Profile photo of Roni Garrett
    RGarrett REPEAT RUNNER '15

    This race has amazing community support and people lined along the street almost the full course. It can be warm, but this is know to be a fast course. Mostly … MORE

    This race has amazing community support and people lined along the street almost the full course. It can be warm, but this is know to be a fast course. Mostly flat but does end with a false flat climb to the finish line.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    2

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    Dewpoint over 60 really hampered my race performance and I turned it into a training run with walk breaks. Fast, flat course, but it was so flat that it kind … MORE

    Dewpoint over 60 really hampered my race performance and I turned it into a training run with walk breaks. Fast, flat course, but it was so flat that it kind of burned my legs out; great for a half marathon, but a few more hills for the marathon would have been appreciated. The last stretch down Allen Parkway was actually my favorite stretch! I love the custom finishers mug, but was unable to use it at the post race after party because I didn’t have ID (left it at the hotel and walked to the race). 1st time that’s ever happened at a race. Glad I got to experience the race and course. It’s been on my list for a while. Oh, the homemade breakfast after the finish was the best!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Cheri Payne
    cpayne REPEAT RUNNER '17

    11th time running the Houston Marathon & 1st as a Legacy Runner. 32 Marathons, but I always come back to my "hometown hero" race. Not just b/c it's home, but … MORE

    11th time running the Houston Marathon & 1st as a Legacy Runner. 32 Marathons, but I always come back to my “hometown hero” race. Not just b/c it’s home, but because they really know what they are doing.

    First and foremost…..flat! Gotta love it!

    Second and probably even more important….CROWD SUPPORT! The full 26.2 miles is full of people cheering you on. From the people living in the neighborhoods you run thru, from congregation members when you run by their church, to fans who come to watch their family members, to square dance clubs, belly dancers, Elvis, high school bands, cheer leaders….the list goes on and on! I have run 32 marathons and other than the Boston Marathon the Houston Marathon is the best in this category!

    They give a participant shirt, finishers shirt, & finisher mug. Wish they would eliminate 2 shirts and give 1 jacket or something nicer/better quality.

    The Expo is huge! Probably the biggest I have attended (other than Boston of course). Each year seems to be fewer vendors, though, and less promotional items distributed by the vendors.

    Post Race Breakfast is plentiful compared to other races I’ve attended. The local HEB store provides a free sit down hot breakfast of eggs, sausage, biscuits, yogurt, soda, coffee, ice cream, fruit, cookies, etc….. They also have volunteers walking through the Convention Center passing out snacks if you do not want to go to the food court area.

    Tip: The official merchandise is ridiculously priced like most races. Race morning they have it all marked down to 50% off in the runners area before/after the race. Now you can’t guarantee what will or won’t be there, but this year there was a LOT left in all sizes.

    Cannot recommend this race enough for so many different reasons!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3
    My Media

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    Mike Sohaskey Mar 10, 2017 at 1:01am

    WOW, "11-time runner" says it all, congrats! As a 50 stater who grew up in TX, graduated from Rice and now lives in CA, I'm definitely looking forward to running Houston soon. Maybe next year, on back-to-back weekends with the Miracle Match in Waco. But then I also want to run the Cowtown... so many races, so little time! Love that Houston does crowd support so well, a race has so much more energy when the community gets involved. And great tip on the official merchandise, that'll be good to keep in mind. Houston, we have a great review... thanks again, Cheri!

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    Profile photo of Gary Ramsey
    gjramsey FIRST-TIMER '17

    Great race production, love the GRB for the gathering area pre-race and post-race. Some bottleneck getting out of the GRB this year because of new fencing for the now active … MORE

    Great race production, love the GRB for the gathering area pre-race and post-race. Some bottleneck getting out of the GRB this year because of new fencing for the now active light rail. Love the setup for hydration. Do not like the Sketchers finishers shirt.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    Profile photo of Polly Hoover
    pollygolightly2 FIRST-TIMER '17

    This race was an excellent production. It was one of the most organized races I've ever attended. The prerace set-up, corrals and start line were well organized. The water stops … MORE

    This race was an excellent production. It was one of the most organized races I’ve ever attended. The prerace set-up, corrals and start line were well organized. The water stops lasted forever it seemed. It was really humid, so they had run out of cups at the beginning of several of the water/Gatorade stations, if you ran farther down, there was still plenty of water and Gatorade. The crowd support was excellent – lots of people cheering. Once the full and half met up again around mile 11, the crowds were amazing! Crossing the finish line was an entirely new experience as we were ushered into the convention center for photos and food. Real food! Eggs, sausages, biscuits and gravy! Reunion areas, drop bag location, everything was so organized. It was an excellent event.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Scott Bland
    dsbland FIRST-TIMER '17

    The Houston Marathon is as well run of an event as you would expect from a big city race. The event is fantastic from start to finish. I like that … MORE

    The Houston Marathon is as well run of an event as you would expect from a big city race. The event is fantastic from start to finish. I like that the registration is first come-first served with plenty of notice as to when the registration would open. I much prefer this to a lottery system which they will probably switch to if it starts selling out sooner each year. The expo was one of the best that I have attended, well organized with runner specific vendors. The convention center is easy to get in and out of for both the expo and as a staging area for the start and finish of the race. I stayed at a hotel within walking distance to the convention center and the start line so I had no parking issues at any time.
    The race course was flat as advertised to the point where I wouldn’t have minded an incline or two to break things up along the way. I think there were two overpasses that were slightly uphill. It’s definitely a PR or BQ type of course if the conditions are right. The crowds were plentiful and enthusiastic. I don’t think I have ever had so many people read my name off my bib and address me directly with encouragement.
    Of course the story of the 2017 Houston Marathon will be the conditions. It was hot and humid with intermittent showers throughout the race. The sun came out from time to time to add an extra layer of heat. This was definitely not my day as I struggled with the humidity from early in the race and spent most of the race more concerned with what mile I was in and less concerned with what was going on around me. There were plenty of water and Gatorade stops and tons of port-o-potties on the course. It is obvious that a lot of thought and planning went into this marathon, it is a fantastic event. Under the right conditions a great day can definitely be had in Houston.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Karen Fuss
    karenfuss FIRST-TIMER '17

    I've lived in Houston 4 times in the last 15 years, it was nice to be on some home turf. I would say there were not enough porta potties at … MORE

    I’ve lived in Houston 4 times in the last 15 years, it was nice to be on some home turf. I would say there were not enough porta potties at the start line, but it was very nice to have the GRB at the finish line so I was able to escape the rain while picking up my finisher’s swag and getting some food. Great crowd, and a lot of nice runners and volunteers too.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Donald Dobbins
    Donnie FIRST-TIMER '17

    Marathon #5 for me so I have done a few but not a lot so my point of view may be limited. I ran this one because an in-law has … MORE

    Marathon #5 for me so I have done a few but not a lot so my point of view may be limited.
    I ran this one because an in-law has volunteered at this event for the last 19 years.
    So I registered last May when preferred registration was open for runners with qualifying times ( i met via my half time). I dont remember what I paid for registration but it was in the area of most full marathon prices.
    Like most runs now, they have a website and a facebook page. I dont have facebook but their page is public so you can get all the updates you need.
    They also had great email communication so I was kept informed of my bib number and corral placement as well as information on the race weekend events.
    I arrived on Friday before the run and stayed at the headquarters hotel for the race. My one complaint is I asked for a late checkout and they only gave me one additional hour so I had to check out by 1:00. I have done other runs where we were given a 3:00 PM checkout so this was dissapointing. I did not think that I would have an issue finishing in time to make the checkout time but i bet there were many that could not finish before checkout. There are many places to eat and if you choose you will not have to drive. I am not a fancy eating type so I walked to Subway and Dominos. But there are many other palces to sit down and eat and several more in progress of opening.
    Anyhow. The finish line was right in front of the hotel and the Expo was in the convention center of which there was a bridge from the hotel to the center. The starting corrals were a short walk from the hotel. So everything was right in the area of the hotel. There are also numerous other hotels all within a half mile of the start/finish/expo.
    So went to the expo on Friday at about 4:00 PM, not crowed easy to walk around. Bib and shirt pickup was easy and fast. Lots of running vendors to visit. As far as expos this was a nice one,not the largest but among the best that I have attended. Skechers was the clothing sponsor. They had a great selection and everything was 30% off. Tip, they take what they have left after the expo and sell it before and after the marathon on Sunday and it was 50% off. You just need to take a credit card and the clear goody bag so you can check it in before you run.
    So Expo good.
    Sketchers good.
    Saturday there was a 5K run, I did not participate but watched the finish from my hotel window.
    I was told that the Expo was packed on Saturday most of the time and hard to move around. I did not go back to find out.
    Sunday – Race day. You walk thru the convention center where they have bag check, restrooms, and Sketchers selling stuff. It is then a half mile or so walk to the corrals. You do not have to go thru the convention center to get to the corrals. Also you have to have a bib to get into the center.
    This race had five corrals (A thru E) all ranked on estimated finish time. A is the preferred corral and you have to submit a verified run result that meets their time qualifications.
    There are port o johns in the corrals but no water, so bring fluids with you if you need them pre race.
    So the race itself was mostly flat, very few inclines and the few that exist were not long nor steep. The streets were wide so you never felt very crowded (at least at my pace).
    Weather – well of course it is always different. We had 70 degrees and off and on rain so it was not favorable but manageable. the road was slippery or it could of been my shoes, Brooks Ghost 8 with about 200 miles on the, but i have never had an issue before.
    Water stations – pleanty of them all with gatorade and water.
    Port o Johns, – pleanty at all water stations.
    Course entertainment – several bands and other groups of people out there to cheer you one.
    Spectator support – among the best I have experienced. Great spectators and they had lots of snacks, water, and yes some had beer.
    The scenery – well it is your typical city run. I am sure there were some pretty sights but most of the time when you are running one does not notice them. You run thru downtown, some housing areas, some other suburban areas, and back downtown.
    the finish area was set up good. when you finish you get your medal, water, and a banana then you are corralled into the convention center where you get a finish photo taken, get your finisher shirt and finisher mug and food. There is a family reunion area. I did not get any of the food nor see the reunion area. It was a quicker exit and shorter distance to my hotel to go the other direction to get to my hotel to make my 1:00 PM checkout. I needed time to cool down and shower. I bet the food was good!
    So to wrap up – good expo, pretty flat fast course, swag – event shirt, finisher medal, finisher mug, and finisher shirt.
    I enjoyed the run and took it easy and had fun. I had just run Dallas Marathon a month ago and my body was needing a rest so no PR for me but this really seemed like a PR kind of course if the conditions were right.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Kristina Dianne
    kristipooler FIRST-TIMER '17

    Great course with a lot of scenery and TONS of support from spectators. Fantastic setup with the starting corrals and nice T-shirts and mugs for finishers. My only complaint is … MORE

    Great course with a lot of scenery and TONS of support from spectators.
    Fantastic setup with the starting corrals and nice T-shirts and mugs for finishers. My only complaint is that the finishline and finishers area made it VERY difficult to reunited with family and friends. The weather was terribly humid, but obviously that’s not the fault of the race.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    Profile photo of Jackie Joseph
    Jackiejo1979 FIRST-TIMER '16

    Race expo was fantastic...many great vendors. I did the Houston Double Double, lots of fun. Getting in/out of the city on race morning was not a problem but I would … MORE

    Race expo was fantastic…many great vendors. I did the Houston Double Double, lots of fun. Getting in/out of the city on race morning was not a problem but I would recommend out-of-towners to stay near the race start for convenience. Well organized. Scenery just OK, it’s a city marathon

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    4

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    Profile photo of Andy Ruskiewicz
    aruskiewicz FIRST-TIMER '16

    -I really enjoyed running Houston, especially as a winter getaway from Wisconsin. The course is easy and built for a PR, the spectators were fantastic and the SWAG was not … MORE

    -I really enjoyed running Houston, especially as a winter getaway from Wisconsin. The course is easy and built for a PR, the spectators were fantastic and the SWAG was not disappointing. 10th largest U.S. marathon in recent years.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    Profile photo of Mike Masse
    mikemasse REPEAT RUNNER '15

    Runners for this marathon and half marathon are staged inside at the George R Brown Convention Center. Bag check, post-race shirts/mugs, post-race hot meal all provided inside the convention center. … MORE

    Runners for this marathon and half marathon are staged inside at the George R Brown Convention Center. Bag check, post-race shirts/mugs, post-race hot meal all provided inside the convention center. The city of Houston puts on a big show for this all weekend. If you like a big marathon with lots of hoopla this one’s for you.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    I've run the half twice and the marathon 3 times in Houston. Run 3 other marathons and this is still hands-down the best executed. Flat course. The only real hills … MORE

    I’ve run the half twice and the marathon 3 times in Houston. Run 3 other marathons and this is still hands-down the best executed. Flat course. The only real hills are some underpasses (but they come around mile 23-24 so beware). Aid stations are smooth.

    Start line isn’t great, they now do corrals and entry to the faster ones close 15 min beforehand. There aren’t many port-a-potties inside the corrals, so you need to make sure to get to the bathroom with PLENTY of time to spare. Weather is usually great for Houston, starting in the mid-50’s (once you start, you’ll feel great in short sleeves and shorts).

    Finish area is great. No other marathon has the food Houston offers, which is less than before but still gives you a solid breakfast (free). It’s also in the convention center so you can escape the elements. There’s a reunion area to find your friends/family afterward. Finisher shirt and mug, not all races have additional swag post-race.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Donn Raymond
    Donnald69 FIRST-TIMER '15

    Always nervous going to a new city, trying to find the expo, negotiating a good hotel close to start and finish and just worrying about getting to the start on … MORE

    Always nervous going to a new city, trying to find the expo, negotiating a good hotel close to start and finish and just worrying about getting to the start on time is always a big concern of mine. The Chevron Houston Marathon made it easy. I chose not to stay at the host hotel, but stayed at a hotel close by with which I am a loyalty member. From there, my walk to the expo was 2 bocks. The same 2 blocks got me into the (indoor) clothing drop off, porta potties (indoor), last minute fuel station (indoor) and headed directly to the start line. The same 2 blocks took me from the finish line back to my hotel. At the finish line, food, beer, water, medals, etc… were all held indoors. I left my hotel room at 6:15 to get into my corral which closed at 6:40 and I actually got there early. I ran 2 races while here and the swag was a bit much. I walked away with 2 cotton t’s, 1 technical finisher t, a beer glass, 3 medals, lots of food and a great time. Although there were plenty of restaurants within easy walking distance, Houston itself is not a great city to just hang out downtown. The crowd support was, well amazing. I cannot say there was an empty block over the 26.2 mile course. I never once felt crowded, as the roads are wide. I always felt like running, because the crowd support was tremendous. My only complaint, and this is picky, I hate running 26.2 miles and receiving a white shirt. And at the Chevron Houston marathon, the finisher technical t-shirt was white and boring. Nonetheless, this is a mostly flat, very fast, very fun course. I would recommend runners of any skill level to consider this as a marathon to consider.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Daniel Otto
    Otter FIRST-TIMER '15

    The race production here was top-notch, which more than made up for some sometimes-meh scenery during the middle miles. The majority of the race takes place west of downtown, and … MORE

    The race production here was top-notch, which more than made up for some sometimes-meh scenery during the middle miles. The majority of the race takes place west of downtown, and with only a few exceptions, this course is flat and fast. In no particular order, here are some thoughts:

    –THE AID STATIONS: my god, what glorious wonder. Aside from Chicago & New York, Houston has the longest aid stations of any race I’ve run. If you somehow miss your chance to get water or Gatorade, I’m sorry, but that’s on you.
    –The spectators were lovably insane. There weren’t as many people on the streets as a WMM event (duh), but those who were out were vociferous and really gave a lift.
    –I’ve never seen as much beer offered during a race as what I saw during the Houston Marathon, including what appeared to be an OFFICIAL beer stop at Mile 21, complete with a Bud Light truck parked on the grass and a Michelob Ultra arch spanning the road.
    –PLAN YOUR PARKING. This was really the only negative….there are plenty of surface lots near the Start/Finish, but they charge an average of $25-$30 for “special event parking.” Plan ahead and save your money
    –The SWAG was good….marathon runners can expect a casual cotton event shirt, plus a tech race shirt (presented at the finish), plus a pint glass, plus an event magnet. The finisher’s medals are nicely-done, colorful, and event-specific for the marathon & half marathon.

    Overall, I was pretty impressed — I’ve already registered for 2016

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    4

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