Overall Rating
Overall Rating (68 Reviews)
4.5
(68 Ratings)  (68 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.3
SCENERY
3.1
PRODUCTION
4.5
SWAG
4.1
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, We Are Houston 5K, and the … MORE
Local Historical Weather (Jan 18):
  2024 2023 2022 2021 2020
 
H (°F)  63  75  71  67  68
L (°F)  41  64  52  51  48
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Recent reviews

    semodlin FIRST-TIMER '24

    I really wish I didn't get injured during this race (around mile 10, I experienced a sharp pain at my groin/adductor muscles). This was the smoothest and well-planned expo and … MORE

    I really wish I didn’t get injured during this race (around mile 10, I experienced a sharp pain at my groin/adductor muscles). This was the smoothest and well-planned expo and race I have ever been to!
    Expo: You check in with your ID and code, then head to the table(s) for your bag. When you go to the table, they already have your stuff made and confirm it’s you by greeting you with your name. There were tons of vendors to buy from and I felt so welcomed here!
    Race: Weather was a tad cold in the morning, but it warms up. There is TONS of corral control (security to check corral assignment). The course is flat! There were tons of alcohol stops (I think I stopped 6 times). The weather was 10/10!
    Post Race: You get your medal, food, and t-shirt when you finish!
    I would love to do Houston again as a redo!

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    todd17406 FIRST-TIMER '24

    Perfect Running weather (mid 40's) and a fast course meant FAST times for lots of runners, including a new Men's course record! Unfortunately, for me, my fitness level was not … MORE

    Perfect Running weather (mid 40’s) and a fast course meant FAST times for lots of runners, including a new Men’s course record! Unfortunately, for me, my fitness level was not where I needed it to be, so I remain at 37 states in my journey to 50 states, sub 4 Hours. Very well organized. Convention Center is enormous, so plenty of room for everything marathon related. Course itself should be fast with very little climbing and lots of sights to enjoy. I’ll be back next year!

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    enigma20 FIRST-TIMER '24

    There were over 20K finishers combined between the half and full marathons. So, it is a pretty good sized marathon. You need to schedule an approximate time to pick up … MORE

    There were over 20K finishers combined between the half and full marathons. So, it is a pretty good sized marathon. You need to schedule an approximate time to pick up your race pack and visit the expo to help keep it from getting too busy at any one time. The expo was at the convention center. It was quick and easy to pick up the bib. The expo, however, was very crowded despite the scheduled pick up times. It seemed like there was not enough space and was very difficult to get around. I didn’t spend much time there. You do not get your race shirt until after you finish your race.
    You had to submit a previous race time if you wanted to be in Corral A. I was surprised what a wide range of paces there were within the A corral. Luckily, there were pace groups which helped me know about where I should line up. There are a lot of elite athletes that run Houston and I knew I did not belong with them. I also did not want to be dodging people.
    The half and full marathons started together at 7:01. It was a little windy, but otherwise perfect running weather.
    The route is a big circle and ends close to the start. You’ll run by Rice University and get a good tour of some of the neighborhoods. The streets are in good shape and the only real hill comes in the form of an overpass just before halfway. You go through a couple tunnels with music which is a little trippy. There were plenty of fluid stations and a decent amount of spectators. It wasn’t lined 3 deep, and was sparse in some places, but some people were out watching, especially near the end.
    The only complaint I had about the race was the end. The half and full runners come together near the end and finish together. Just past the finish line, everything narrows. There were lines to get the finisher medal and then everyone is herded together and funneled into the convention center to pick up their shirt. This was such a bottleneck and people were just standing there. It was very annoying. I just wanted to keep moving. Make sure you have a plan and a place to meet any family or friends as well. It was rather chaotic and very busy in the convention center.
    The shirt was nice, but seemed to run a little small. Medal was also nice and featured the tunnel that we ran through. Overall, it was a worthwhile race.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4
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    mpmateja REPEAT RUNNER '24

    Always nice to run the hometown event. The expo had the usual vendors and seemed to be a little larger than the past year or two. The event is always … MORE

    Always nice to run the hometown event. The expo had the usual vendors and seemed to be a little larger than the past year or two. The event is always 1st class, and the race production is always smooth. The George R Brown events center is able to accommodate both pre and post race activities with plenty of room to spare. The spectator’s numbers were significantly less this year due to the 40 degree temps which most Houstonians aren’t used to.
    Volunteers are great as always. Water stops are well stocked. I have the same 3 concerns that I’ve had in previous years: 1) Tee shirts are ALWAYS too small. Everyone was commenting on this and I wish the marathon leadership would listen to these concerns. 2) Porta potties are ALWAYS lacking on the course. Even being in the rear of the pack, each porta-potty stop was at least a 5 minute wait. 3) After finishing, there is a traffic jam between the finish line and the George R Brown. Probably no easy fix for this, but it should be reviewed. I’ve run H-Town 6 times now and will again in 2025.

    We spent the night at the Homewood suites directly between the Convention center and the starting corrals. We’ve had good experiences here the past 3 years.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
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    2

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    hjrosa FIRST-TIMER '24

    Pros: - This is in the very large race category. It is obvious that a lot of details were considered in the preparation before, during and after the race. Overall … MORE

    Pros:
    – This is in the very large race category. It is obvious that a lot of details were considered in the preparation before, during and after the race. Overall very well managed.
    – Point-to-point course. For me that is usually a “con”, but the start and the finish are only a few blocks away. Both are easily accessible from all downtown hotels, especially near the Convention Center.
    – Excellent pre-race communication. Very good race app.
    – Gigantic expo with all the leading shoes and racing gear brands present.
    – Post race recovery area inside the Convention Center is enormous, with multiple port-a-lets and changing area. Only accessible to runners. They include a most pleasant served breakfast! (scramble eggs, sausages, mini pancakes and biscuit) and snacks (bananas, fruit bars, cookies, ice cream) with a large section of multiple tables to sit and enjoy it. This is followed by a wide organized spectators meeting area.
    – In race hydration stations were plentiful (every 1.5 to 2 miles (2.5-3.5 Km)). All having electrolyte drinks first, then water.
    – Medical and security personnel all along the course.
    – Very enthusiastic volunteers and cheering crowd through the entire course.
    – Relatively easy flat course (but .. see cons below). No bridges. (FYI: For Race Raves lower difficulty score is better/easier).
    Cons:
    – Very popular and crowded race (14K for the half plus 10K (?) for the full) running together until the course splits just after 8 miles. I think is fun but don’t expect a personal best unless you are in the front corrals (some decent times for elite international runners getting ready for the Paris Summer Olympics).
    – Not exactly a “scenic” route. There a some beautiful neighborhoods in the mid part of the race. Not much shade. But because is January this isn’t usually an issue. Bring your sunblock and running shades, though.
    – Hydration stations only in one side of the road which create some confusion and bumping with such a wide field of runners. I’ve been in other very large races having signs about a quarter mile before the oasis, letting runners know that hydration is ahead to the left or right. This race doesn’t have such signs.
    – The area immediately after the finish line was quite narrow leading to very slow and chaotic flow of runners into the post race area.
    – Race shirt and medals were just too ordinary. You can barely make that the medal is from Houston. You get your T-shirt in the post race area after completing the race, I guess because the expo is so packed.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    2

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    coopgrag FIRST-TIMER '24

    The course is predominantly flat, with only one overpass that resembles a hill at the midpoint, but it's not particularly significant. The rollers near the last 2-3 miles gain importance … MORE

    The course is predominantly flat, with only one overpass that resembles a hill at the midpoint, but it’s not particularly significant. The rollers near the last 2-3 miles gain importance due to their placement in the race. It’s a very fast race, especially when weather conditions are favorable. The 2024 race experienced optimal temperatures in the 40s, leading to the establishment of multiple elite records, including the Women’s Half – North American Record, American Women’s Half Record, and Men’s Full Course Record. Personally, it marked my fastest time in the last 15 races.

    The event, despite its large size, is well-organized. Opting to stay downtown near the start/finish/convention center is recommended as everything is easily accessible by foot. Race check-in provides a nice towel, while the shirt, medal, and beer mug are awarded as finisher rewards. Aid stations are abundant along the course, ensuring hydration is always within reach. The back half of the race receives significant support from the crowds.

    Organizers enhance the race experience by placing multiple speakers along stretches, such as the hill at 13 and the wall at 21-22, providing a musical backdrop for miles. It’s important to note that participants are assigned to corrals based on expected finish times, with corrals starting approximately 10 minutes apart. For instance, Corral C, for 4-5 hour finishers, began 25 minutes after the race start. Corrals lack porta-potties, trash cans, or aid, but these facilities are available just before the start and in the first mile. Quick stops are possible in the first mile with no waiting if needed.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Mciupak FIRST-TIMER '24

    This race was exceptional - the start line energy is unmatched, and the on-course support could not have been better. The Expo is one of the best I have been … MORE

    This race was exceptional – the start line energy is unmatched, and the on-course support could not have been better. The Expo is one of the best I have been to. We participated in the We are Houston 5k the day before, and also earned the Houston Double Medal at our finish. Highly recommend doing this for the experience!

    This race is described as fast and flat, and it is! We had perfect weather throughout the race as well. One of the things slower runners should know is that there is a 13:45 pace requirement over the first 8 miles that is listed in the rules on the registration site. It caused me quite a bit of stress, but other runners from prior years encouraged me not to worry. I did spot the course sweepers on the course, but did not see anyone at my pace (about 15:30 per mile) swept off. The spectators show out! I lost count of how many random strangers cheered me on by name by just reading my bib. Everyone after mile 9 saved me!

    My only complaint would be the number of available port-a-cans after mile 8 on the half marathon course. I still hit a personal best but lost about 8 minutes waiting for a restroom. I’ll plan accordingly next year.

    I also purchased the photography package because I feel like I never get great photos and wanted a few good ones. They snapped over 100, and now I’m having trouble choosing my favorites.

    My last bit of caution is be sure to plan ahead for miles before and after the race. As I mentioned, we attended the expo and did the 5k the day before. This amounted to almost 10 miles total the day before the half. Then – after you finish the half, you continue walking through the medal stations, photo booths, t-shirt pickup and gear check. All I wanted to do was sit down! Next year, we will limit our activities the day before to have fresher legs the day of the main event.

    Overall, it was an incredible experience!

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5
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    Camp FIRST-TIMER '24

    After coming back from injury only 3 months ago, a PR wasn't in the cards. But the course is super flat, has minimal sharp turns and would be a great … MORE

    After coming back from injury only 3 months ago, a PR wasn’t in the cards. But the course is super flat, has minimal sharp turns and would be a great 13.1k PR attempt.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    2

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    hseitz FIRST-TIMER '24

    Chevron is a gas station company. In Mandarin Chinese, to encourage someone, you say "加油!!" (jiā yóu). It literally means "add oil". I love dad jokes, so I told several … MORE

    Chevron is a gas station company. In Mandarin Chinese, to encourage someone, you say “加油!!” (jiā yóu). It literally means “add oil”. I love dad jokes, so I told several Chinese runners and fans that this was the perfect race to add oil because it was the *Chevron* Houston Marathon. Soooo many rolled eyes and giggles.

    The pre-race and post-race expo are at the George Brown Convention Center in downtown. You receive your bib in one smaller room (??) before proceeding to a larger room to get a towel and small free merch. Dozens of vendors. But where’s the free shirt? No, not a cotton one; give me something to wear on race day! There was a line of 100 people for a cotton T-shirt that was pressed on the spot with Houston Marathon logos. But no athletic tee. Bummer. I was told I would receive a finisher shirt after the race.

    I stayed in the BPoshtels Houston hostel 3 miles north of town. $31/night, and a 9 minute walk from the Red Line light rail that takes you downtown. If you do this, board the light rail before 6am. You will definitely need the spare time when you get downtown. The neon sign outside actually says “Heights Hotel”; don’t be fooled. It’s a converted motel, free breakfast, free pool, indoor bar, patio, and 24 hour reception. They had both Saturday NFL playoff games on TV in there, including a resounding victory by the hometown Texans. However, I *couldn’t* sleep. Maybe the single quilt and no bedsheets weren’t quite enough. Maybe I was too nervous. But I got one <5 minute taste of sleep at 3am and that was it. However, I wired myself up at 4am and ended up running just fine. Not my first sleepless night before a marathon :< and surprisingly, as a 27 year old it doesn't hurt my performance too much.

    Race morning in the Convention Center is chaos, with dozens of groups of people hanging out in packs and stretching on the floor. It’s like a postgame stadium mixed with Sunday church after service. Luckily, the marathon bag drop is short and efficient, but then you have to exit the center through a small exit, trapped in a stream of people. I was in the ‘A’ corral, and they said it closes at 6:45, 16 minutes before race start. Thankfully, I got in there about 6:47, and I wasn’t the only one a few minutes late. They’re not overly strict about that.

    The race starts/ends in downtown. It was one of the flattest courses I’ve run. There are both mile and km markers, and clocks every 10km. We run over a highway bridge at mile 3, through a nice treed neighborhood from miles 5-8, and a humorous priest was dipping a branch in a cup of water and sprinkling holy water on willing runners at mile 8. Bless up, y’all! We run past Rice University at mile 9, and enter an outskirts suburb at mile 12. Miles 14-16 have a lovely SoCal vibe as you run up Post Oak Boulevard, which is 5 miles west of downtown but has skyscrapers, new roads, and tree-lined medians. 17-20 are on some 40 mph roads past neighborhoods.

    Save your energy for mile 20, though. The last 6 miles are east, straight into the sun. Even though the weather was *perfect* (45-50 degrees all morning), and it was January, Houston sun doesn’t mess around. You can feel how powerful that sun is. I survived it because it was unusually cold today; but it could cause heat stroke and kill someone if the high is 70-75 degrees.

    Miles 20-23 are through Memorial Park. We run through some cool tunnels. The smartest DJ ever put his booth inside one tunnel, allowing the sound to echo and reverberate. It’s a transcendental experience when you’re 21 miles in and the DJ plays “Staying Alive”, and the entire song washes you clean and scrubs every thought out of your head. Absolute chills. One of my favorite memories at any marathon, ever.

    Miles 23-25 are on the outskirts of town with more shade than 20-23, and the only small hills on the whole course. You enter downtown at 25, and it’s a mad dash to the end.

    Frustrating post-race production 🙁 the finishers are forced to stand in place and herded like sheep through a small gate, where 3-4 volunteers hand medals to hundreds of finishers. No place to sit down or sneak out. We get inside the convention center and are herded AGAIN through a fenced path. How do marathon organizers not understand that the only thing finishers want to do is collapse on the ground? We finish right next to the Discovery Green, a large park square. Why not remove all the fences and let runners limp over there to catch their breath and grab a medal, then let them go inside the convention center for optional food/shirt/gear? Bottlenecks should be public enemy #1 for organizers, especially right after the finish. (Looking at you, Kyoto Marathon }: ) Probably 15-20 minutes before I could sit down at all. Thankfully, post-race gear reclamation and finisher shirt pickup were both very fast. It looked like a great postrace party with lots of free food indoors, and a nice outdoor party on the Discovery Green; sadly I had to leave to catch a flight.

    Disappointed by the Houston vibes and lack of city pride. I know this is SE Texas, not the desert, but there is no cowboy culture here. I only saw 2 cowboy hats all weekend, no boots, no horses, not much pride in local BBQ. No one says “howdy” or “y’all” here. (At least the Mexican food slaps.) Virtually no downtown traffic, which feels lonely actually. And since there’s not much foot traffic, the homeless population will bother you if you do dare to walk around (5 people yelled at me in the first 4 hours I spent downtown). Never feels like a classic Texas city, just a souped-up version of any other southeast metro like Charlotte, Nashville, Atlanta, or Memphis; and *infinitely* more sprawling. Oh my gosh. Don’t get me started on that sprawl.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
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    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    jkelling Jan 16, 2024 at 4:44pm

    Great review! Lots of details including a lot that's often missed. Following now.

    Great review! Lots of details including a lot that's often missed. Following now.

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    johnbizzell FIRST-TIMER '24

    Weather turned out perfect a little windy. Course is super flat with some small rolling hills towards the end. Great marathon all around. I’d run it again. MORE

    Weather turned out perfect a little windy. Course is super flat with some small rolling hills towards the end. Great marathon all around. I’d run it again.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5
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    Mciupak REPEAT RUNNER '24

    Great event prior to the full/half marathon the next day. Lots of energy, and one of the best 5k's in town. I never get to run with my husband, because … MORE

    Great event prior to the full/half marathon the next day. Lots of energy, and one of the best 5k’s in town. I never get to run with my husband, because he’s faster than me, but we enjoyed finishing this one together!

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    5
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    Ironeagle51 FIRST-TIMER '24

    Pros: Packet pickup is separate from the Expo so you don't have to walk through a maze of vendors to exit. Bag Check is in the spacious and warm Convention … MORE

    Pros:
    Packet pickup is separate from the Expo so you don’t have to walk through a maze of vendors to exit.
    Bag Check is in the spacious and warm Convention Center and you can wait in there until your corral is called. It was cold this year so this was nice!
    Great crowd support considering it was a cold day
    Swag: Beach towel, Finisher shirt (given out after you finish)
    My favorite is that after you cross the finish line, you are led back into the WARM Convention Center! Plus there is a sit-down hot breakfast with hot drinks. There are also lots of snacks and ice cream. After you leave the Convention Center they have a traditional outdoor festivities with beer and vendors.
    The organization is great and I love the Convention Center 🙂 I would definitely run this race again.
    Cons:
    Course can get crowded toward end of half marathon b/c the road is shared with the Marathon

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    michelle101877 FIRST-TIMER '24

    This was a great race with about 5000 runner! You ran through downtown and had minimal turns! Very good crowd support and lots of young runners out there! Got a … MORE

    This was a great race with about 5000 runner! You ran through downtown and had minimal turns! Very good crowd support and lots of young runners out there!

    Got a shirt and a medal and had a nice finish area with booths!

    Would definitely recommend to others

    DIFFICULTY
    2
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    4
    SCENERY
    3
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    basier.florian REPEAT RUNNER '23

    A very well organized race (World Athletics Gold Label). Lots of animation along the course, from the giant American flag mile 2 to the multiple bands and of course lots … MORE

    A very well organized race (World Athletics Gold Label).
    Lots of animation along the course, from the giant American flag mile 2 to the multiple bands and of course lots of supporters cheering.
    It is a flat, fast course with only two obstacles: the Westpark bridge at mile 13 and the Allen parkway underpasses towards the end.
    Corrals are checked so there is limited slaloming needed in the first miles even if the half marathoners crowd the road as the pace groups are consistent.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
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    5

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    AGeraldi REPEAT RUNNER '23

    I ran this one in 2022 and decided to do it again this year. But, unlike 2022 when I was going for a time - I wanted to take this … MORE

    I ran this one in 2022 and decided to do it again this year. But, unlike 2022 when I was going for a time – I wanted to take this one slower and incorporate walking into it. Why? Because I was entered into the Vol State 314 mile race across Tennessee. Since I knew I’d be doing a LOT of walking in Vol State, I wanted to condition my body for walking. Add to that I was certainly not at top condition or shape (I had been sick for a few weeks and was just starting to feel a bit better).

    The marathon expo is always nice. It was an easy check-in and I got my bib and shirt. Shopped around a bit – but actually made it would without purchasing anything.

    The race always starts off a bit crowded and runners are separated into various starting corrals, so it takes a while to get to the actual start line. But chip time takes care of that (although one is still not really able to run freely at their preferred pace).

    So, I Ran/jogged the first half and came through it at 2:15:52. This is on an overpass (actually one end of it). The area isn’t what I would describe as beautiful, but it was OK. Then I shifted to jog/walk. The route goes through Memorial and it become more green and quite nice. There were speakers along the route playing music – some actually quite nice (I like rock and it had some tossed in).

    The route also takes runners through downtown areas – you are running by office buildings. Soon, I am approaching the finish line. I could see that despite my walk/jog strategy, I had a comfortable cushion for the 6 hour cut-off.

    I ended up crossing the finish line in 5:49:26. I really enjoy Houston’s marathon – even if I am not going for any p.r.

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    I came to this race because I hear the course was flat and the weather was usually ideal for a PR. The year I ran it the humidity decided to … MORE

    I came to this race because I hear the course was flat and the weather was usually ideal for a PR. The year I ran it the humidity decided to show up but the course was very flat.

    There is a lot to like about this race. I stayed at the Embassy Suites in downtown Houston which was two blocks from packet pickup and where the race starts and finishes, so very convenient. I love that you didn’t get your race shirt until AFTER you finished instead of before so you actually had to earn it. I also liked the mug you got after finished, that was a nice touch. The post race food wasn’t great but at least they had a decent amount of it. The pre-race bag drop was a bit confusing and signs could have been a bit better there.

    The bad parts-the area where the marathon starts and finishes isn’t great. It is like a really dead part of downtown where no one went. The course didn’t have a ton of people cheering on runners even though we were in the 4th biggest city in the US. There were some potholes on the course that if you ran in a crowded section could cause trouble.

    Overall it was a very easy marathon as far as logistics and one I might do again sometime for that reason alone. The expo was a decent size and had lots of great clothes. I was sad that the race shirt didn’t have a space shuttle on it but I did find a shirt with the Houston Marathon logo on it online that I purchased later. The official race shirt said race finisher on it which I hate when races do that. If I have the shirt on, I finished the race, otherwise I wouldn’t wear it (I know others who do that though). All in all, a great PR course.

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    lysne FIRST-TIMER '23

    I really loved this race. Out of the 11 I've now completed, I would put this at or near the top for a combination of reasons: the gentle course, excellent … MORE

    I really loved this race. Out of the 11 I’ve now completed, I would put this at or near the top for a combination of reasons: the gentle course, excellent logistics before and during the race, the nice weather, the very solid aid stations, and the surprisingly enormous crowd support on the course (they say 200,000+ and I actually wouldn’t doubt that, it was at least 100,000 by my internal counter.) The only ‘knock’ I’ll give is for the folks who like swag, the medal was bland, the T-shirt was bland, and the goodie-bag was…a bag. (The expo was quite nice though). If there’s one thing though that blew me away was the City of Houston. I had never been to the city, and I really enjoyed my stay in the downtown area, and I thought that the course selection did a nice job in showing off some nice neighborhoods and parts of the city. (I would not call it a beautiful run though, it was definitely an urban run with a fair amount of running through sprawl.) I loved Houston and look forward to returning. (I’d run this race again in a heartbeat but need to factor in that I’m running in other states as well.)

    DIFFICULTY
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    mpmateja REPEAT RUNNER '23

    Always a top notch event. 32k announced participation, although the actual numbers would indicate something closer to 25k for the full and the 1/2. Volunteers and crowds are awesome. Course … MORE

    Always a top notch event. 32k announced participation, although the actual numbers would indicate something closer to 25k for the full and the 1/2. Volunteers and crowds are awesome. Course is flat as a pancake. Support is everywhere. The only downside is that they ran out of men’s xl and xxl finisher shirts when I went to pick mine up. Hopefully this will be remedied soon. Being from Houston, this is an annual event.

    DIFFICULTY
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    4
    SCENERY
    2
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    4

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    marthamusto FIRST-TIMER '23

    Great spectators with good signs. Well organized and lots of water/aid stations. Fabulous post race food. Full on buffet with scrambled eggs, sausage, biscuits & gravy, pancakes and ice cream … MORE

    Great spectators with good signs. Well organized and lots of water/aid stations. Fabulous post race food. Full on buffet with scrambled eggs, sausage, biscuits & gravy, pancakes and ice cream sandwiches (all free!). Stay at the Hilton for easy access to start and finish lines. As well as expo in the convention center.

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    5

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    AGeraldi FIRST-TIMER '22

    I had run the Dallas Marathon the month before this race. At Dallas, I was hoping to get as close to 4 hours or under as I could. But it … MORE

    I had run the Dallas Marathon the month before this race. At Dallas, I was hoping to get as close to 4 hours or under as I could. But it didn’t work out that way for me (finished….but a bit closer to 5 hours). So, I decided to do Houston Marathon as Houston was our new home. Again, I was hoping for 4 hours-ish.

    My wife, daughter, and I went to the expo. It was nice with plenty of exhibitors. I got my number and purchased a couple pairs of Injinji socks. Our 12 year old daughter liked getting a few of the free give-way promo items. I grabbed a Houston poster for my office and home (my garage is wallpapered with running/triathlon memorabilia). We grabbed a bite of lunch in a restaurant in the exhibition center lobby. Then we headed home.

    The next morning I drove the 25 minutes from our home to the starting area. I exited the highway and found a parking lot pretty quickly. I paid and looked at the street sign and buildings to remember where I had parked. Then I wandered to the start.

    I found my starting corral and lined up with others. As the clock wound down, I removed my old shirt I had brought to stay warm and I tossed it into a pile of clothes other runners had also helped create (I understand the clothing was collected and distributed to those in need – so that was nice).

    The, after listening to the corrals ahead of us starting, we were given the signal and off we went. The roads were basically downtown area and some had descents or inclines. Not true hills, but one could feel them a bit. We ran past areas that I had visited before – sometimes for a shopping excursion or to catch a concert downtown. After a bit, we were out of downtown and more in the neighboring communities (although still Houston…..like Los Angeles, the city is huge).

    My minute per mile wasn’t sub-4:00 but I still felt OK so I kept at that pace. Soon, we were in an area that kind of reminded me of a city park. It could have been Memorial. There were speakers lined up along the route and they actually played some decent music.

    My legs started tiring around mile 20 so I slowed a bit. The next part, as we were passing some very nice homes, my pace was a mix of jogging and fast walking. Soon, I knew we were getting closer to the finish line – both the downtown buildings showed that….as did the mile markers 🙂

    Crowds were getting larger and their noise was getting louder. Finally, we turned a corner and down the finishing “chute” I went. Got my finishers medal (just like the prior month’s Dallas marathon, it was the 50th anniversary of the race).

    Then I went to the expo area and got my finisher shirt and a glass finisher mug. I decided to head back to my car….only to realize I had forgotten the street name and the location. I borrowed someone’s phone and called my wife. She was good-natured but can’t say “overjoyed” to drive downtown to find me. But, as she exited the highway, right in front of her she saw my car. So she picked me up and drove me back to get it. That was a nice resolution to that issue.

    I knew I would run this one again in 2023. I did – but my strategy was different due to a unique race I would be training for (although ended up not doing). That 2023 Houston Marathon report is here in Race Raves too.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4
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