Marathon runners flock to Houston every January for the Chevron Houston Marathon. With 27,000 runners for the marathon and half-marathon (plus 6,000 5K participants) and nearly half a million spectators, it is the largest single-day sporting event in our great city.
The marathon has a six-hour time limit, and the course will open on a rolling schedule based on a 13:45 per mile pace. The relatively flat, fast course starts in downtown Houston near Minute Maid Park and takes runners past scenic Houston areas before finishing at the George R. Brown Convention Center.
Houston Leads to Boston
The course is USATF certified, which means the distance has been certified for accuracy and running performances may be accepted as a record or to be nationally ranked. Because of this, the Houston Marathon is popular with runners seeking to qualify for the Boston Marathon.
The race has grown in popularity over the years. The first Houston Marathon took place on Dec. 30, 1972, with 113 runners and a crowd of approximately 200 people. Former President George W. Bush famously ran the Houston Marathon at the age of 46 in 1993, finishing with the time of 3 hours, 44 minutes, 52 seconds.
Racing for Charity
In addition to running for health and fitness, or to beat personal records, a charity component is linked to the race. The Chevron Houston Marathon Run for a Reason Program connects race participants to the philanthropic organizations as a way to fundraise. This also provides a platform for charities to raise awareness and educate others about their cause.
Individuals can select an official Run for a Reason charity from a variety of categories that serve local, national and international constituents. This year, there are 58 charity partners to pick from. The new charity lineup offers a variety of important causes, including medical research, community outreach, animal protection and more.
Since the Run for a Reason program’s inception in 1995, more than $27 million has been raised to benefit chosen charities. For each of the last seven years, the Run for a Reason Program has surpassed $2 million in fundraising.
HERO entries are guaranteed marathon registration with a one-time tax-deductible donation of at least $350 to an official Run for a Reason charity, plus the cost of registration. Runners doing Fundraising for Registration entries must commit to raising at least $500 to benefit one of the marathon committee’s partner charities.
Good luck to all the runners — we are cheering for you and feel proud of your fundraising efforts too!