HOUSTON – The Houston Marathon Committee, in conjunction with the City of Houston, announced on Tuesday the new courses for the Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Houston Half Marathon. Lottery registration for the Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Houston Half Marathon will be open until June 20, with the selected runners announced on June 24. The 2014 races will start at 7:00 a.m. on Sunday, January 19.
“Houston is a wonderful sports town and the marathon has been a large part of that for over 40 years,” said Mayor Annise Parker. “There is no single-day sporting event with the history that the Chevron Houston Marathon has in Houston. The new courses will showcase our great city and all it has to offer to the 250,000 volunteers, spectators and runners from all 50 states and 30 countries.”
The new marathon and half marathon courses will provide a better participant experience for the runner by giving them more space and wider roads to run on. The first eight miles, now populated with local businesses and easier to access through major thoroughfares, will improve the spectator experience as well.
Following are a few of the changes to the courses:
The races, which previously had separate start lines, will now have one combined start line on Congress Avenue.
Instead of leaving downtown via the Elysian Viaduct, runners will leave along the Washington Corridor.
The first eight miles of both races will be run together and pass through neighborhoods including River Oaks and Upper Kirby before splitting near Rice University.
The Aramco Houston Half Marathon will then head back north through Montrose and along the Buffalo Bayou before finishing downtown.
The Chevron Houston Marathon will continue on to Rice Boulevard and West University before heading back to the previous course at Post Oak Boulevard. Memorial is then utilized instead of Woodway to add distance and visual appeal to the course. From there, the prior course is maintained through to the finish line downtown.
“Our team is excited about the many benefits that these course changes bring to the table,” said Chevron Houston Marathon Race Director Brant Kotch. “We think that our runners will love the wider streets, which will also allow us to consider increasing participation caps, and we hope that a greater emphasis on running through commercial districts will deliver new partners to our event to help us improve our already excellent reputation for crowd support. Last but not least, for the performance-minded, we are confident that the new courses will be even faster than before. Our event records will definitely be in jeopardy.” The 2014 Race Weekend will also play host to the U.S. Half Marathon Championships, to be run in conjunction with the Aramco Houston Half Marathon, as well as the ABB 5K which will be run on Saturday, January 18.
The new course map for the Chevron Houston Marathon and the Aramco Houston Half Marathon can be found here http://www.chevronhoustonmarathon.com/Upload/documents/2014%20Course%20Maps.pdf.
For more information on the Chevron Houston Marathon Race Weekend, visit www.chevronhoustonmarathon.com.
Established in 1972, the Houston Marathon Committee, Inc. (HMC), a Running USA Founding Member, 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 generates over $50 million in economic impact for the region annually. In 2013, the Run For a Reason Charity Program raised $2.2 million and the HMC garnered Gold Certification from the Council of Responsible Sport for industry-leading sustainability initiatives. Host to 12 U.S. Half Marathon Championships since 2005 and the 1992 women’s Olympic Trials Marathon, HMC conducted the nationally-televised 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon, which featured men and women competing on the same course simultaneously for the first time, vying for the chance to represent Team USA at the 2012 Olympic Games.
For more information, visit www.chevronhoustonmarathon.com or call 713-957-3453.