I flew into Houston on Saturday morning, A friend had picked up my bib but I checked into my hotel (JW Marriot Downtown) and walked to the convention center, which was about a half mile away where the expo is. Greta expo with picture opportunities, name wall and a lot of vendors. You could spend a lot of time in there. I collected some samples, took some pictures. The t-shirt is a finisher shirt so was only given after race finish. I thought that was really special.
Race morning, runners get to stay in the convention center and walk out to start line that was about another 1/2 mile. I left the center around 6:40 for a 7am corral close. I have never seen so many porta potties at a start before! Inside the convention center it was a never ending wall of portas and the lines were so quick because of that. They even had extra toilet paper towers :) There was a Gatorade/water station in there too. on the way to corral I made another stop at the "last minute" portas they had just before the corrals. This race they actually checked who was getting in the corrals and if we had the right bib, that was pretty impressive too considering the 33000 race field.
Marathoners and Half marathoners start together and stay till almost 8 miles. No pacers for half but can stay with marathon pacer group if anyone wanted. The energy running with so many was amazing. It was a chilly day, starting at feel like temperatures of 28 degrees. There were so many volunteers, aid station every 1.5 miles and medic stations. Some course entertainment and plenty of crowd support. The course itself was flat and so many straight roads that makes it a PR friendly course. I was able to snag a PR, and seems like many did this year, including the American marathon and half marathon records! The PR bell line was long :)
After finish we walk right back into the convention center where the family reunion area is. Also a huge medical are that looked like a mini hospital. They were amazing, Due to severe cramps right after finish I had to be wheeled into medical so that was a first time for me. The convention center even had a changing area dedicated to men and women for after the race. Right outside the center in the green area was the after party with many vendors and the PR bell.