The only words I ever seem to use about this race is that it is fun for everyone! Whether you are watching it, volunteering for it, or running in it, you will feel like a superstar at the end. And you will feel like you had the best weekend in Houston!
The expo is one of the best! Lots of vendors and lots of photo opportunities provided both by the race venue and other beverage vendors. race pick up and gear pick up is always organized and flows very well and goes quickly! They are volunteers are top notch and some of the best at any race in Houston.
I ran both the we are Houston 5K on Saturday and then the half marathon on Sunday. The medals are really attractive and really showcase Houston. Funnest thing about doing both races is that you receive a third medal called the Houston Double. Nothing more fun than getting another large medal.
Because it’s such a large attended Race and because there are so much street closure going on it can be difficult to find your way around and to find parking in the area. One thing I will say,is if Houston says you cannot park somewhere, do not park there. You will be ticketed. My husband and friend spectating and cheering me went to the Fleet Feet location to enjoy cheering runners on. They said they had a blast and I can tell you as I arrive between mile seven and eight it was the thing that kept me going! One of the best things about this race are the spectators who cheer and offer you food and drink and music and entertainment as you run.
I do highly suggest that you get into your corral early however this year even with the increased participation it was easy and the large lit up signs throughout the venue and the course definitely tell you exactly where to go and what time. We could even hear very well in the corrals over the loudspeaker‘s. It does take a while to start. That is typical of any large race.
The views you will have throughout the rays are varied and are some of the prettiest in Houston. You will run the gamut, city streets, neighborhood streets, and through the downtown corridor.
Once you hit the downtown corridor on return, that is when the crowds really roar! And if you had any thoughts of not making it to the end you can give that up because you will make it!
The rather long finish line Corridor’s that you go through to get your post race swag,water and medals is very organized and lengthy. The only real negative and it’s not much of one is that your family and friends generally have a difficult time cheering you to the finish line because there isn’t a lot of spectator area towards the end of the race. And it is very blocked by partitions. Once inside the George R Brown convention center for the runners it is heaven! Lots of space photographers taking your picture and Places to grab post race snacks and a great spot to be able to change into fresh dry clothes. The only negative was that the women’s changing area was just like a large corral. And I don’t think they were enough smaller private changing rooms but I think most everyone truly wanted to use. I was even told by a man that I should not use those and that I should only use the women’s corral. Once finished there are easy ways to get to your family to meet them either outside of George or brown or inside. And once you head outside,the Post race there is the large park call Discovery Green where all the runners and their families gather. There are a number of places around discovery green or you can go with friends to have lunch and enjoy a post race celebration. They were not particularly busy and a lot of people were leaving the Race area anyway. Feel free to celebrate with the photo opportunity blowups,there is a PR bell at the top of the small hill and plenty of walking around you can do after the race if the weather is congenial.
This race is run well and the volunteers are very well educated many of them understanding what their job is because they’ve been doing it for years! They are always friendly and always willing to help you get to where you need to go and if not I will ask someone. This is a great race one I could highly recommend and if you don’t race in the half or the whole marathon the 5K is fantastic! One last thing to mention is that if you live in the city of Houston or come a little early there are shakeout runs by running superstars as well as plenty of training runs all along the way.
As far as swag goes the things I like the most or the great participation shirts from Brooks they are high-tech and well fitting as well as the medals and as well as some of the goodies in the Virtual goodie bag that you can either claim prior to the race or after the race. One of the best things I got was the ability for free to have my medals engraved with my name and time. All I had to do was go to one of the local Fleet Feet on two different dates.