- 26.2 miles/Marathon
- Road Race
Race management for the Chevron Houston Marathon knocked it out of the park. Pre-race communication was excellent and timely. The website include all of the information a first-time and veteran racer would need for race weekend and didn't make this information hard to find.
I traveled from Dallas and stayed two nights so parking was a bit more expensive for me but I saw that day of parking was adequate and priced anywhere from $10-20, which is on par with other races I have attended.
The expo was packed with races on Friday and all of the vendors I spoke with were very friendly. The Fleet Feet booth at the center had a wide variety of gear and brands represented and if I had brought more money with me I'd have gone broke! Packet pick-up was super easy. All I needed was my ID and the QR code sent to me the week before and I was done with that process in less than 5 minutes.
The race itself was awesome! The volunteers were abundant and very communicative before the race about where each corral was and when they closed. It was pretty chilly, low 30's, at the start of the race but a base layer under my shirt and tights under my shorts was sufficient. It was the perfect running weather. The amount of volunteers and spectators on the course blew me away. Even with a windchill in the 20's early on the crowds were nuts. Lots of great signs and plenty of high fives were to be had along the way.
The aid stations were adequately spaced throughout the course and the same can be said of medical stations and staff. The aid stations were loaded up with water, Gatorade and fuel. When I say loaded up I mean loaded up!
I came into the race having taken about 3 weeks off from running due to an Achilles injury so while I wasn't feeling great physically during the run I was never once worried that if I couldn't continue I would be in a bad place. The medical staff along the course were very attentive to the racers who appeared to need help.
On top of the race shirt I was given at check-in, I also received a finishers shirt and a very nice glass mug, which I picked up once I had my medal. I didn't expect all of that SWAG so I was very pleasantly surprised.
After the race I had a little bit of trouble warming up and was having a hard time standing. A friend, who I saw after the race flagged down a medical staff volunteer and got me back to the first aid tent. There was a perch set up inside the convention center that was looking for anyone that might need help so it was easy for them to spot my friend flagging them down. I spent quite a bit of time in the tent and I was well taken care of. They got me warm water to drink and a banana for my blood sugar. This was on top of the ones I snagged right after I finished the race. Since I was cramping up and a little shaky they had some sports massage therapists to keep my leg muscles warm and got me under a heat sheet ASAP. I can't speak highly enough of the medical staff at this race. They and the volunteers were OUTSTANDING.
The post meal hot breakfast sandwich was exactly what I needed after a long run in the cold.
The course, the weather and the people make this a great race for potential PR's and for great spectating. Highly recommend this race.