This was another well organized Houston race.
Parking can be tough to find. It can range from just a few dollars up to $30 depending on the parking lot and how long you will be parked. For the expo we managed to find one right next to the finish line that was $7 for the day. On race day we parked in a lot a about 3 blocks from the convention center for $20 and saw prices as high as $30 as we walked to the race.
The expo is held on the upper floors of the convention center and is huge. The check it is very efficient with the check in stations separated by race bib number. The expo itself has lots of vendors with free and discounted items along with various activities. We spent about an hour walking through the expo.
This race is nice because the initial race meeting location is on the bottom floor of the convention center keeping you out of the elements until just before the race start when everyone heads out the doors to the corrals. It's all very well organized.
In the corrals they have additional bathrooms located at each pace marker. The lines for these can get long. Once the race starts through you will have a bathroom option at mile 1 and at every water station. The race committee puts out enough that I never say anyone waiting.
The water stations are huge and located every few miles. The first item will be Gatorade followed by water. This is identifiable by the green Gatorade cups and white water cups and signs. There is even beer at mile 20.
The race itself starts off very flat through downtown Houston. The big inclines are under and overpasses with rolling hills starting around mile 17-18. There not very big but at that point in a marathon they become a real challenge.
As you enter downtown for the last 1.5 miles it gets very flat again for the finish.
The course is laid out so that it passes through many of the downtown neighborhoods, Rice University area and then more neighborhood areas in west Houston returning through Memorial park. It makes spectating easy with many options and you will have people cheering for most of the race which is great if you feed off the crowd support.
2017 was a warm and humid race giving an added challenge. The exact opposite of the year before. That’s a Texas winter for you.
After the race everyone is directed into the finisher area for pictures, gear pickup etc… Once you leave this area you wont be allowed back in. I tried. It's strictly enforced by convention center security not volunteers. There are changing areas located in the finisher area hidden off to the right of the finisher shirt pickup and out in the family meet up area.
I can't speak for the after race food because I left the area to cheer on my wife and couldn't get back in.
I still recommend this race to everyone.