Hopefully, the crazy Houston holiday weather is over with, because about 22,000 people have a marathon to run.
The Chevron Houston marathon is set for Sunday, Jan. 13, but whether or not we'll see as exciting a finish as we did last year remains to be seen. In 2011, Ethiopian Bekana Daba won the race and shattered the previously held record, set in 2010, by 33 seconds, according to Adventure-Marathon.com.
There's plenty for runners to get excited about as this race looms. For one thing, those trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon can do so in Houston, and since the terrain is mostly flat—and the weather will most likely be cool, yet pleasant—it will probably be a popular qualifying destination.
Race day also features a half marathon and a 5K.
Here's everything you need to know about the course, start times and more in Houston this weekend.
Where: Houston, Texas.
When: Sunday, Jan. 13
TV: ABC13 in Houston
Live Stream: ABC13.com
|Half Marathon||7 a.m.|
What They're Saying
According to Competitor.com, winning this year's marathon isn't going to be an easy feat, given the intense competition.
But that could actually help runners push themselves toward achieving better times—and possibly breaking records.
Brant Kotch, director of the Chevron Houston Marathon and President of the HMC Board of Directors, told Competitor.com:
Deep fields increase the likelihood of runners working together in packs to achieve better times, and the four fields that our elite committee has assembled are without a doubt the deepest ever. These fields give us the best possible opportunity to equal last year’s feat of four race records in one morning, and to do so with first-rate, head-to-head competition. The camera at the finish line may get a lot of use next week.
Last year's record-setting winner is back in the mix in 2013, as is last year's runner up, as well as a couple of those who competed in the 2012 Olympic Trials.
Just like last year's marathon record was broken, there's a special incentive for those running the half marathon: If the world record is broken in the men's category, the winner will be awarded a $50,000 prize.
That will certainly make all the training worth it.
According to the marathon's official website, this course has been ranked by the Ultimate Guide to Marathons as the fastest winter marathon and as the second-fastest marathon overall. The site also reports that with 200,000 spectators, it ranks fourth among the most crowd-supported marathons.
The course begins in front of Minute Maid Park. Runners will traverse downtown Houston, Rice University and Memorial Park before finishing up close to where they started at the George R. Brown Convention Center.
There's good news and there's bad news. The good news is, temperatures will be mild at 55 degrees, so despite the fact that humidity is expected to reach 82 percent, it should remain pleasant.
The bad news is that there is a 40 percent chance of rain.