Set a PR on Houston's Flat, Fast Marathon Course
Your Guide to the Race and Vacation Rentals in Houston
41st Annual Houston Marathon
Jan. 13, 2013
The Houston Marathon is the largest one-day sporting event in the city of Houston. The Houston marathon is the second event in the Marathons of Texas series (fellow races include the Dallas White Rock and Austin marathons). Half marathons and a 5K race are also held on the same day. Younger runners can participate in the Texas Children's Hospital Kids' Fun Run. Gather up your cheering section and take a trip to Houston.
Houston is the biggest city in Texas, and you won't find a bigger blend of big-city culture and small-town Texan flair. You'll see women on the street wearing cowboy boots with upscale designer dresses and men wearing cowboy hats no matter the occasion, but this Western town also packs a powerful artistic punch with its flourishing arts scene and museum district. Book one of Houston's charming vacation rental homes (some of which are on the water) that make preparing for the race much easier than staying in a cramped hotel room. And whatever you do, don't leave this town without grabbing some classic Texas barbecue or Tex-Mex cuisine.
This Year's Marathon: Sunday, January 13, 2013
The 2013 marathon marks the 41st anniversary of the first Houston Marathon. In 2012, the Olympic Trials Marathon was held on the same day as the other activities, so visitors could rub elbows with American Olympic legends just in time for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. This historical event was not to be missed: the top three men and women runners were able to compete in the marathon events at the 2012 Olympics.
Best Places to Watch the Houston Marathon
- Water Stations. You'll find water stations scattered all along the marathon route. Water stations are definitely one of the best places to watch the marathon; it's fascinating to watch runners aim and jostle each other in order to get the best placement to quickly grab their much-needed water. You may even see a few accidents as a runner collides with a brave water-bearer. Water stations are also where much of the Houston Marathon's "hoopla" (live entertainment provided by impersonators, singers, dancers, etc.) takes place.
- The Finish Line at the George R. Brown Convention Center. What could be more exciting than watching marathoners finally reach their goal at the finish line? If you come early and stake out a spot, you'll also get to watch the adrenaline-filled runners take off at the starting line, too.
- Tanglewood Boulevard at Mile 18 . Come early to stake out a spot and watch as runners are greeted by thousands of fluttering banners and flags.
- Memorial Park at Mile 21-22. Not only is this a gorgeous Houston landmark, but this is generally considered to be the site of the marathon's "wall" -- the invisible barrier at 20 miles that stalls or delays many a marathon runner. Show up and give these runners some much-needed encouragement!
- Main Street by Rice University at Mile 10. You'll find the Rice University campus a truly gorgeous place to enjoy the race. Better yet, there's plenty of parking to be found nearby.
Where to Eat Along the Race
Many restaurants open as early as 6 AM to cater to hungry spectators or pre-marathon runners. Grab a delectable pastry at Christy's Donuts or grab a seat on the patio at Skeeters Mesquite Grill for a hearty Texas breakfast. Interested in trying the kolache, one of Texas' favorite breakfast foods? Satisfy your curiosity at the Kolache Factory around Mile 22 of the race.