Not only is June 6 National Running Day, but it's also the day you can begin to sign up to race alongside some of the world's most elite runners on January 20, 2019.
It's officially time to register for the Chevron Houston Marathon or Aramco Houston Half Marathon, a course that holds both the men's and women's American records for half-marathon times.
Whether you're running the 5K, the half-marathon, the full 26.2 miles, or tackling the Houston Double, here are a few things to know about next year's race:
1. Costs increase as the race draws closer
Open registration begins on June 6 for the full marathon ($150) and the half-marathon ($130), but come July 1 the prices will increase to $175 and $140, respectively. Keep in mind that registration is limited and has sold out for a consecutive 13 years straight. The 5K is also limited to only 6,000 registrants, so if you're hoping to participate in the weekend's festivities, it's best to pick up the pace and keep some cash in your wallet — commit early.
2. Everyone's welcome
With runners coming from all 50 states and 49 countries, ranging from first-timers to athletes with disabilities (AWD) to world record-holders, the Chevron Houston Marathon has a spot on the start line for everyone. You're sure to be inspired by the camaraderie, the competition, and the excitement as you and other participants challenge yourselves to be your best. Hot tip: If you need extra motivation, follow race ambassadors on social media from around the Houston region, and even outside the state of Texas.
3. You can qualify for the Boston Marathon
The Chevron Houston Marathon is a certified Boston Marathon qualifier, and with its flat terrain and mild winter weather it's a great opportunity for you to grab your BQ. In 2018, 12 percent of Houston finishers qualified for Boston, which is above the event's typical average of 10 percent. Qualifying times for Boston vary by age group, so be sure to know your standard before you toe the line in Houston.
4. Run for a Reason!
The half-marathon notoriously sells out quick. If you miss your chance, here's your way in: Athletes can gain an entry for all three races by raising money for one of the 64 charity partners affiliated with the Chevron Houston Marathon Run for a Reason program. Or guarantee your spot as a runner in the Chevron Houston Marathon or Aramco Houston Half Marathon by registering as a HERO and making a one-time, tax deductible donation of at least $350 to one of the charity partners (plus the cost of registration).
And here's a bonus: Charity runners enjoy extra swag, private bathrooms, a bib that identifies the charity they're supporting, and access to the Charity Village to celebrate after the conclusion of the race.
Charity partners include local, national, and international groups dedicated to advocacy for children, education, military/veteran services, and more. Find out more about the charity and fundraising opportunities here.
5. Marvel at Houston's best
Run with a view, as you'll get to saunter alongside some of Houston's best residential and retail hot spots, the bayous, and many iconic landmarks. The tree-lined streets of Rice University and its surrounding establishments mark the first section of the race for full- and half-marathoners, and the later miles take runners through the uptown Galleria area and Memorial Park. Not running? Pick your favorite spot to cheer on the racers and be sure to pick up the Official Spectator Guide on race weekend.
6. Enjoy 26.2 miles of Texas hospitality
Loads of Houston restaurants and retail shops will have extended hours on race day, along with specials for spectators. The local METRORail even offers complimentary rides for all race participants simply by showing their bib on race day. And during the race, prepare to be inspired by more than 250,000 spectators and volunteers, marching bands, cheerleaders, bagpipers, belly dancers, and even a few Elvis impersonators.
What are you waiting for? Register here today.