Running With Reason
Houston Marathon runners share their race secrets: From novice to guru
The Chevron Houston Marathon starts this Sunday at 7 a.m. at the George R. Brown Convention Center. CultureMap is featuring five runners to show a look at their preparation and anticipation for the race. There are 22,000 runners this year split evenly between both the 26.2-mile marathon and the 13.1-mile half marathon.
Lee Miksch; age 74, Cypress; Running his 25th consecutive Houston Marathon three days before his 75th birthday
Lee is a lifetime runner. This is his 40th marathon. He has also run 51 ultra-marathons, including five 100-mile runs.
- What is your favorite part of the race? Nearing the finish line and knowing that I am close to successfully completing another Houston Marathon. Of course, the cheering spectators along the course help me to obtain that success.
- What will be your pre-race dinner? I'll be loading up on carbohydrates like pizza and spaghetti.
- Why did you choose to run Houston? Because when I run here, some of my family is along the course cheering me on, and sometimes they run a short distance with me. Last year, I had my daughter from Michigan (also an avid marathoner) here to run with me. This year, it will be one of my grandsons.They are there to encourage me to keep going to the finish, and it really helps.
- What shoes do you wear? Nike Moto X7
- Who will be waiting for you at the finish line? I give a lot of credit to my family and friends who were there to cheer me on. They have been doing so for the last 23 Houston Marathons.
Whitney Kennison; age 40, Conroe; running Half Marathon
Whitney has suffered Crohn’s Disease since she was a child, and recently ran her first half marathon. Because of Crohn's, she lost a lot of weight many years ago and found healthy ways to add weight. From then she became more athletic and recently took up running.
- What is your favorite part of the race? The energy that accompanies such an event is absolutely electric. The runners, the audience and the volunteers make it a completely positive experience where everyone's a winner. You want nothing more than to perform your best and witness everyone around you doing the same.
- What will be your pre-race dinner? Bread and pasta
- Why did you choose to run Houston? It's a big race and close to home.
- What shoes do you wear? Nike
- Who will be waiting for you at the finish line? All my family lives out of state, so they will be tracking me online that morning. My husband will receive text alerts as I reach each mile-marker and he'll also track me online. I am expecting two friends to be there in person, but most of my supporters will be tracking online.
Bryan Brown; age 33, Katy; Running his 11th Houston Marathon
Bryan is a high school assistant principal in Alief ISD and is running to show his students they can set a goal and achieve it.
- What is your favorite part of the race? My favorite part of the course is the Galleria area mainly due to miles 16-17 (this is usually where I find out if I am in good shape to finish or in for a long marathon due to how my legs are performing. If I am relaxed and able to jog with a good clip then I'm doing great. If I am cramping, then I'm in trouble. I also enjoy running through the Heights for the artsy feel.
- What will be your pre-race dinner? The morning of I eat Power Bars and Gatorade. The night before lots and lots of fluids and pasta.
- Why did you choose to run Houston? I pick Houston for the people that come out in droves to cheer. I have run nine other marathons and the Houston crowd can not be beat.
- What shoes do you wear? I wear Nikes (the Bill Bowerman series)
- Who will be waiting for you at the finish line? My seven months pregnant wife, Colleen and her parents. They are my number one marathon fans.
Max Brown; age 16, Houston; Running his first half marathon
Max runs track and cross country for school. His longest race prior to this is 10K.
- What is your favorite part of the race? My favorite part will most likely be the first few miles of the race and the last few miles. I love the anticipation, excitement and camaraderie/fellowship you feel with all your fellow runners at the start, and the first section of the race is always very enjoyable, because the pain hasn't set in yet. I also like the last few miles and the finish line, because when you're that close, the feelings of accomplishment, pride, and euphoria set in. Nothing in the world compares to it.
- What will be your pre-race dinner? My pre-race dinner is usually a simple pasta, like spaghetti and steamed vegetables. I also eat a lot of bread. The goal is basically to carbo-load, which is just important in the days leading up to the race as it is the night before.
- Why did you choose to run Houston? I picked Houston because it's close, which means no travel, and because the Aramco USA Half Marathon Championships are being held the same weekend.
- What shoes do you wear? I used to run in Asics, but I'm a recent convert to the minimalism trend, so I now run in Nike Free Run +'s.
- Who will be waiting for you at the finish line? My immediate family (mom, dad, brother, and sister), and possibly my aunt, uncle or a few cousins.
Stephanie Hahn; age 37, Round Rock; Running her third marathon and then the Austin Marathon three weeks later
Stephanie took up running to get in shape with a healthy activity. She ran her first half marathon only six months after starting the sport, and is now a volunteer running coach for USA Fit in Round Rock.
- What is your favorite part of the race? My favorite part of any race is that last quarter mile. The cheering from the crowds is incredible and I have a permanent smile on my face when I can see the finish line right ahead of me. The feeling you get when you cross the finish line just can't be duplicated.
- What will be your pre-race dinner? I'm not a pasta kind of a carbo-loader. I prefer having rice, quinoa, and/or potatoes. I will typically have a dinner that incorporates chicken, a starch (lots and lots!), some vegetables and plenty of water. Then about two hours later, I will usually have cereal or oatmeal, toast with peanut butter and lots of fruit.
- Why did you choose to run Houston? This is the first time I will run Houston. I picked it for the interesting and flat course, because I love downtown Houston, and because it's become such a popular and elite event. The fact that it starts and finishes in the convention center is awesome. It seems like the committee really likes to take care of its runners.
- What shoes do you wear? I wear Brooks Trance 9 running shoes.
- Who will be waiting for you at the finish line? When I cross the finish line I expect that my husband, two kids (a daughter who is 5 and a son who is 9), and my faster running buddies will be there. My fellow coach promised me he'd be waiting too.
Good luck runners!