Ready, set, go!
The Houston Marathon Committee responded to increasing demand for the race by implementing a lottery system in 2010. On Monday, they announced new guidelines for a more fair and open system this time around.
One improvement: A raised participant cap.
This year, following the lead of other races, the Houston Marathon Committee will institute a "third time's a charm" rule for those runners who haven't had luck in the lottery for two consecutive years.
Organizers have added 1,000 participants to the Aramco Houston Half Marathon, upping that total to 12,000 runners. The 2012 race saw an increase in Chevron Houston Marathon entries — from 11,000 to 13,000 — and this most recent addition is an effort to get the registration totals closer to even.
And means a total 25,000 runners will flood the city streets on Jan. 13, 2013.
"The course really dictates the numbers," Jennifer Carmouche, communications manager for the Houston Marathon Committee, told CultureMap. "Our number one priority is the runners' experience. We want more runners to be able to participate in the race, but we don't want to grow just for the sake of growing."
At the same time, the organizers want to encourage participation. This year, following the lead of other races, the Houston Marathon Committee will institute a "third time's a charm" rule for those runners who haven't had luck in the lottery for two consecutive years. These runners will receive a long-awaited, guaranteed entry during early registration, which opens May 8 through May 31.
Other runners eligible for early registration include:
- Time qualifiers: Runners who have proof of finishing a marathon in under four hours, a half marathon under 1:52:55 and a 10K under 51:08.
- Multiple-run finishers: Runners who have completed five or more Houston Marathons.
- Deferred registrants: Runners who deferred their registration in 2012.
- Members designated by the Houston Area Road Runners Association.
The lottery will open up to other registrants from June 6 through June 21, and will be notified of selection no later than June 25.