Good news, bad news. Bad news first: With 17,000 runners already signed up for the full and half marathons, the annual Chevron Houston Marathon is sold out. So if you arent already registered, youre out of luck. Good news is, you can still be one of the more than 200,000 people who line the course and watch the annual pounding of the pavement. And this years competition promises lots to see.
Several course records are expected to be challenged this year. The mens course record (2:10:04) was set back in 1989, but three runners, Ethiopian Kasime Adilo, Kenyan David Cheruiyot and Englishman Tomas Abyu, are closing in on it, all having recently run races under 2:11. Ethiopian Dire Tune, last years womens champ, is back to defend the course record she set in 2007 (2:26:52). And in the womens Aramco Houston Half Marathon, three-time Olympian and holder of the half--marathon course record (1:10:55) Colleen De Reuck will be back, along with last years winner Elva Dryer. The one record likely to stand is Ryan Halls half-marathon time of 59:43 last year. (Hall, the first American ever to break the hour mark, wont be here this year.) Winners will split more than $230,000 in prize money. And of course, there are all those bragging rights.
The Roger Clemens Institute Sports and Fitness Expo is going on simultaneously at the George R. Brown Convention Center. It will feature exhibits, speakers and workshops but sorry, kids no free HGH shots. The race starts at 7 a.m. Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford. The Expo is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. 1001 Avenida de las Americas. For course and Expo information, call 713-957-3453 or visit www.chevronhoustonmarathon.com. Free.
Sun., Jan. 13, 6:30 a.m., 2008