Get a glimpse of a couple of Olympians as you cheer on the 18,000 athletes running in todays 2009 Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Houston Half Marathon. (Thats a record number of runners, by the way.) Dathan Ritzenhein was ninth in the 2008 Olympic Marathon, but hes seeded second for his first attempt at the Aramco Houston Half Marathon. Hell be up against fellow Olympian Dan Brown and more than 8,000 other hopefuls. Running in the womens Half Marathon are Olympians Colleen De Reuck and Magdalena Lewy Boulet. Theyll meet Kate ONeill and Desiree Davila, who finished first and second respectively in last years race.
The half marathon course starts at Minute Maid Park and then winds its way through downtown and the Heights, then down Montrose Boulevard to Richmond, before returning to the George R. Brown Convention Center. The marathon starts the same, but continues on through Rice University, the Galleria area and Memorial Park before returning to the GRB, where theres an athletic expo and live entertainment awaiting the athletes and spectators. 7 a.m. Starting line: 501 Crawford. Finish line: 1001 Avenida de las Americas. For information, call 713-957-3453 or visit www.chevronhoustonmarathon.com. Free for spectators.
Sun., Jan. 18, 2009