The folks at the Houston Marathon Committee are always looking for ways to improve the annual event, both for the full and half marathons. One surefire way to do that is to change the course. Frankly, I've never fully comprehended how a person could run that far. I have friends who have done it and I tend to believe they are either mutants developed in a secret lab even they didn't know about or are simply crazy. Whatever the case, I salute their dedication to running in a straight line for an extremely long period of time with thousands of other people. If some major disaster or alien attack happens, my guess is they'll be the most prepared to escape the damage path.
This year, the committee announced that the January 19, 2014, race will begin both full and half varieties at the same time and in the same spot. The first eight miles of the race will be run together through River Oaks, Upper Kirby and Rice University. The full marathon will continue through West U and back down Post Oak Boulevard while the half marathoners will come back through Montrose and along Buffalo Bayou.
The new marathon and half marathon courses will provide a better participant experience for the runner by giving them more space and wider roads to run on. The first eight miles, now populated with local businesses and easier to access through major thoroughfares, will improve the spectator experience as well.
Either way, we assume the racers will be exhausted and spectators will be drunk...well, some of them anyway.
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The new course can be found on the Chevron Houston Marathon website.