How to Avoid the Marathon Stampede This Weekend

The Houston Marathon is this Sunday, bringing not just thousands of runners pushing their bodies to the limit but also one of the city's biggest annual traffic nightmares.

Having sold out for 11 straight years at this point, the Chevron Houston Marathon (and its little sibling the Aramco Houston Half Marathon) has grown exponentially since it became a citywide course in the 1980s. Organizers this year expect some 27,000 participants and more than 7,000 volunteers. “We anticipate, between the runners, volunteers and spectators, we'll have a quarter of a million people there,” Wade Morehead, executive director of the Houston Marathon Foundation and Marathon Committee, told us this week.

Which means you can expect a stampede of bodies pushing their way from San Jacinto and Congress, where the race starts, through downtown, Midtown, Montrose and the edge of the Galleria. Hence why marathon organizers are urging anyone who's participating in, attending or watching the race to take public transportation (METRO's giving free rides Sunday to anyone wearing race bibs).

But given the huge area covered by the path of the race, just getting across town will be a road-rage-inducing feat. Unless, that is, you know where the street closures are. Thankfully, marathon organizers compiled a list of closures to look out for. For more detailed info, check out the map below, which lists street closure and reopening times for major thoroughfares affected by Sunday's marathon.

Godspeed, Houston.

Marathon Course Closures

  • Congress from Crawford to Smith
  • Smith from Congress to Franklin
  • Franklin from Smith to Washington (all lanes except one westbound curb lane)
  • Washington from Congress to Waugh (all lanes except one westbound curb lane from Franklin to Houston, and one eastbound curb lane from Studemont to Sawyer)
  • Heights/Waugh (southbound) from Washington to West Gray
  • West Gray/Inwood from Waugh to Kirby
  • Kirby (northbound) from Inwood to San Felipe
  • Kirby (southbound) from San Felipe to Bissonnet
  • Bissonnet from Kirby to Montrose
  • Mandell (southbound) from Bissonnet to Sunset
  • Sunset from Mandell to Rice Boulevard
  • Rice Boulevard from Sunset to Greenbriar
  • Greenbriar from Rice Boulevard to University Boulevard
  • University Boulevard from Greenbriar to Weslayan
  • Weslayan (from University to Bissonnet
  • Weslayan (northbound) from Bissonnet to Westpark
  • Westpark from Weslayan to South Rice Boulevard (all lanes closed except one westbound lane from Newcastle to 610/59 northbound feeder road
  • Loop 610 feeder (southbound) from Richmond to Westpark
  • Post Oak Boulevard (northbound) from Richmond to San Felipe
  • San Felipe (westbound) from Post Oak Blvd. to Tanglewood Road
  • Tanglewood Road (northbound) from San Felipe to Chimney Rock
  • Chimney Rock (northbound) from Tanglewood to Woodway
  • Chimney Rock (southbound) from Woodway to Memorial
  • Memorial (westbound) from Chimney Rock to Loop 610
  • Memorial (eastbound) from Loop 610 to Shepherd
  • Shepherd (all lanes under overpass) from Memorial to Allen Parkway
  • Allen Parkway from Shepherd to Bagby
  • Dallas from Allen Parkway to Bagby
  • Bagby from Dallas to Lamar
  • Lamar from Bagby to Avenida de las Americas
  • Avenida de las Americas from Polk to Rusk

Additional Half Marathon Course Closures

  • Montrose from Bissonnet to Main/Mecom Fountain
  • Main (southbound) from Mecom Fountain to Bissonnet
  • Bissonnet (eastbound) from Main to Montrose
  • Montrose (southbound) from Bissonnet to Dallas
  • Montrose (northbound) from Dallas to Allen Parkway

Freeway Exit Ramp Closures

  • 610 West Loop, southbound, exiting to Hidalgo/Richmond

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