FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
More than 30,000 to Run
on Chevron Houston Marathon Weekend
Record turnout expected to generate nearly $1.5 million for local charities
HOUSTON (Jan. 13, 2010) - Record participation has become synonymous with
the annual Chevron Houston Marathon Weekend - and this year is no
exception. More than 26,000 runners will take to the streets of Houston
Sunday to participate in the Chevron Houston Marathon, Aramco Houston Half
Marathon, El Paso Corporation 5K ("EP5K") and Texas Children's Hospital
Kids' Fun Run.
Fields for the 38th annual Chevron Houston Marathon and the ninth running
of the Aramco Houston Half Marathon sold out for the fifth consecutive
year, reaching capacity just 36 hours after registration opened. The EP5K
also reached its field limit of 4,500 runners and an additional 4,000 are
expected in the Saturday running of the Texas Children's Hospital Kids' Fun
Run. The combined field is the largest in event history.
"Each year, we think we have reached a threshold for participation, and
each year, the response from the running community in Houston, and around
the world, exceeds our expectations," said Brant Kotch, race director of
the Chevron Houston Marathon. "We are extremely fortunate to have the
support of a number of loyal sponsors that make these races possible, and
allow us to host an event that delivers a race experience second to none."
The record number of runners is expected to result in a new standard for
money raised by the Run for a Reason program. The annual charity initiative
connects runners with 46 Houston-area nonprofit organizations. Participants
in all three races can collect donations on behalf of a charity of their
choice. Even before a mile has been run, runners have raised more than $1.2
million, giving Run for a Reason a chance at raising close to $1.5 million
for participating charities.
In the elite races, runners from Kenya and Ethiopia are expected to show
the way in the marathon, while American athletes will compete for national
half marathon championships.
Jason Mbote and Charles Kibiwott, both of Kenya, are the No. 1 and No. 2
seeds, respectively, in the marathon. Both runners own sub 2:09 personal
bests. American Brett Gotcher (Flagstaff, Ariz) also could contend for the
marathon title. He won his first national road championship at 20k in
September and is seeded third.
Defending champion Teyba Erkesso of Ethiopia is the top seed among the
women. Erkesso dominated the race a year ago en route to setting a course
record of 2:24:18 in her very first marathon. Paige Higgins (Flagstaff,
Ariz.) is the No. 2 seed in the marathon, while Tara Quinn-Smith of Canada
is seeded third.
Both the men's and women's winner will be awarded $35,000, part of a total
marathon prize purse of $130,000.
The Aramco Houston Half Marathon is once again hosting the USA Half
Marathon Championships. Josh Rohatinsky (Portland, Ore.), Tim Nelson
(Portland, Ore.) and Antonio Vega (Minneapolis, Minn.) are the top seeds in
the men's division.
The women's field features three highly decorated runners, led by 2008
Olympian Shalane Flanagan (Pittsboro, N.C.). The two-time Olympian won a
bronze medal at 10,000m at the Beijing Games and is seeded second in her
first half marathon. Defending champion Magdalena Lewy Boulet (Oakland,
Calif.) is the No. 1 seed. She won a year ago in 1:11:47.
Runners in the championship races will be competing for $59,500 in prize
money, with $12,000 awarded to each winner.
Chevron Houston Marathon Weekend 2010 will get under way with packet pickup
Friday at the Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine Institute EXPO. The EXPO -
featuring more than 100 exhibitors, along with seminars on health, fitness
and running - will be open Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from
9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the George R. Brown Convention Center, Hall A3, third
level. The EXPO is free and open to the public. Packet pickup is not
available on race day.
The race action will begin Sunday at 6:45 a.m. with the marathon and half
marathon wheelchair start. The first of two waves in both races will begin
at 7 a.m., followed by the second wave at 7:10 a.m. The EP5K will start at
The Chevron Houston Marathon, a Running USA founding member, is the
nation's premier winter marathon, annually attracting participants from all
50 U.S. states and more than 20 foreign countries. In 2009, more than
26,000 runners participated in four marathon weekend events (marathon, half
marathon, 5K run and children's run). The Houston Marathon has been ranked
among the top five in the nation by Ultimate Guide to Marathons for fastest
course, organization and crowd support. More than 5,000 volunteers organize
the race, which is Houston's largest single-day sporting event.
More information is available at www.chevronhoustonmarathon.com or