I love the Chevron Houston Marathon, and if you know me, that’s probably no surprise. This year was my fourth time running and third year as an ambassador for the race. With unseasonably warm temperatures, the race and its runners were definitely up for a challenge. As always, I find myself so impressed by how the city comes together, especially this year where the weather was less than ideal. To me, the Chevron Houston Marathon is more than a race, it’s an opportunity to see Houston shine at its finest. Plus, this year we were graced with a lack of construction at the finish line for the first time since I started running the race! In no particular order, here are my 10 favorite things about the 2017 Chevron Houston Marathon!
- Pre-race media. As an ambassador, I have the privilege of representing the race in the local media. I love being able to speak to what an incredible race Houston is, plus I get to show off all the new snazzy Skechers Performance gear! Check out one of my media interviews here.
- EXPO fun. The hardest part about the EXPO, is leaving! I always loose track of time because of all the time I spend chatting, taking photos, and checking out new gear. The best part about EXPO is seeing all of my favorite people in the running community in the same place.
- Ambassador photoshoot. Because of my hectic travel and work schedule this year, I didn’t make some of the initial ambassador meet ups. So getting to hang out with my fellow ambassadors during a mock finish line photo shoot was an absolute highlight!
- Volunteering with Clean Sport Collective. While at the EXPO, I had the opportunity to volunteer with Clean Sport Collective, a non-profit aimed at supporting clean sport and athletics through the absence of performance enhancing drugs. I had the chance to learn more about the organization and what they’re doing to create change, if you haven’t signed the pledge yet…do it!
- Guiding the ABB 5K with Achilles Houston. The day prior to the marathon, I ran the ABB 5K like I typically do as a shakeout run. However, this year, I chose to run as a guide for Achilles Houston. If you’re ever looking to be inspired, give guiding a try. Plus, I got to make some new friends, too!
- Meeting Meb. Two years ago, I had the chance to meet Meb, and this year I got to meet him again. What impresses me the most about his incredible marathoner is that he really takes the time to speak to his fans and give valuable advice.
- Meeting Kara…twice. I got to meet Kara Goucher not once, but twice during Chevron Houston Marathon weekend. Like Meb, she took the time to speak with me and the other ambassadors. I even gave her some advice on where to run in Houston!
- All the amazing signs and cheerleaders along the route. Oh Houston, you never cease to impress. It’s always incredible to see the crowds come out in force, and sometimes even in costume. Whether they know it or not, the spectators make a huge difference in how we as runners feel throughout the race. Especially on a hot, humid and muggy day like Sunday.
- Starting the race with friends. With four years of Houston running under my belt, I have a pretty big network now. Being able to start the race with friends in the A corral has got to be one of the best ways to curb any pre-race nerves.
- Finishing strong (and in the rain). I came to the start line with a plan–I wanted to run a 3:45, have fun, and stay healthy. And, I did just that! By sticking to a more conservative pace and staying steady, I was able to finish strong. As soon as I crossed the finish, the skies opened, and nature greeted me with a nice cool shower.
What were your favorite moments about the Chevron Houston Marathon? I’d love to hear your stories!