The Chevron Houston Marathon is one of my favorite times of year in Houston. The city truly shines. And this year, after Houston’s historic floods and World Series wins, I can’t wait to see what magic the race has in store. But I know what you’re thinking. I’m not a runner (plus it’s sold out). But trust me, marathon weekend offers so much more than 26.2 miles of pavement pounding — instead take in the inspiring stories, feats of courage and teamwork. Here are five ways you can get involved in race weekend!
1. Watch & Cheer!
There’s nothing like watching a marathon and Houston offers some of the best spectating (plus they put the runner’s names on their bibs!)! When it comes to spectating a marathon there’s three primary strategies you can take.
- Keep it simple. Park yourself in one location along the course — at a house party, area near your home or favorite hoopla station.
- Follow your runners. Make a game out of it. How many times can you see your running friends and family out on the course. Download the Houston Marathon app to track them along the way!
- Finish line. The finish line of a marathon is pretty incredible. It’s where you see all the emotions — from simply finishing to reaching that goal, or falling short. Watching the finish of a marathon is pretty spectacular.
2. Explore EXPO
Contrary to popular belief, Marathon expos are more than just shopping (of course, you can do that too). There are tons of photo opps, other races to discover, new brands and running groups to meet! It’s the hub of Houston (and beyond)’s running community for the weekend. Houston’s EXPO also offers an inspiring speaker series. You can catch me at 9am on Saturday teaching pre-race yoga!
3. Donate to Run for a Reason
One of the best things about the Chevron Houston Marathon is its incredible giving program. This year, more than ever, it’s important to support local charities. Many of the philanthropic organizations in Houston were hit hard by Harvey so now is the time to step up and show them we care. Donate to a Run for a Reason charity of your choice or for a slightly different option support local elite Zach Cater-Cyker’s fundraising efforts. Zach will begin the race behind all the other runners and donate per runner he passes! Learn more here.
It’s not too late to sign up to volunteer and support the race from within! There are so many different opportunities to volunteer that you’re bound to find something that fits your interest or skillset. Click here to volunteer.
5. Host a Pasta Dinner
If there’s one way to a runner’s heart, it’s through food. Host a pasta dinner for your family and friends running the race! Swap race stories, talk goals, and enjoy the pre-race nerves together.
If I’ve learned anything from my experiences through injury this last year it’s that the running community extends far beyond the road. You don’t have to run a full marathon to be involved and support those who do. In fact, the marathon couldn’t happen without the amazing staff and volunteers who put it on. And, spectators make a bigger difference than you’ll ever know!
But hey, if being involved this year gets you inspired. Signups for 2019 open up on race day this year!