I ran in the Houston Half Marathon on October 29. It was such a fun race in 2016 (you can read all about that here), that when the registration for the race opened I signed up immediately. This is my 2017 Houston Half Race Recap.
Race day eve was a rest day, with a little house work mixed in. My pre-race meal consisted of spaghetti with tomato sauce & wilted spinach. I laid out my gear and got to bed before 9pm.
Race day morning came early! My alarm went off at 3:30, and I had my pre-race breakfast of a piece of toast with almond butter and a banana along with some coffee. Showering and dressing were next on the agenda, I was on the road by 5am with a cup of coffee to go. I jammed out to Train on my commute to downtown Houston.
2017 Houston Half Recap
It was very chilly when I got to the race location about 48 degrees. I dropped a bag at the gear drop, then went to find the Half Fanatics group for our group photo (I never found them). The lines at the port-a-cans were pretty long, and race time was getting near so I headed towards the start.
At the start it was getting crowded, but I found a line of port-a-cans without too long of a line, so I stopped and got in line. While in line, I heard the Spangled Banner and the start of the race…. the race started promptly at 7:00 am. I finished my business and headed up to the start to start my race, just a little late – but I wasn’t worried about starting late.
The race course started at Sam Houston Park in downtown Houston. It went through downtown for a couple of miles, then headed out on Allen Parkway toward Memorial Park. We veered of to Memorial Drive, ran a loop through Memorial Park, then headed back to Sam Houston Park. It was a relatively flat course, except for the underpasses along Allen Parkway. The. There were water stops at about every 2 miles which were well manned and well stocked with Gatorade Endurance and water.
I started out at comfortable pace, and intended to keep pretty steady for the 13.1 miles. My sole goal during this race was to have fun. Between mile 2-3, I started smelling something different, it smelled like smoke, but with a little twist. I passed a few folks and then I found the source… there was a guy smoking a J. He put it out and stuck it in a cigarette box then took off, I never saw him again.
I had a fun time out on the course. There wasn’t a lot of crowd support out there, but there were a few spectators who cheered loudly. It was a really beautiful day, but it was cold. I finished up the with a time of 2:21:47. My pace per mile was well below my target pace on my training plan.
After The Race…
After finishing, I was handed my medal, and a bottle of water. I headed over to bag drop to pick up my bag, I was happy to see my jacket and to change into my Oofos. I mixed up my recovery drink, went to find the information booth to pick up the Yeti tumbler I had won on their Facebook contest.
The after party was a fun event. There was a band, beer from Karbach brewery (including my favorite Octoberfest), and tacos! I was happy to find they had black bean and rice tacos. There was a lot of other food too – fruit, pancakes, granola bars and many other items.
The Houston Half is a really great race. It is a race “for runners by runners” and is a tune-up race for the Houston Marathon. I would run this race again in a heartbeat.
- Very well organized, lots of updates on social media and e-mail
- Great extras – free race photos, contests on their facebook page
- Huge medal
- Fun after party
- Unpredictable Houston weather (last year it was in the 70’s at the start)