Race Experience Spotlight: Discovery Green & We Are Houston RunFest

After crossing the finish line at the Chevron Houston Marathon, Aramco Houston Half Marathon, ABB 5K and Bank of Texas Team Challenge, we invite you to celebrate your accomplishment with friends, family and runners alike at the 2013 We Are Houston RunFest! Located on Jones Lawn at Discovery Green, this festive atmosphere is a great place to meet up with friends and family, hang out and relax after the race.dg1The We Are Houston RunFest is a two-day interactive festival that begins on Saturday, January 12th from 7:00 am to 11:00 am. The festival will open again on Sunday, January 13th from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm. The family-friendly atmosphere will include giveaways, contests, inflatables, and interactive experiences provided by the Houston Texans, Houston Astros, Houston Dynamo, Houston Rockets, the NBA, Chevron, Harris County Houston Sports Authority, Nissan, the United States Marine Corps, the Children’s Museum of Houston, University of Houston and NBC Universal. The Michelob Ultra Build-A-Bar will also be onsite to provide an ice cold Michelob Ultra while surrounded by plasma TVs. Don’t forget to stop by the Under Armour booth on McKinney to purchase your 2013 Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Houston Half Marathon official merchandise. On Saturday morning from 7:00 am to 11:00 am the Jack Burger Truck from Jack In The Box will also be parked on McKinney giving away full-size Jumbo Jack® burgers for your enjoyment.

Brand new for 2013, the Houston Double encourages Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Houston Half Marathon participants to warm up their Sunday legs in Saturday’s ABB 5K. Finishers of both the ABB 5K and either the Chevron Houston Marathon or Aramco Houston Half Marathon will receive 3 finisher medals! The ABB 5K Participant Services tent is located in Jones Lawn at Discovery Green and includes a registration area to pick up your bib, gear check, and post-race food provided by H-E-B. The registration area will be open from 6:00 am to 7:30 am on Saturday. Gear Check will be open from 6:00 am to 11:00 am. If you are participating in the Houston Double you will receive your Houston Double medal in Jones Lawn after the race on Sunday. There will be a tent for medal pick-up and all you will need to do is show the volunteers your Chevron Houston Marathon or Aramco Houston Half Marathon finisher’s medal. The Participant Services tent and all We Are Houston RunFest activities will close Saturday at 11:00 am. Registration is still open for the ABB 5K, but will not be available on race day. If you would like to be a part of the ABB 5K you can register at www.chevronhoustonmarathon.com.

Run for a Reason Charity Village is located in Waterside Landing at Discovery Green next to Jones Lawn. The Village is open on Saturday from 6:00 am-11:00 am and Sunday from 5:30 am-2:00 pm. Come enjoy the fun and learn about our 60 2012-2013 Run for a Reason official charities!dg3

If you need to phone a friend or family member or are looking for your race results, look for our Verizon Ambassadors at the Finish Line and throughout Jones Lawn. The Verizon Ambassadors will be wearing red backpack flags that say “Athlete Tracking & Results”. If you need help finding a location or answering any questions, look for our Ask Me Brigade volunteers throughout Jones Lawn. These volunteers, easily spotted in bright yellow vests, will be able to answer any questions you may have about race weekend, whether you are a runner or spectator.

We look forward to seeing you at Discovery Green and the 2013 We Are Houston RunFest. This is a great opportunity to see the Houston sports community together in one location to celebrate your accomplishment. Bring the kids and enjoy interactive games, and meet some of Houston’s sports team mascots. Also, stop by one of the booths and grab information on the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Click here for more information about We Are Houston RunFest.

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Race Experience Spotlight: Pre-Race Services

When race day arrives we want you to be sure of where to go and what to do. Review our parking map and start line map before race day to locate the best route and know the schedule of events. You can also find this information on the Chevron Houston Marathon mobile app, available at Apple and Android app stores for free. 2013 Start Line Map - Artist Rendition FINAL on 11.15.12The George R. Brown Convention Center (GRB) will open at 5:00am on race day to the public. We suggest that runners arrive at the GRB before 6:00am as the Houston Police Department will begin closing streets in and around downtown at that time. Please keep in mind that there may be heavy traffic and you may have to park a few blocks away from the GRB. The doors to Halls C and D, located on the South end of the building near the Hilton Americas hotel, will be open for you to enter the building.

As you enter the hall, there will be port-a-cans in Hall D for your use before the race. If you need to use the restroom after you have left the GRB, port-a-cans will be in groups inside every corral and at all pace intervals. If you are a Team Challenge member, private port-a-cans are available for your use in Hall D. You will need to wear your Team Challenge bib to gain access to this area before the race. Runners participating as Run for a Reason HEROES have private restrooms in Hall A toward the back of the building. You will need to be wearing your HERO bib to gain access to this area.

Gear Check is located in Halls B & C. You will have already received a gear check bag with your T-shirt at packet pick-up in the EXPO. This gear check bag is the ONLY bag you may check before the race. The bag is a clear 17″ x 21″ in size and has a drawstring closure. No other bags will be accepted at Gear Check. Each runner has a gear check tag attached to the top of their race bib. The tag is printed with your bib number that you will detach and affix to the bag.

For anyone that wishes to attend a church service before the race, a Catholic Mass will be held in Hall C and a Protestant Church service will be held in Hall B. Both will begin at 5:30am on race day and last for approximately 30 minutes. Signage will be posted at each entrance to assist you.

One new addition to the pre-race services this year is the Stretching Zone in Hall A. This area is designated for runners to stretch prior to the race. It is located in Hall A next to the doors you will use to exit to the start line. Bike racks will be in place to assist in your pre-race stretching as well.

The best advice we can give you is get to the start line early. When you are ready to head out to the start line from the GRB, you will exit through the north doors in Hall A next to the Stretching Zone. Look for the signage above the doors directing you to the start line. With six corrals and two start lines, knowing where you are going on race morning and getting their early will allow you a stress-free start. Head to the start line at least 30 minutes before your corral gate closes. “A” corral gates close at 6:40 a.m. and “B” corral gates close at 6:50 a.m.  Any “A” corral runners arriving after 6:40 a.m. must start in the “B” or “Open” corral. Good luck, and we will see you on race day!

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Vote for your favorite Chevron Houston Marathon Run for a Reason charity!

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It’s time to vote for your favorite charity! Chevron has partnered with the Houston Marathon Foundation to celebrate and recognize the success of Chevron Houston Marathon’s Run for a Reason Program.

From December 19 – January 8, you can vote for your favorite Run for a Reason charity. (Limit one (1) vote per person.) On Sunday, January 13, Chevron will donate $50,000 to the charity that receives the most votes.

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13 Fast Facts: Ways to utilize technology on Race Weekend

With thirty days left until race day, we’re taking a look at how race participants and spectators can utilize technology on Chevron Houston Marathon Race Weekend.

  1. Twitter – Follow us at @houstonmarathon hashtag #houmarathon
  2. Facebook – Chevron Houston Marathon CHM_Splash-White_5K-verizon
  3. Houston Marathon mobile app – available on Apple and Android – HOU 26.2 (click the link or search Houston Marathon in your app store, updates coming soon!). You can sign up in the mobile app to have your split results pushed to facebook and twitter as you go!
  4. Bring your confirmation email on your mobile device to packet pick-up and have the barcode scanned right from your device
  5. Verizon Athlete Tracking – Available in Hall C, friends and family will be able to use this station to track their runners and see if they have finished
  6. Live searchable results and map tracking at www.chevronhoustonmarathon.com
  7. You can wear a GPS watch while running the race to keep track of your splits as you go
  8. Heart rate monitors and pedometers can keep you on track during the race
  9. You can scan the QR codes on your bib once you have finished the race to get your results
  10. Instagram your photos from race weekend with the hashtag #houmarathon and follow us at @chevronhoustonmarathon
  11. Verizon Athlete Alerts – friends and family can sign up at www.chevronhoustonmarathon.com for real-time mobile alerts sent to your email or mobile device. You can sign up ahead of time or at EXPO
  12. You can use Yelp!* to find restaurant reviews of where they want to eat/celebrate once you leave We Are Houston RunFest
  13. The day after the race, online voting will be available to vote for your favorite HOOPLA station
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Race Experience Spotlight: Post-Race Services

After months of preparation and vigorous training, you run your race, collect your medal, and take your stunning finisher’s photo. What’s next? Let us take you through the post-race services available inside the George R. Brown Convention Center to make your race recovery stress-free.Race Experience Spotlight: Post-Race Services

As you enter the George R. Brown from the finish line, you will be handed a bottle of water and a banana. Keep moving through the entry chute into the building so the area does not become congested. We ask that you not stand here to wait for friends and family running the race and our volunteers will encourage you to keep moving through. If you would like to wait near here for other runners, you can stand along the other side of the fencing in the center of the hall.

As you enter the hall, you will see our Finisher’s Merchandise Area straight ahead on the back side of the building. This area is your first stop so you can collect your Under Armour finisher’s shirt and glass mugs for marathon finishers.  To collect your item(s) you will tear off the Finisher Shirt tag on your bib and hand it to a volunteer. If you cannot contain the excitement of putting on your finisher’s shirt, there is a changing area to the left of this area as well as behind Gear Check in Hall B. There will also be a cookie stand in front of the Finisher’s Merchandise Area to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Once you pick up your shirt, you will move down the hall to Gear Check. First is Marathon Gear Check, followed by Half Marathon Gear Check. You will pick up your gear check bag based on your race bib number. When you get to the front of the line you will rip off your gear check tag from your bib and hand it to a volunteer who will retrieve your bag. Once you are given your bag, please move out of the Gear Check area so that other runners may collect their bags.

Across from Gear Check you will find the H-E-B Food Court. When entering the Food Court, you will have the opportunity to take another banana and there will be compost stations set up throughout the line to dispose of your banana peel. Free post-race refreshments and a hot, fresh meal provided by H-E-B are available inside the Food Court for all race participants. Breakfast includes eggs, sausage, cookies, bananas, yogurt, coffee, hot chocolate, sodas and water. You will redeem your “food” ticket from the bottom of your race bib to a designated volunteer when entering the Food Court.

New to the Food Court this year, you will see the H-E-B Patio. This area is connected to the Food Court and available for you to rest and stretch while enjoying your food and drink. We encourage runners to go to this area if they would like to sit on the floor instead of in the center of the halls. This is also where you will find cookies, H-E-B ice cream, and Dole fruit cups. Whether you enjoy your post-race food and drink in the Food Court seating area or the H-E-B Patio, remember to recycle your leftover food, plastic cups, and utensils. Volunteers will be available to assist and educate you on the Houston Marathon Committee’s Green Initiative.

After you have collected your finisher’s shirt, gear check bag, and enjoyed your hot meal provided by H-E-B, you will exit the secured runner’s only zone to the Reunion Area. We encourage you to use the Reunion Area in Halls C and D of the George R. Brown to designate a place to meet your family and friends after the race. The reunion area is open to the public and will be designated by suspended banners with letters of the alphabet (A-C, D-G, H-L, M-P, Q-S, T-Z). If you missed the finisher photo opportunity on the finish line, there is an additional photo opportunity at the Brightroom Photography booth in Hall C. Once you have reunited with your family and friends, head out to the We Are Houston RunFest in Discovery Green Park for a free celebration of your accomplishment while enjoying refreshments, beverages and music!

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13 Fast Facts: Benefits of the 2013 Chevron Houston Marathon Race Weekend

As we get closer to the 2013 Chevron Houston Marathon Race Weekend (we’re just 60 days away!), let’s take a look at 13 of the best benefits provided to the runners at this year’s Race Weekend. Here they are in no particular order:

  1. Weather – The average start-time temperature is 45 degrees, while the average temperature at the finish is 60.
  2. Hot Breakfast – Marathon and half marathon runners will receive a food ticket on their bib and will be able to exchange that ticket for a delicious breakfast in the H-E-B Food Court. Breakfast includes eggs, sausage, hash browns, bagels, muffins, cookies, bananas, yogurt, coffee, hot chocolate, sodas and water.
  3. Boston Qualifier – Both gun and chip time results are sent to the Boston Athletic Association which accepts chip time as a qualifying time.
  4. Course – The Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Houston Half Marathon are run on flat, fast courses, great for setting personal bests.
  5. Pace team – A pace team with goal finish times from three to six hours are led by the Houston Marathon Veterans and is free to join.
  6. Houston Double – All runners who participate in the 2013 ABB 5K and Chevron Houston Marathon or Aramco Houston Half Marathon will get THREE finisher medals.
  7. Goodies – All registered participants will receive a participation T-shirt at packet pick-up. All official marathon and half marathon finishers will receive a finisher shirt and a medal.
  8. Crowd support – More than 200,000 supporters and spectators cheer on the runners on race day. From rock bands and belly dancers to marching bands, radio stations and bag pipers, a multitude of Hoopla brigadiers line the course to entertain and cheer on the runners to the finish.
  9. Start/finish line – The start/finish line area is in the same space, making it very convenient for runners, friends and family alike. 
  10. We Are Houston RunFest – Located in Jones Lawn at Discovery Green, this festive atmosphere is a great place to meet up with friends and family, hang out and relax after the race.
  11. EXPO – The 2013 Ironman Sports Medicine Institute at Memorial Hermann EXPO features vendors from all over the nation who will showcase the latest in running gear, health & fitness products, clothing, and more.  This Texas-sized EXPO is sure have something for everyone.
  12. Charity – The Chevron Houston Marathon’s Run for a Reason charity program links thousands of runners with participating nonprofits and provides a platform for charities to raise awareness and funds as well as educate others about their cause.
  13. Green Initiative – The Houston Marathon Committee is committed to reducing our environmental footprint and we are always looking for new ways to expand our green initiatives.
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Race Experience Spotlight: Sustainability

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The Houston Marathon Committee is committed to producing a high quality event that reduces our carbon footprint and is respectful to the environment. Earlier this year, the Council for Responsible Sport endorsed a Silver ReSport Certification for the 2012 Chevron Houston Marathon weekend of events. The Houston Marathon Committee is the first organization to achieve dual-certification from the Council of Responsible Sport for the 40th Annual Chevron Houston Marathon and the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon and is one of 36 different events worldwide to achieve ReSport Certification.

In 2012, the Houston Marathon Committee diverted 83% of waste collected out of landfills. The diversion process took over 130 hours during a five-day period. The goal for the 2013 race is to divert 90% of waste from the weekend. The ultimate goal is to become a zero waste event.

To achieve this goal, the Green Crew has modified their waste collection process and improved education for runners, spectators and vendors. To reduce our environmental footprint, the Houston Marathon Committee will:

  • Distribute reusable gear check bags to all race participants
    • The runner bag will contain a race bib, timing device, safety pins and a zip tie. Offers from sponsors and EXPO Vendors will be available in a virtual format to reduce paper waste.
  • Supply convenient recycling and composting bins at EXPO and We Are Houston RunFest
    • At this year’s race you will find dual waste containers placed throughout the George R. Brown Convention Center and at the We Are Houston RunFest in Discovery Green. One container will collect compost materials while the other container collects all recycling and trash. All waste will then be separated after the race at an offsite facility.
  • Enforce a 100% NO STYROFOAM Policy
    • We request that you not use any cups, plates or containers that are made from polystyrene foam (Styrofoam). We suggest the use of compostable or, if possible, recyclable products.
  • Donate over 2,000 pairs of running shoes to SEARCH Homeless Services
    • EXPO visitors may bring their used running shoes for donation to the Waste Management booth at the Ironman Sports Medicine Institute at Memorial Hermann EXPO.
  • Encourage everyone from participants, volunteers and spectators to use alternative transportation options to travel to and from events. Our website will be updated closer to the event with more information.
  • All marathon and half marathon finishers will receive Under Armour finisher shirts made from recycled plastic bottles
    • Under Armour produces an entire line of Green products made from recycled plastic bottles. Products made from recycled materials reduce waste to landfills and reduce the need for raw materials derived from fossil fuels.
  • Compost at least 50% of food waste and other organics, including all water station cups
    • The fluids cups provided are made of compostable material, unlike conventional cups made from petroleum-based plastic.
  • Collect and donate three tons of clothing left behind on the race course to Star of Hope
  • Tap into the renewable energy sources at the George R. Brown Convention Center
    • The George R. Brown Convention Center has earned LEED Silver Certification for an existing building. The building saves energy, minimizes water use, reduces CO2 emissions, recycles waste and maintains high indoor environmental quality.
  • Provide environmentally-friendly portable toilets and sinks
  • Use vehicles that require alternative-fuel for at least 25% of all event weekend vehicles
  • Provide 100% paperless race registration
    • All registration documents for the Chevron Houston Marathon, Aramco Houston Half Marathon, and ABB 5K are processed online.
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