Race Experience Spotlight: Refueling Stations

The goal of the Chevron Houston Marathon refueling stations is simple – to leave no runner thirsty. Our teams are hard at work preparing their stations, and we want to give a peek into what you will find at refueling stations along the course.

The Chevron Houston Marathon refueling stations have a uniform design at all stations so you can grab the fluids you need and avoid confusion. The tables will all be erected on the right-hand side of the street, with Gatorade tables being the first stop, followed by water tables. There will be flags indicating which tables have Gatorade or water, and volunteers will be shouting what is in their hand as you pass. Tables will be placed together in pairs and spaced 16 feet apart so that runners can easily get past the station if they do not wish to take fluids. There will also be space available between and following the Gatorade and water tables for runners to stop and drink if they prefer.

Be on the lookout for upcoming refueling stations throughout the race and move into a position that allows you to stop at the last table and avoid a bottleneck. Volunteers are prepared with Gatorade and water at later tables as well. Try to make eye contact with the volunteer so they know you’re going to grab the cup in their hand, and please thank our race crew volunteers who make our race day possible. Try not to cut off other runners or spill fluids on them when passing through the refueling station. You can stop or slow down through the refueling station, but try to make sure there’s not a runner immediately behind you.

Recycling boxes will be positioned on the right-hand side of the course just past the refueling stations. If you are able, toss your cup in one or throw your cup on the ground out of the path of other runners. Our volunteers will clean up and recycle all cups along the course.

Speaking of recycling, the Houston Marathon Committee is committed to producing another sustainable event for 2013. Unlike conventional cups made from petroleum-based plastic, the green Gatorade cups are made of compostable material and the water cups are made from compostable bio-based plastic. To ensure we are providing safe drinking water, the Houston Marathon Committee utilizes filtered hydrant water at all course refueling stations.  Volunteers run city water through a potable water hose – a hard, high quality hose resistant to abrasions and tearing. This process filters out any chlorine or sediment. The water is then transferred into a contaminant-free trash can lined with food-grade liners. This process reduces water waste along with providing safe, clean water for runners.

A lot of hard work and planning goes into manning a refueling station. More than 2,100 volunteers will distribute over 173,000 cups of Lemon-Lime Endurance Formula Gatorade and over 125,000 cups of water along the course. Volunteers arrive early on race day morning to filter, fill, and stack cups on tables to ensure that fluids are available to hand out as soon as the first runners pass.

There are seven refueling stations along the half marathon course and sixteen refueling stations along the marathon course, available every 1.5 miles beginning at mile 2. Gatorade and water will be available in the George R. Brown Convention Center before and after the race, and bottled water will be handed out as runners enter the Convention Center post-race. A refueling station will be available to refill your water bottle, and recycling stations will be available throughout the building once you are ready to recycle.

Click here to read more about the Houston Marathon Committee’s Green Initiative.

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4 Responses to Race Experience Spotlight: Refueling Stations

  1. Arlen Isham, Houston Marathon Warehouse Manager says:

    The preparation for the stations is done in advance at the warehouse in December & January to load out the stations in POD’s, then shipped to race locations, ready for race morning.

  2. “You can stop or slow down through the refueling station, but try to make sure there’s not a runner immediately behind you.”

    Please everyone pay attention to this…. Newbie runners tend to be the worst and come to a dead stop right at the start of the water station without any regard for who is behind them. Some of us like to grab our cup and keep running without missing a stride. And these runners who stop in their tracks are a huge obstacle.

  3. Jason Currie says:

    The Chevron Houston Marathon is one of the best run marathons in the country. I would like to see an additional hydration station added after mile 23 so the stations would only be 1 mile apart down the stretch.

    • Conventional wisdom used to be the more hydration the better. But every since a runner died at the Boston Marathon from over-hydration, (hyponatremia) the Chevron Houston Marathon made a conscious decision to limit the number of water stops. Their rationale was that dehydration was a less life threatening condition compared to overhydration. As a runner I disagree with their position, but ever since we have had to kiss the “water stops ever mile” concept good-bye.

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