Race Weekend kicks off on Friday, with the Memorial Hermann Ironman Sports Medicine Institute EXPO. The two-day EXPO will attract over 25,000 visitors each day and feature over 120 industry vendors.
Run for a Reason
Thousands of race participants will arrive on the starting line to run for personal accomplishment and to help others through the event's Run for a Reason charity program. This year's fundraisers will run for official charities and continue to build on the $2.6 million garnered in 2014. The Chevron Houston Marathon's Run for a Reason charitable program has generated over $21 million in its 21-year history.
In the marathon, 2012 Chevron Houston Marathon runner-up Debebe Tolossa leads the men's field, while 2014 Chevron Houston Marathon fourth-place finisher Biruktait Degefa will face 2012 LA Marathon champion Fatuma Sado in the women's race. The prize purse for the open marathon races is $170,000, with a $40,000 first-place award for both the men's and women's winners.
Many of America's best long-distance runners will also be part of the event, participating in the 2015 Men's and Women's USA Half Marathon Championships. Both national championship races are part of the Aramco Houston Half Marathon.
Deep fields have been assembled for both races. 2014 Boston Marathon and USA Half Marathon champion Meb Keflezighi, along with Josphat Boit and Shadrack Biwott, who finished third and seventh in the 2014 USA Half Marathon Championships, lead the men's field. 2012 U.S. Olympian Janet Bawcom, 2006 USA Half Marathon champion Annie Bersagel, 2014 Dallas Half Marathon champion Sara Hall and 2013 CIM champion Becky Wade are among the women to watch in the field.
On Saturday, the honorary starters for the ABB 5K are Becky Wade, Lisa Thompson, Kelly Williamson and Kate Papenberg. A former Rice University four-time NCAA Division I All-American, Wade is a 2016 U.S Olympic Trials Marathon qualifier who received a grant from the Houston Marathon Foundation to aid in her athletic development, while Thompson is the 2014 Visually Impaired National Marathon Champion, Williamson won the 2014 Ironman Woodlands and Papenburg qualified for the 2016 U.S Olympic Trials Marathon.
On Sunday, the honorary starters for the Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Houston Half Marathon will be Peter and Aaron Berry, who, along with their sister Willa, survived a tragic automobile accident that took the lives of their parents, Josh and Robyn, in the summer of 2011. Josh and Robyn were longtime participants in the Chevron Houston Marathon race weekend of events. Other special guests include the City of Houston's Mayor Pro Tem and City Council member, District H, Ed Gonzalez, and City Council member at Large, Position One, Stephen Costello, both of whom will be running the Chevron Houston Marathon.
Chevron Houston Marathon Race Weekend By The Numbers
- 200,000 - Estimated number of spectators along the 26.2-mile course
- $51+ million economic impact to the city of Houston
- 45 - Number of countries represented
- 1 - Number of wheelchair racers
- 11 - Number of handcycle racers
- 41 - Average age of male participant
- 38 - Average age of female participant
- The 150,000th marathon and 100,000th half marathon finisher will cross the finish line during the 2015 Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Houston Half Marathon
- Top 5 states - TX, LA, CA, CO, OK
- Top 5 foreign countries - Mexico, Canada, Brazil, United Kingdom, Brazil, Ethiopia
- Top 5 cities outside Texas - Lake Charles, LA; New York, NY; Tulsa, OK; Denver, CO; Chicago, IL
- Top 5 cities in Texas: Houston, Katy, Sugar Land, Cypress, Spring
- 47,880,000 - Estimated number of calories that will be burned at the Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Houston Half Marathon
- H-E-B's free post-race participant breakfast serves:
- 22,000 eggs, 12,000 biscuits and 200 gallons of coffee