Local Elite status in the 2017 Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Houston Half Marathon is awarded to the first local finisher per category who achieves the minimum qualifying standards in the 2016 Chevron Houston Marathon and each of the 2016 selected local qualifying races - the Space City 10 Miler, the Luke's Locker Half Marathon, the HMSA Classical 25K and the Fort Bend Kia 30K.
To be considered eligible as a "local" for the Local Elite Program, runners must be able to prove permanent residence in one of the following 19 counties from the period beginning January 17, 2016 through race day January 15, 2017: Austin; Brazoria; Chambers; Fort Bend; Galveston; Grimes; Hardin; Harris; Jefferson; Liberty; Matagorda; Montgomery; Orange; Polk; San Jacinto; Walker; Waller; Washington; and Wharton.
Perks of the Local Elite Program include complimentary entry into the Chevron Houston Marathon or Aramco Houston Half Marathon, special elite athlete check-in and packet pick-up, along with a pre-race technical meeting hosted by the senior director of the Elite Athlete Program. Local elites are also granted access to the Elite Hospitality Suite for snacks and pre-race fueling and invited to the elite athlete pre-race dinner on Saturday evening. On race day, they will take a shuttle to the elite athlete start line tent and will be given a priority location on the start line, just behind the elite field. Following the race, local elites will have access to indoor post-race facilities to stretch and cool down, receive a massage and nourishment.
Entrants in the field this year include 2003 Chevron Houston Marathon champion Sean Wade, 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier Megan Saloom and two-time World Championships participant Mary Davies of New Zealand, who lives and trains in Houston.