On the 16th January 2022 I took part in the Houston Marathon. I always love going on adventures to travel and pace events around the world. Houston Marathon was the 5th State I have ran a marathon, and 4th I have paced. I am getting excited that I am so close to the 100 Marathon Club, with this being my 98th qualifying event. It was also 93rd event I have been an official pacer, 32nd at a marathon.
Before we get on to the marathon, I had a lot of fun before. First of all there was the We Are Houston 5k, which led to meeting some of the USA Brooks Run Happy Team.
I got to meet Des Linden and she signed my pacing stick, before I went for the Brooks photo.
I ended up going for some nice craft beers. I probably had more than I should before a marathon, but it was great company, and my one night in Houston, so I made the most of it.
You will be pleased to know I got back to the hotel safely to do my flatlay ahead of the race.
Race morning was cold, and a good hour walk from my hotel again. I set off in plenty of time for a 6am pacer meet, and got sorted prior to the start. The expo is the same venue as gear check and toilets. It was nice to have a nice warm area before the race.
It was a bit of a walk to the start line, and cold. I got there early so I could be there for the runners to find me. I had a big group, and I introduced them to the Funbus trying to ease nerves. We had a good mix of first timers and many going for their first sub 4. With Houston being mostly flat I talked about my pace strategy and reassured everyone about what lay ahead.
We started at around 07:15 and the roads are so wide that we had plenty of room. There were lots of spectators on the course and we had a large group from start to finish. It was very windy in places which made the temperature drop, but most of the run it was OK. There were a couple of hills, but I would still consider this a flat course. Water and gatorade was frequent, every couple of miles, and towards the end spectators were giving out beer and treats to runners.
Towards the end, around mile 23, I started to lose a lot of runners which was a shame, but I picked up others along the way, giving a boost as we passed. Such a friendly atmosphere from everyone I met.
The course was well marked and very accurate. Of course we ran much further than 26.2 but we hit the markers on time every mile. I kept everyone updated on how we were doing and we kept a consistent pace throughout.
There were a couple of poor GPS spots, and at one point my watch said I was running 17 minute miles, but I just kept us steady.
The medal was fantastic and the sub 4 funbus came in with an unofficial time of 3:59:44. I also made it on the live feed.
I had a great time in Houston. The finish line was great, we received an extra medal for doing a race on both days, and as well as the finishers tee you got a towel and a beer glass. I spent a bit of time at the runfestival at the end, before making my way to the airport. Another successful trip.