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Race Dates

2019: TBD
2018: Sunday, January 14, 2018

Course Information

Profile: Pancake Flat
Type: Loop
Surface: Road/Pavement
Certified?: Yes

Race Day Weather

Mean Temp.: 52°F (11°C)
Average High: 62°F (16°C)
Average Low: 41° F (5°C)

Historical Weather

PR Score & Course Score

PR Score: 99.45
Course Score: 99.45

Race Size

2018: 6,964 Finishers
2017: 7,109 Finishers
2016: 7,804 Finishers

BQ Percentages

2018: 12.2%
2017: 6.7%
2016: 11.6%

Miscellaneous Information

Pace Groups?: Yes

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Course Description

The Houston Marathon is a fast, flat, single-loop course with just a few elevation changes - mainly uderpasses and overpasses. Less than 40 feet of elevation separate the high and low points of the course.

Marathon Rankings

The Houston Marathon was the 10th largest marathon in the U.S. last year and was the 10th largest in 2016.

This year 12.2% of finishers qualified for the Boston Marathon and 6.7% of runners qualified for Boston in 2017.

This gives the Houston Marathon the 302nd highest percentage of Boston Marathon qualifiers in the U.S. last year and the 2nd highest percentage so far in 2018.

Its Course Score of 99.45 ranks it as the 108th fastest marathon course in the U.S. and the 8th fastest course in Texas.

The typical race time temperature and humidity levels are within the ideal range for optimal marathon performance. This, coupled with the Course Score, gives the Houston Marathon a PR Score of 99.45. This PR Score ranks it as the 72nd fastest marathon in the U.S. and the 5th fastest in Texas.

Learn more about PR Scores and Course Scores on the FAQ page.

Elevation Chart

Max Elevation: 68 feet (20m)
Min Elevation: 27 feet (8m)


Recent Houston Marathon Reviews

4.6 Stars from 14 Reviews
View all Reviews

review of 2017 Houston Marathon.   

4 / 5 Stars


Houston is a great course. Flat and Fast, if the weather is cool! Be wear of the humidity. This year the humidity was 96% at the start and the temperature was 65 degrees, which was tough for anyone who didn't do their training in Texas. However, in 2016 the conditions were great and the temperature at the start was 45.

Race Tips

I ran this race in 2016 and 2017, both times I started with the 8:00/mile pace group. In 2016, the paces were so great! We ran exactly 8:00/mile for the first 12 miles. I fell back after that, so I'm not sure what pace they ran the rest of the time. In 2017, I started with the 8:00/mile pace group and the first mile we ran a 7:45. I knew this was too fast for me, so I immediately dropped off. I saw a picture of my pacer from mile 23 and he was all alone, so I guess the weather + faster than expected start made it so no one could keep up.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

I took an uber from midtown to and from the race and it was less than $10 each way. I found this to be much easier than trying to find a parking spot downtown. If you do drive, the garage right next to the convention center is fairly large. The Convention center opens at 5:30 am, and it's great that there is a large indoor waiting area! The race start is at least half a mile (maybe a mile by the time you get to the real start line, and not just the corral entrance) from the convention center and the corrals are huge, so be sure to leave the convention center about 20-30 minutes before your corral closes to be sure you have time to get to the corral without running and to find your pace group.

review of 2017 Houston Marathon.   

3 / 5 Stars


Hilly at the middle and end of race.

Race Tips

Just push if weather is bad... lots of other qualifiers around that same time so don't run in 100 % humidity with 70 degree temps. Bad idea if trying to qualify.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

Marriott Marquis perfect location

review of 2017 Houston Marathon.   

3 / 5 Stars


The course is well-laid out and the support is great. Both times I ran it is was so hot. Training in a cold climate and racing in a hot one is not a good idea.The middle miles 13-15 are dead boring.

Race Tips

Prepare as well as you can for the heat.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

Parking and crowds are a nightmare. Uber in and out if you can.

review of 2017 Houston Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


Race morning starts with an early start at 6am for the slower paces. This course is one of the few in the Northwest that is open for 7 plus hours for the marathon giving everyone a chance to reach for their unicorn moment. Once you arrive you can check your bag with the registration volunteers and do what you need to start.

Race Tips

They offered a pace team which I kept an eye on so I was able to make sure to stay in between the two people that matches my time. My watched died close to the end so it kept me accountable for my mile time in the end.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

I live in Houston but family came in from out of town to see and I stayed with them at the Four Season hotel. It turned out to be one of the best things I did. So close to the starting like and an easy walk back after the race. They were extremely hospital to racers and had all kinds of goodies waiting in my room when we checked in. Ever celebratory champagne at the door when we returned after the race! Book through the race site for a discount. The also offered free massages after in the hotel! And early morning stretching sessions.

review of 2017 Houston Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


First have flat, excellent organization, great weather, nice course second half with rolling hills on memorial park.

Race Tips

Lots of concrete, beware.

you have to train on holidays because marathon is in mid January.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

You can stay near the galleria and drive to downtown in the morning, a lot of parking available.

Finish Time Equivalent

If you ran the Houston Marathon in 3:53:00, what would your time in the Boston Marathon be?

See how your race times would compare on other marathon courses using the Marathon Time Converter Tool.