Some 25,000 runners will take to the streets of Houston for the marathon, and for many, the event serves as a stepping stone for other marathons around the world. Inclement weather is the big concern, specifically thunder and lightning. Race director Brant Kotch says they’ll be keeping a close eye on the weather conditions.
“My biggest concern is always lightning. Everything else runners are used to. Runners are used to running in rain; runners are used to running in cold. We’re not worried about that. If we have a lightning strike within ten miles of where the runners are, and within 30 minutes of when they’ll be there, certainly we would postpone the event.”
The Houston Marathon has never been cancelled in its 40 years. Just like running, timing is everything with regards to the front and the start of the marathon. Kotch says they’re prepared for any contingency.
“We are ready;we are very ready. We have 600 officers on the course; we can mobilize them. We have places where we can shelter the runners in place. Again, we’re talking worst case. So we have all the contingencies felt. We will do everything we can to ensure that the runners are safe.”
That includes picking up runners along the race route. Officials say another big attraction is the half course, said to be one of the fastest in the industry. Alma Kombargi is with Aramco Services company, sponsor of the half marathon.
“There is as many athletes that are competing in the “Run for Houston Half Marathon” as in the marathon, so a total of 25,000. There’ll be thousands of people watching the race. I know it’s supposed to rain a little bit, but I think there’s gonna be a lot of people out there cheering the runners on.”
Weather permitting, the winner pockets $40,000 dollars and an extra $15,000 for setting a course record. There’s also a bonus of $50,000 dollars if a world record is set in the half marathon.