Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Houston Half Marathon are among most popular races in Texas. The Houston Marathon and half marathon take place every January attracting about 13,000 participants each. About 500,000 spectators cheer for the runners. The race attracted a few celebrities like George W. Bush who ran in the Houston Marathon in 1993, finishing within 3 hours 44 minutes.
Houston Marathon course is quite fast and flat. It starts near Minute Maid Park in downtown and goes through many green and scenic areas like Houston Heights, Neartown, Hermann Park, Rice University, Uptown, Memorial Park and Allen Parkway. The marathon finishes at the George R. Brown Convention Center. The course is suitable to qualify for the Boston Marathon. It was used for the women's Olympic Trials in 1992, USATF Men's Half Marathon Championship in 2005-2008, and U.S Olympic Marathon Trials for both men and women in 2012. The time limit for the course is 6 hours.
Houston Marathon was first held in 1972 with just 113 runners and 200 spectators. The marathon is sponsored by Chevron Corporation, while Aramco sponsors the half marathon.