Runners and spectators will see additional security and new security checkpoints at the finish line of today’s 42nd annual Chevron Houston Marathon. The new checkpoints and enhanced security were added in lieu of the April 15, 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing. During the Boston Marathon two pressure cooker bombs exploded, killing three people and injuring hundreds.
Wade Morehead is the Houston Marathon Committee's Executive Director. According to Morehead everything from strollers to bag packs and large purses will be checked. Morehead encourages spectators who want to attend this year's event without all the hassle to" leave your valuables and larger bags at home if you want to walk in without stopping.” He encourages runners to only bring their race-issued gear check bags. Twenty-five thousand runners are registered to participate in the Chevron Houston Marathon.
Of the registered participants, four of the top five finishers from the 2013 USA Half Marathon Championships are expected to cross the finish line in Houston. Some other participants the Houston Marathon Committee lists as notable runners to watch:
- 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon champion and London Games fourth-place finisher Meb Keflezighi. Keflezighi, 2004 Olympic Marathon silver medalist, is looking to win his second national half marathon title. He first won in Houston in 2009 and finished as the runner-up in 2013.
-Tim Ritchie, who placed fourth at the 2013 USA Half Marathon Championships, and Luke Puskedra, who set a personal best 1:01:36 with his fourth-place finish in the 2013 Aramco Houston Half Marathon.
-2013 USA Half Marathon champion Adriana Nelson leads the women’s field and will be challenged by Serena Burla, who will be looking to improve on her two runner-up finishes at these Championships in Houston in 2010 and 2011.
- 2012 Olympic 10,000m runner Lisa Uhl, who set her personal best 1:13:28 with her sixth-place finish at the 2013 Aramco Houston Half Marathon.
An estimated 200,000 to 250,000 spectators are expected to attend and cheer on runners along the 26 mile route.