January 16th, 2012
2012 Chevron Houston Marathon: A Photo Essay
Once again, Houstonians put their fitness on display and the rest of us to shame as they took on the 26.2 mile challenge. Once again, I ventured but 50 steps out to the corner to photograph sinewy runners and show-offs.
We had a couple more dogs in the fight. Richard took over the role of TLS Alpha-Male as he conquered the full marathon beast. We also had occasional contributor, Sean, who was determined to be more than half the man of Richard while running the Amoco Half Marathon.
The lead groups were passing by the three-mile mark just as the sun started to creep over the horizon. It was a cold morning. The early fans had on multiple layers as the professionals whizzed by in shorts and tanks. Not real tanks, mind you. That would be cheating.
The day after the US Olympic Trials for the marathon were held, some of the runners hadn’t lost the spirit of ‘76.
Because the race was held just a short few hours before the Texans battled the Ravens, there was no shortage of Houston NFL paraphernalia. However, that doesn’t mean the colleges were passed over. Here’s a Rice University runner. On multiple occasions, marathoners took a second to shout “Go Coogs!” at me, the cold photographer in a Cougars hoodie.
American pride was never so much on display as it was when Lady Mister Liberty ran by. Judging by the execution, we’re left to assume that this was a last-minute costume choice.
Because my girlfriend was also running the marathon, I tried to make it out to as many stops as possible. I found myself at miles 3, 6, 14 and 24 throughout the day. One group of fans had gone along the course to hang up signs at each mile marker. This one reads, “Hill ahead. But you went over the hill years ago.” Thoughtful.
At mile 11 of the half marathon (24 of the full), the Houston Fire Department had brought out the big guns to cheer on the runners. Two fire trucks spanned Allen Parkway from which hung a giant American flag. If you weren’t finishing for yourself, you must finish for America!
There were a few great, comedic signs along the route, but I managed to capture three in one photo and called it a day. From left to right the signs read “Run Faster, My Arms Hurt,” “WORST PARADE EVER,” and “Making this sign was hard too.”
Under the bridge at the Studemont/Montrose crossing of Allen Parkway, runners faced the final hill. Whoever designed the course must be mean-spirited to throw this little glitch in at the very end.
Luckily, some runners found the Parkway Jester for support. He was running up and down the hill providing motivation for all who needed it.
Congratulations to everyone who finished the Chevron Houston Marathon and Amoco Half Marathon this weekend. We couldn’t be more proud of you. If you were doing it to cross it off the bucket list or a seasoned vet, you humbled all of us non-runners.