I, Sarah Pepper, have run or been involved with the Houston Marathon for the past 6 years. This will be my sixth Half this Sunday and for those of you running your first half marathon. I know that feeling in the pit of your stomach. I know the nerves and the questions.
So, I’m going to answer the best I can.
Stay hydrated! Yes, it is going to be cold on race day but the easiest way to get dehydrated is NOT to drink fluids when it is cold. There will be stations all throughout the course. You will see people carrying their own water and drinks. I’m not one of them, I stop at the stops but do what makes you comfortable but drink fluids.
Go to the expo at George R Brown. They have everything you are going to need and experts on site who can answer questions.
I get my glide there. Glide? Yes, body glide. It looks like deodorant but you are gonna rub it on every part of your body you think will rub together, rub clothing, where your sports bra is, guys the under of shirt, legs, and your feet! It’s going to be cold and you will be in clothes you didn’t train in, keep that in mind.
Speaking of the cold. Wear WARM CLOTHES! This means sweatpants and sweatshirts. You don’t have to run in them, you can toss them at the start line or as you get further into the course and they will be picked up and donated to shelters. I go to Wal-mart and get sweats every year and you know they’re going to a good spot.
Goos. You will see people picking up what everyone calls, Goos. This is like energy liquid gooey stuff. If you have trained with them, you know what they are. If you haven’t, talk to someone at Expo. I use goos. I use them every 45 mins on the course.
Get a runners belt! You can keep everything you will need in it. Cash, keys and cell phone.
Speaking of your cell phone. I know you want pictures. I want pictures but don’t run and snap! It puts people at risk. If you wanna take that photo. Step to the side and snap it. The worst thing you could do is try and get that photo and trip, someone, up and they miss out on their race because they go hurt because you wanted that photo.
You can ride metro for free to get downtown. Get there early. Check road closures and most important. Take those headphones out the last mile and truly take in the accomplishment.