Ice House

How Many Bananas Does It Take to Refuel Houston Marathon Runners?

That answer and more in the 48th annual Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Half by the numbers.

By Gwendolyn Knapp December 27, 2019 Published in the January 2020 issue of Houstonia Magazine


Number of runners who will toe the line for the 48th annual Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Half, starting at 7:01 a.m. on January 19


Year the marathon moved downtown from Memorial Park, where it was held for its first six years


Start time of three race-day masses (non-denominational, Catholic, and Methodist), attended by hundreds in the George R. Brown Convention Center


Gallons of complimentary coffee that will be consumed in the GRB on race day


Number of portable restrooms brought in for the weekend


Age of the oldest runner registered, Ruger Winchester, a Houstonian who has appeared in Runner’s World (he’s competing in the 5K)


Number of consecutive years that Houstonians Arlen Isham, 74, and Jack Lippincott, 73, have entered the marathon, making them the longest-standing Legacy entries—runners who’ve competed more than 10 times


Number of elite runners registered, who will vie for some $291,000 in prize money


The women’s Houston Marathon course record set in 2012 by Alemetu Abira—in hours, minutes, and seconds—which returning champion Beruktayit Degefa missed by 14 seconds last year and will attempt to break this year


Year of the marathon’s nastiest conditions—31 degrees and sleeting


Degrees Fahrenheit that researchers believe is ideal for both male and female marathoners


Average high temperature in Houston in January


Average number of pounds of discarded clothing that will be collected from the course and given to Star of Hope, along with 2,090 pairs of donated training shoes


Number of unique Guinness World Records that could be broken this year—fastest father-son duo (Matt and Andrew Leach in the Elite field), and fastest marathon in a full-body animal costume (no further details are available, sadly)


Number of volunteers who help along the course and at the GRB, while 250,000 spectators cheer the runners on


Estimated number of calories that will be burned by marathon and half-marathon participants collectively on race day


Number of bananas supplied by H-E-B at the post-race breakfast


Number of times you could travel around the equator if you added up all the finishers’ race-day mileage from last year

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