The 2011 marathon utilized a lottery style registration, which was an unpopular move, particular with veteran runners.
The raised cap represents a 2,000-participant increase over the 2011 cap and will be applied to the marathon field with 13,000 entries reserved for the marathon and 11,000 for the half marathon.
"With the large number of guaranteed marathon entries allocated to runners who have completed five or more Houston Marathons, we wanted to allow more runners to participate," said Wade Morehead, executive director of the Houston Marathon Committee. "The marathon cap increase allows us to cater to our dedicated runners while at the same time offer more opportunities for others to take part in our event."
Runners who meet a four-hour and two-hour time qualification standard for the marathon and half marathon, respectively, are eligible to receive a limited number of guaranteed race entries available during an early registration period which opens on May 10 at 8:00am CST and closes on May 31 at 11:59pm CST. A 10K qualifying time of 54 minutes or less may also be used to enter the half marathon to allow an opportunity for newer runners to enter the race. Finisher times dating back to July 2010 may be used to qualify for early registration. A list of eligible qualifying races can be found at chevronhoustonmarathon.com.
Time qualification entries will be limited to the first 2,000 marathon and 1,500 half marathoners who meet these standards and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. If the time qualification fields are not fulfilled during early registration, the remaining race entries will be added to the open lottery pool.
In addition to time standards, runners who have completed five or more Houston Marathons, deferred 2011 race registrants and members designated by the Houston Area Road Runner Association (HARRA) are eligible to sign up early and receive a guaranteed race entry.
Race registration for the general public will open on June 1 at 8am CST and extend through June 23 at 11:59pm CST. Runners must register online at chevronhoustonmarathon.com during the 23-day period. All registrants will be notified of their selection status no later than June 27.
Registration fees for the marathon and half marathon races are $125 and $105, respectively.
A limited number of guaranteed race entries will also be available through a "Heroes" charity registration for both the marathon and half marathon. The "Heroes" charity registration enables runners to make a direct donation of at least $350 to an official race charity of the runner's choice, plus the cost of registration, to secure a spot in either race. Official 2011-2012 Run for a Reason charities will be announced on May 2. This past January, the Run for a Reason program raised a record $2 million for 52 participating nonprofits.
The 2012 Chevron Houston Marathon, Aramco Houston Half Marathon and El Paso Corporation 5K will take place on January 15, 2012. Registration for the El Paso Corporation 5K will open on September 15, 2011.
Additional details about 2012 race registration can be found at chevronhoustonmarathon.com.