Houston Marathon a sellout in record time

HOUSTON The annual road races reached their combined field limit of 18,000 runners, an increase of 1,000 participants over the cap for the 2008 race, almost 6 1/2 months before the January 18, 2009 race date.

"Coming off a record number of participants in 2008, adding 1,000 runners to the limit and selling out even earlier is confirmation that Houston is a great place to run," race director Brant Kotch said. "Thanks to our sponsors, the Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Houston Half Marathon continue to establish themselves as the races to run in January."

Of the 18,000 participants, 8,229 have registered for the marathon, while 9,771 have signed up for the half marathon.

New this year, an online wait list facilitated by the marathon organizers will allow runners who are currently shut out an opportunity to participate in the 2009 race. Those who join the wait list will have a chance to gain an entry on a first-come, first-served basis.

More than 1,200 put their names on the wait list on the first day of availability, a number organizers anticipate will be easily accommodated.

Registered participants who wish to give up their entry should complete an online form to relinquish their spot to the organizers for partial refunds of $65 for marathon registrations or $40 for half marathon registrations. For more information, go to www.chevronhoustonmarathon.com or 713-957-3453.

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