Lottery to open for marathon registration

HOUSTON Even in the sweltering heat, tens of thousands of Houston runners are looking forward to the Chevron Houston Marathon and Half-Marathon in January. But not all of them will get in.

Runner Molly Lamm said, "I'm just crossing my fingers and hope that we get in."

Marathon registration is a lottery this year because the races sold out in less than 60 hours last year.

Marathon Executive Director Wade Morehead explained, "It was a decision that stemmed from what other races have done to deal with some of the popularity."

The lottery sparked rage among local runners and even prompted a Facebook page, titled "Houston Marathon, done with you." Local runners have posted comments such as, "It's sad when you are welcome everywhere else but your own home marathon!" and "ING Miami Marathon, Disney World Marathon, and Mr. Arizona Marathons are all sounding pretty appealing right now!"

Those opinions are echoed by David Boudreaux, who was out buying running shoes.

"Doing this with the lottery has created at lot of anger out there," he said.

But the Houston Marathon's executive director says it's better than raising the 22,000 runner cap on the races.

"It's important for the board and the organization to maintain the participant experience," Morehead said.

Online registration will be open from July 27 at 6am until August 12. That's great news to runner Bill Jasper, who didn't get into the half-marathon this past January because it sold out so fast.

"We were definitely disappointed," Jasper said. "We're going to hope the lotto is good to us this year."

Selected runners will be notified August 17. Credit card information is required, but only those who get in will be charged. Rregistration can be deferred for one year, although you will have to pay for next year's race too.

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