This may be her 20th marathon, but Heather Foley is still filled with eager anticipation for Sunday's race.
"It feels like everybody's excited, whether spectators, schools, everybody's excited and everybody's got good energy," said Foley.
A slew of construction downtown and the desire for wider roads for the growing race meant big changes. Organizers moved the starting point to Congress near the criminal courthouse. As a result, both the half and full marathons also have partially new routes, notably along the Washington corridor.
It's also the first Houston Marathon since the tragedy at the Boston Marathon last year.
"The most important thing is that we provide that protection and not impact the fun and excitement of race day," said Wade Morehead, executive director of the Chevron Houston Marathon.
A new starting point and a new route are the main differences but they're not the only ones runners will see.
"You will see a significant presence along the route and at key intersections," said Assistant Police Chief Mark Eisenman.
Eisenman says his team of Houston police and other law enforcement have long prepared for this weekend's events. Security will be beefed up, though he won't share specifics.
"They may notice a little more uniform presence, but other than that, they may not notice a whole lot, but we're working very hard behind the scenes to make it a safe event," said Eisenman.
So the advice for runners and spectators is to be cautious and careful, but also have fun.
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