You’ve likely heard that Houston is flat, flat, flat and I’m here to confirm that you can believe it. There’s a reason people come from all over the world to run the Houston Half Marathon, and that’s because it’s one of the fastest courses in the world. The women’s American record was broken in 2018, 2022 and 2023 (by Molly Huddle, Sara Hall and Emily Sisson, respectively). If it’s an optimal weather day, fast times are known to happen in the full marathon as well, as Keira D’Amato also set the then-American record in that distance when she won the 2022 race.
At the same time, you may have been warned about the two so-called hilly spots, i.e. the Westpark overpass (or “Mount Westpark,” as I like to call it) just before the halfway point of the full marathon, and Allen Parkway, which you run from miles 23 to 25 in the full marathon and 11 to 12 in the half marathon. If you’re able to drive the course ahead of time, seeing these in person ahead of time will quell any fears about these being significant hills – in fact, if you’re coming from somewhere that is truly hilly, you’ll likely laugh as you drive up and along Allen Parkway.