Chevron Houston Marathon: Looking Back at the First Houston Marathon (1971), by Steve Vaitones, Note by Larry Eder


Looking through a copy of Long Distance Log (Jan 1973) for some historical results, I found a 3 page write up on the first Houston Marathon. Those pages are attached, so you can all see how times have changed.

For those unfamiliar with LDL, it existed for around 20 years starting in the 1950's and went to the mid 1970's. The format started as a digest size and expanded to to 8 1/2 x 11" over the lifetime.

A monthly, it was typed / courier font and printed in 2 columns per page with the occasional photo. It published results of nearly every road or cross races in the country for the previous month or two, either partial or complete, in its general 28-32 pages. Nearly every runner was listed with a club. Some reports included notes and commentary (most frequent one - how courses were not the stated distance). One LDL issue from the 1960's noted how the 119 finishers in a 2 race event was the largest event ever held in the state of Maine. (contributed by Steve Vaitones, USATF New England)



(RBR Notes: Jeff Wells and John Lodwick. Wells, Lodwick were both original Athletics West runners, with Wells nearly catching Bill Rodgers at Boston, loosing by two seconds in 1978. Wells also tied Tony Sandoval at the Nike OTC Marathon in 2:10.20 in 1979. Next, in the Nike OTC, was John Lodwick. Coincidently, this writer has one of John Lodwick's Nike Mariahs hand-me downs, in which I ran some very nice 10ks in the early 80s).


(This was how results were done in this era. RW used to do a booklet listing all men under three hours in the marathon each year!)

The Houston marathon is a look into our sports' history. Many of the officials working then (Pete Reigel) are still around today, insuring that your courses are really 26.2 miles or 10,000 meters. The sport has grown in many ways, and the 2010 Chevron Houston Marathon & the Aramco Houston Half Marathon are examples of that growth!

In December 2009, the Chevron Houston Marathon team put a bid in for the Olympic Trials marathon, as did New York and Boston. Steven Karpas, managing director of the Chevron Houston Marathon did not bid for one-his team bid for both the men and women's Olympic Trials marathons! The plan is to do the events on the Saturday before the open marathons, on a five lap criterium course! If Houston gets to host the Olympic Trials marathons, then the last weekend in January 2012 will be quite busy!

The Running Network LLC publications are having their national meetings over the Chevron Houston Marathon Weekend, courtesy of the Chevron Houston Marathon & the Aramco Houston Half Marathon! See you in Houston this weekend!

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