2021 Houston Marathon transitions to virtual event due to COVID-19 pandemic

FILE PHOTO. Runners participate in the Chevron Houston Marathon.

The 2021 Houston Marathon is transitioning to a virtual event in January due to concerns about COVID-19.

The Houston Marathon Committee announced on Monday that the 49th annual Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Houston Half Marathon will be held as part of the 2021 Virtual Houston Marathon Running Events.


The decision comes after working for months with city and state officials to align preparations with current guidelines and any possible future guidelines that could be in place at the time of the race, the committee says.

“At this time, we recognize that there are many unknown surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, but the safety and well-being of our runners, volunteers, partners, spectators and local Houston community will always be our top priority,”  Wade Morehead, Executive Director the Houston Marathon Committee said in an update on their website. “While we are unable to celebrate the 2021 event together in the heart of Downtown Houston, we will be cheering for our runners around the world as they participate in a unique virtual race experience, embracing the incredible spirit of our RunHOU community.”


The 2021 Virtual Houston Marathon Running Events will take place over 10 days from January 8 to January 17. Runners will have the option to complete their race distance anywhere and anytime during those days.

The Houston Marathon says participants will receive a box before the race filled with sponsor gifts and messages, and finisher items will be mailed out post-race to those who submit their completed race distance timing information.

Those who are currently registered for the 2021 Houston Marathon will have the following options:

 - Opt for the 2021 virtual race experience, including a discounted registration for the 2022 Chevron Houston Marathon 50th Anniversary Celebration

 - Defer their entry to either 2022 or 2023

 - Donate their entry to the Houston Marathon Committee, a 501 c(4) nonprofit organization

Those currently registered for one of the 2021 races will receive instructions via email on how to make their selection.

Registration is currently open for the 2021 Virtual Houston Marathon Running Events. Click here to learn more.