Race switches for the 2015 Houston Marathon no longer allowed.

Houston DQ?

Race switches for the 2015 Houston Marathon no longer allowed.


I know I’ve said this before, but this time I really mean it – I’m totally unprepared for the Houston Marathon happening in 11 days.  My longest run was 12 miles on December 19th.  I only ran once during the 2 weeks I spent with my family over the holidays, plus I was mildly sick for most of those days, so I was more focused on not getting sicker instead of running.  I’m back in the city now, and finally feel mostly not sick, but it’s now negative 1,000 degrees outside and it’s too late to do any training that matters anyway.


It was a hard decision, but I decided to transfer to the half marathon (although I haven’t yet fully admitted I’m changing my 50 States goal to “half or full,” but it seems inevitable).  I logged on yesterday to pay the fee to make the switch, but I was greeted with the message above instead.  Turns out I missed the December 30th deadline!  I called the organizers today and a nice woman explained that the bibs and whatnot had gone to print, and with 25,000 runners they had to adhere to a cutoff.  While I totally understand that, it’s also a major bummer.  She explained that I could simply run the half course which splits from the full at mile 8, but I’d be disqualified.  That means my time couldn’t officially “count” for anything (plus I think it would show up online as a DQ, which is slightly alarming – I don’t want people to think I’m a Rosie Ruiz!).  I’d also only be able to get the full marathon shirt and medal, which again makes sense because of the numbers, but I’d still feel like a super huge fraud collecting them.


Since I’ve already purchased my nonrefundable airline ticket, I plan on going to Houston and making a game day decision.  That’s right, I’m going to decide at mile 8 whether to turn around and do the half and get a DQ (or a DNF, as long as I don’t cross the finish line), or run another 18 miles for the full marathon and all the painful glory that would entail.  Odds are good I’ll turn around even if it means a yucky DQ/DNF.  It’s funny how much a simple official transfer would have made me feel so much better, even though it’s just a meaningless time on the internet.  I guess without the transfer it feels like I’ll just be doing a lousy training run instead of a race, and I’ll feel apart from the other runners instead of heading towards a common goal.  Plus, of course, I would have gotten a legit bib, medal, and shirt.


This whole thing has gotten me a bit down, of course.  2015 was never going to be a good year of marathoning for me regardless, but now it’s going to be abysmal.  I’m slowly coming to terms with a major goal change (from completing a full marathon in every state to completing a full or a half), and that’s also depressing.  Plus of course I’ve been sick, not running, not posting, and now freezing.


My relentless optimism will still get me to the starting line in Houston (my first time visiting Texas!), and I’m excited for the overall experience regardless.  I always learn something new from every race, and I’ll certainly learn a lot from this one, whatever happens.


Did you think maybe this post was going to be about Dairy Queens in Houston?  What’s your favorite thing to get at DQ?  Have you ever cut a race short and/or had a DNF?  Share in the comments!

5 thoughts on “Houston DQ?

  1. Becky

    Chin up, Jenny! You’ll figure it out and it will all turn out well. Have fun in Houston. Swing by the Space Station – it’s a cool show. Make reservations ahead of time for the good tour. For Texas, I did Galveston Mardi Gras – very flat and a cool beach weekend in February. It was a double loop for the marathon. I had a few friends and acquaintances that were running their first half that day and had properly registered for such. When I dragged in from my marathon, my friends and new friends were singing the blues. So many would-be marathoners bagged it after the first loop and took a Half medal that when these first time half marathoners came in for their big finish, there were no Half medals left! I was horrified at the bad form of this! The bibs were very different so it was totally awful for them to give a Half medal to a marathon bib! So whatever you decide to do on race day, beware taking Half bling without a proper registration. It’s just not right. Good luck. I wish for you a gorgeous day and enough “stuff” to complete the full! Looking forward to your impressions of Texas. 🙂

    1. WTFinish Post author

      Thanks, Becky. And I definitely wouldn’t take a medal from another race with runners still coming in! That’s terrible that those people did that – it’s just another form of banditing. Will keep you posted but definitely feels like a DQ for me!

  2. Danilo Torres

    It sounds like an opportunity to really explore a major race space. Think of it, you can enjoy it like you did with the Chicago Marathon where you were the last to start and look back on a scene that a participant rarely sees – the aftermath of a major marathon start. Think of all the things you could explore in a marathon that allows you unconventional options to choose from. It definitely sounds like good stuff to write about that marathoners might want to hear. Good luck and have fun!

  3. Pingback: Race Recap – Chevron Houston Marathon, Jan 18, 2015 | Where's the Finish?

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