HOUSTON Good news for runners looking to participate in the Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Houston Half Marathon the marathon committee has increased the participant cap to 25,000 for the 2103 races.

The raised cap represents a 1,000-participant increase over the 2012 cap.

Following race weekend each year, we collectively evaluate all aspects of our event operations and review the feedback from literally thousands of runners, said Wade Morehead, executive director of Houston Marathon Committee. Past and future operational improvements have allowed us to increase the cap modestly each year, and we most certainly want to create more opportunities but never at the expense of the participant experience.

The committee will also implement a new, third time s the charm rule, allowing runners who ve entered and were not selected in the lottery for two consecutive years the chance to register for a guaranteed entry in the 2012 marathon or half marathon during early registration.

Eligible runners will be notified via email about how to register for a guaranteed spot.

Early registration runs from May 8, 2012, through May 31, 2012.

Runners who meet a 4:00:00 marathon, 1:52:55 half marathon or 51:08 10K time qualification standard will be eligible to receive guaranteed race entries during early registration. Finisher times dating back to January 1, 2011 may be used to qualify.

Qualifying races must be from USATF- or AIMS-certified courses and provide online race results.

Time-qualification entries will be limited to the first 3,000 marathon and 2,500 half-marathon runners who meet the standards and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

In addition to time-qualifiers and third time s the charm registrants, runners who ve competed in five or more Houston Marathons, deferred 2012 race registrants and members designated by the Houston Area Road Runners Association may also sign up for a guaranteed race entry during early registration.

Open registration begins on June 6, 2012 and runs through June 21, 2012.

The 2013 Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Half Marathon are scheduled for January 13, 2013.

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