Indian Americans at the 2014 Houston Marathon


Lost Creek Park Half Marathon group with bibs ready to start the race.
From left: Nachiappan, Neeta Balsaver, Pankaj Desai, Shibani Balsaver, Vimal Kothari, Kanchan Kabad, Riddhi Desai and Sesh Bala.

HOUSTON: It was a beautiful day, clear and crisp, temperature about 50 degree at 7 AM at start of the Houston Marathon. A determined group of Indo Americans made their presence felt at the 42nd anniversary of the Houston Marathon on Sunday, Jan 19.
The Chevron Houston Marathon is a world-class event right at our doorsteps and attracts athletes from around the globe. This year there were 13,000 in Full Marathon (26.2 miles) and 12,000 in Half Marathon (13.1 miles) runners registered. The 5K race was held the previous day for better crowd control and management. There were thousands of volunteers and over 250,000 spectators. The Marathon starts and ends at the George R. Brown convention center in downtown Houston. Each year the organizers do a better and better job, and this year was no exception. This year the route was quite different and included stretches on S. Shepherd, San Felipe, Upper Kirby, Bissonnet and the museum district. The organizers received high praise for the selection of the route.
The feeling and excitement when you complete a marathon is unparalleled. You do not remember the pain or the weather but always cherish how thrilling it was completing the course, the timing, the adventure, in all a very exhilarating experience. Besides, you have earned bragging rights!
A casual scanning and observation suggested the participation from the Indian American community at marathons is steadily growing but can be more. There definitely should be a greater participation not only in running and walking, but in volunteering and being spectators.
The Houston Marathon is very popular but has limits on how many can sign up. There is a lottery system in place for the last 4 years. Chances of getting selected are better if you enter as a group of 10 rather than as individuals. As a group, everyone is in or everyone is out! The Lost Creek Park Group of Indo Americans was lucky to get selected for the half marathon, third year in a row now. The Lost Creek Park group that ran included Nachiappan, Neeta Balsaver, Pankaj Desai, Shibani Balsaver, Vimal Kothari, Kanchan Kabad, Riddhi Desai and Sesh Bala. For Sesh Bala, this year was the 12th consecutive Half Marathon, and for Pankaj Desai his 7th. The veteran marathoner Mallikarjun Shintri skipped this year but is looking forward to 2015. All completed the half marathon successfully.
For further information on the 2015 Marathon visit their website at,
and consider participating in it. Organizations like USA Fit and Fort Bend Fit will help you get trained for it.You can send an email to to learn more about Marathon participation.