It was looking like a picture perfect weekend for the 4th Annual Louisiana Marathon weekend. I had a plan B going into the weekend to run the Quarter distance race instead of the Half but I knew in the back of my mind I wanted to keep my alumni status and keep going Half Crazy. (my own term) Next year will be the 5th annual and since this race has been growing every year it promises to be great. The Expo this year was at the Baton Rouge River Center. Packet pickup was a bit crazy if you were doing pickups for multiple people for different races but other then that it went smooth and there was lots to go look at. I got a scoop for this years Jazz Half Marathon in New Orleans on October 31,2015 from the Race Director Chuck George that starting this year he will be changing up the bling to musical instruments. This year will be the Saxophone! I was very excited to hear this update. 2016 may be the Piano and possible the Clarinet in 2017 ( my daughter plays the Clarinet so when I told her that she was very interested). Race expos are a great place to find out more about races in your area. Plus this weekends race in Louisiana was bringing in large crowd from all 50 states and 9 countries so you never know who you could possibly meet.
Saturday’s race was the 5K, Quarter and Kids Marathon. I would be on hand to be race support for my daughter Alaina running the 5K and my friend Francine doing the Inaugural Quarter distance (6.55 miles). The weather was perfect about 35 degrees and no wind.
We hung out at the Finish Festival for a bit where there was bands and food from various vendors before leaving. They understood I needed to get off my feet a bit for my race Sunday and promised to be my support the following day. On the way to the car we caught the start of the Kids Marathon. It was AMAZING to watch them go and what a CROWD!
Sunday arrived finally. What would the day bring? My PR time to beat was a 2:06 but I had not been running that fast lately and my legs were still tired from MS Blues the previous weekend. I did have some extra excitement for the day. My daughter and husband was coming for the FIRST TIME to see me Start and Finish a Half Marathon. This was a big deal for me and definitely a good one for them to come see. There would be plenty of excitement in the air and a great Finish Festival so they wouldn’t be bored waiting on me. Lining up in the start coral there was lots of familiar, friendly faces offering encouragement and last minute advice.
This year it was a wave start with Ainsley’s Angels starting out first.
Finally we were off. I saw my support krewe at the Start to wish me luck and off I went. The first Half of the race went well. I did my best to not start off fast and was at the 10k mark at 1:01. I watched my tangents and took in the sights which there was plenty of. There was lots of cheer stations along the race course. Some offered free mimosas, pancakes, beer, whatever you would like. At one spot I saw some little kids in their pj’s high fiving runners as they came by. So cute! Those kids could have been sleeping or watching cartoons but no they were outside giving their support on a 45 degree/5mph winds morning. Very Sweet! ( I got my high 5’s) 🙂
I noticed I was having to use my GU’s more frequently than usual and could feel my energy level zapping away. By mile 11 I was slowly crashing. Nooooooooooo! I must push through. I had people waitting for me at the Finish. At this point I knew I was not going to make my PR and just tried to come in as close to 2:09 as possible. The feeling of slight disappointment was already settling in. Finally the home stretch. My last push to the Finish but I had nothing left in the tank to give. I just kept my focus to run to the end and spot my Support Krewe. They were giving smiles and cheers as I crossed the Finish at 2:12. Mike Wattigny was there and gave me a high 5 at the Finish who I coincidentally saw at the Start as well (He is the Race Director for Gulf Coast Marathon Series and Operations Director for Louisiana Marathon) Rachel Booth congratulated me and I was elated to see her (She currently holds the course record for the women/Louisiana Half at 1:17) I gave her a huge hug and told her how thankful I was. Then I got hugs galore from my friends and family which made my day. My husband and daughter said they were proud of me and my daughter waited for me to go get my medal so she could put it on me as promised. My friend Francine had no doubt I would do the Half and gave me props for doing them two weekends in a row.
Although it was not a PR day for me (yet again) I still felt thrilled that I got to experience it. It was time for me to enjoy the after party and watch the people running the Full come in. That is always inspiring and motivating to watch. For me it is part of the experience as well.
Number of participants this year at The Louisiana Marathon Weekend:
- Marathon: 1360 (638 Female/722 Male) Average time 4:32
- Half Marathon: 2853 (1716 Female/ 1136 Male) Average time 2:21
- Quarter: 397 (248 Female/149 Male) Average time 1:13
- Kids Marathon: 641 (287 Female/353 Male) Average time 11:36
- 5K: 1399 (864 Female/534 Male) Average time 37:49
If you missed Part One from MS Blues check it out HERE