Monday, April 24, 2017

My First 10K Race: The New Orleans Crescent City Classic

When I graduated from LSU in 2002, Kenny told me he wanted to buy me a framed print of something to do with New Orleans to take with me to grad school in North Carolina. So we went down to the French Quarter one afternoon and shopped for my gift. I ended up picking out this piece:


By a famous local artist named Tuna, it depicts the New Orleans Crescent City Classic race, a 10K traditionally held the Saturday before Easter since 1979. Kenny asked me if I was sure that’s what I wanted, and I was. I loved the colors and the pencil drawn borders that Tuna chose to do.

Truth be told, I have always thought it was a bit ironic that I chose that particular piece, given that I was as far from a runner as one could be. And I’m sure that’s why Kenny asked me if I really wanted it. So who would have known that 15 years later I would actually participate in that exact race? I sure didn’t. It was a bit of a moment for me.


I caught a ride to the starting line with Dana and Lynn on Easter Saturday morning and we met up with Lynn’s coworker Andrew. I knew LOTS of other people who were out there (Jeff, DB, Ashley, Candice, etc.) but we didn’t see anyone else at the start. Jeff was in corral B while we were back in G. We did, however, see an awesome group of guys pulling a train that played music and probably housed a selection of adult beverages.



We crossed the starting line about a half hour after the official time clock began running. I later found out that Jeff finished in just 43 minutes, so he was almost done by the time we had even started!



The course was awesome. We started just outside the Superdome on Poydras Street, ran down to Convention Center Blvd and took that to Canal Street then turned right onto North Peters. We continued on Peters/Decatur (I had to snap a quick pic when I passed Cafe du Monde in honor of my graduation print!) all the way to Esplanade Avenue, where we turned left. We ran the entire length of Esplanade, from the river to City Park. We turned left onto Carrollton and took that a short distance to City Park Avenue, where we turned right and went down to Anseman Avenue, where we entered the park. We did a loop on Dreyfous Drive to Stadium Drive to Victory Avenue to Charles and Betty Turner Way. That took us back to Dreyfous going the opposite way, which we followed until turning left onto Lelong Drive and heading to the finish just in front of NOMA.



It was a great race, even though it was a bit warm out. I remember running through a couple of sprinklers that people had rigged up outside of their houses on Esplanade. That was glorious. There were lots of people cheering us on along the route. I saw a few small jazz bands and even people handing out cups of free beer and jello shots.

Despite the heat and humidity, I felt pretty great throughout all 6.2 miles. I ran 8:2 intervals, and I walked a bit extra just after mile 4. My finish time was 1:18:39 with a 12:41 pace, which I was pretty happy with.




I met up with Dana and Lynn afterwards, both of whom finished not long after I did. We found Andrew, who ran much faster than any of us, and headed into the post-race party in the City Park Festival Grounds.




We got our complimentary beer and found Jeff not long after that. Erin brought the kids out to the finish, who were so excited to see their daddy finish strong. Jeff ended up being one of the top 500 male finishers, so he got a free CCC poster.


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We ran into more people we all knew, chatted for a bit, and then made our way back to Jeff’s car. He graciously agreed to get a ride with Erin and the kids so we could have his car to go to the Bulldog for more post-race celebrating. A cheeseburger and beer never tasted so good. We were all famished!






This race was one of the most fun ones I’ve ever done. I think I may have a new Easter Saturday tradition. And now when I look at the framed picture hanging in my front hallway, I can say, “I’ve actually done that race.”

So thank you, Ken, for not questioning me too much and for buying me that picture. It will always be one of my favorites. I love you!


QP said... Best Blogger Tips

What a great story! And again, I'm proud of you, my PC.

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

I remember that picture, it really is a beauty and now even more special. I'm so proud of you friend!! 😍 ~Jackie

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