On Saturday, I ran in my fourth Crescent City Classic 10k in New Orleans. It is a super huge, super flat and fast road race that the city of New Orleans has embraced and turned into a not-to-miss event. It is always held on Saturday, the day before Easter. I have worn the same bunny ears for the past four years of this race!
Bobby and I were up before 6:00. We were staying at Aloft New Orleans, a hotel just a few blocks from the starting line near the Superdome (more on the hotel later). We got dressed and ready and headed to the start line around 7:00.
The weather forecast said early morning rain, but that it should be moved out before the race, and that is would be partly sunny the rest of the day. When we stepped out of the hotel, I knew that wasn’t going to happen! It was cold and very windy. We walked to the start and took a blogger picture with the other #CCC10kblogger folks, then headed to Champion’s Square.
On my way into the square I ran into Mindy! We chatted for a minute then I went into the square to find Mrs. Z.
There were so many people milling about, but she texted me and we found each other near the free smoothies and coffee.
Hi friend! Fun fact: At this race, in this exact same square last year is when she told me she was pregnant! Her due date was a few weeks after mine but she ended up delivering before me!
We decided to head to our corral early because last year it was a bit chaotic. They had the short fences up and people were jumping them, and there was no one guarding corrals to make sure people went into the proper one. However, this year was MUCH much better! The corrals were much more clearly marked, and they had volunteers standing at the front of each corral checking bibs. They also had the tall fences around the corrals, but sadly I still saw MANY people lift up the fences and sneak into different corrals.
All of the sudden, it felt like it was getting colder…and then it started raining! So we stood in our corrals like a bunch of cattle, getting rained on. It was kind of a miserable way to start the race, but what can ya do?
I was very pleased with the corral organization this year though! We made it up to the start line, and after a shout out from my race director buddy Mike, we were off!
The first mile or two was pretty crowded, but it evened out a lot once we got past Café du Monde and the French Market on Decatur.
We made the turn onto Esplanade, and I stopped to get water for the first (and only) time at mile 3. It was nice and cool, and the huge oak trees on Esplanade provided great cover from the rain.
There weren’t as many spectators out as there has been in years past, however there were still a couple of fun beer/mimosa/margarita “aid stations” out on the course.
We turned left as the museum of Art was in front of us, and went around and then inside the park. Usually I hate this park of the race when it’s sunny because that’s when you realize just how hot it is without the shade of the trees. Luckily the rain had stopped, and we kept on trucking. At mile 5 we saw a guy take a nasty fall on some uneven roads (which are everywhere in NOLA!) He hit his FACE, I felt so bad for him. Luckily a lot of folks had already stopped to help him. I took one quick 10 second walk break, and we made it back into front of the museum of art. Aaannnddd that’s when the heavens let loose! I was already dying/out of breath being just a half mile from the finish line, and the torrential rain on top of that was not pleasant. You can see just how dark it got all of the sudden in the next photo!
We made another familiar turn, and I could see the finish line in the distance! For some weird reason I didn’t do an all out kick like I usually do, I just kind of trotted through to the finish. Not sure what I was thinking? Anyway, we finished in a respectable 1:03:30, which is around 4 minutes shy of a PR. Considering I have only been running long slow miles since having the baby, I’ll take that.
We got our medals and made our way to the VIP tent. It was time to EAT! Jambalaya, red beans and rice, mimosas, and sandwiches were plentiful.
Oh, and wings form Hooters.
We met up with some of the other bloggers and had our own little table where we chatted about the race and such. It was fun to get to relax and hang out with everyone.
Of course we had to take another group picture!
It was pretty chilly, especially because I was sweating, and sadly not as many people stayed for the after party because of the weather. It was a bummer because the day before the race and the day after the race were beautiful and sunny.
When I felt like I couldn’t take the shivering anymore (hello isn’t it Easter weekend in New Orleans? Why so cold?!?)
We headed to the bus line to get back downtown. I had my fingers crossed as we made our way over to the bus line, because this was my big complaint from last year. They were only loading one bus at a time last year even though they had 10 buses waiting to be filled, and we stood around forever. Sadly, it was the same story this year. I timed it, we waited in line exactly 30 minutes to get on a dang bus. They thankfully had someone “directing traffic” and putting people on the buses, but were only loading buses two at a time. I wish they would count off 40 people, send them to bus 1, then count off 40 more, send them to bus two, so on and so forth and load 5 or 6 buses at a time. Maybe next year? Or maybe I should volunteer to man the bus line? I would have that line moving in no time!
We made it back downtown and had to walk a few blocks back to the hotel, but since it was just a 10k I wasn’t sore or tired so we weren’t hobbling back to the hotel like we have been for other races!
Overall, we had a great experience and I can’t wait for next year! Here is my pro/con list:
-very low entry fee
-expo (with free food and beer!)
– everyone gets a shirt and finishers medal
– amazing after party with food, beer, bands, things for the kids to do, booths for other races, etc. (Open to the public for $10, runners get in free).
-free shuttle downtown before and after the race
-fast, flat course
-timing chips for all runners
-Lots of people so it can get crowded and congested
– waiting in line for bus back downtown for 30 minutes
-uneven streets/I almost fell a few times
The pro’s HEAVILY outweigh the cons, and this race has improved year after year. I wouldn’t miss it! If you have any questions about the race feel free to ask, I would love to have you join me next year!
QOTD: Have you ever run a race in the rain?
**Winners of my Airborne everyday giveaway are Elle Pink and Vunda Vall. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your prize!
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a free race entry, pasta dinner, and VIP