My running buddy Heather and I decided on a 5:30 a.m. wake up call so we could make it down to Lafayette Square for the Team 413 pre-race prayer.
Mr. Chris gave a great little message about being a light in a dark world followed by a prayer. I so appreciate him for offering this and the Rock 'n' Roll series for having him do so. If you're running any other Rock 'n' Roll series races this year and are interested in a little pick-me-up before the race, check out the Team 413 booth at the Expo for further information!
After walking around for a few minutes trying to find our running group friends (which returned unsuccessful), we headed to our corral!
Before I knew it, the race started and my corral was off and running!
Right before crossing the start line, Heather walked to the side to throw our water bottles away. I turned around and poof...she was gone! I'll admit, I had a little panic moment and stopped after crossing the start line to call her. By that point, the next corral was fast approaching and I had no clue what to do. Thankfully, she was literally just off to the left, also trying to call me! WHEW...crisis averted!
One of my favorite parts of this race in particular is this band right here. They are truly a New Orleans Jazz Band are always a great kick off to the race!
Before I knew it, we were at mile 4 and the turn around point. The first few miles of this race seriously flew by for me!
The sights of New Orleans are so much fun to see! This truly is a great course!
Running in front of the World War II Museum with bagpipes playing out front gave me the chills.
There were so many spectator signs and course cheerleaders out and about...I loved it!
So, my non southern friends...try to figure out how to pronounce this one! Any guesses?
It's pronounced chop-eh-two-lus. No, I'm not kidding.
Anyway, that made me laugh and I just thought I would share! :)
Around mile 8, Heather told me to go on and run on my own. I looked at my watch and noticed that I could still pull off a 2:20 if I played my cards right, so I proceed to haul it for the next 5 miles.
I hit miles 9-13 between a 9:15 and a 9:40 pace. I didn't initially come into this race with a goal in mind, but I wanted to at least get a decent corral placement time for Dopey's Challenge (if I get in).
These guys always crack me up!
I love seeing the Brooks guy because that means we are almost at the French Quarter!
Around Mile 10, we hit Jackson Square and Cafe du Monde!
Sadly, I had zero beignets this trip. Whomp whomp.
Although I was trying to keep a consistent pace, I still stopped for my usual Mile 12 picture! :)
...cause I mean, I had to.
Right around Mile 12.5, the course splits between full and half marathoners. I've run this full marathon three times and I still give a sigh of relief every time the half marathon course takes me into City Park and the finish line.
I crossed the finish line of my 26th half marathon with a time just a little over my goal at 2:21 and some change.
The finishers chute was full of food and hydration although I somehow missed the bottles of water?
After walking around for a few minutes to recover, I found a nice shaded tree and sat down to wait on Heather.
After a few minutes, I received a text from Heather, so I walked back over to the end of the finishers area to find her. While standing there, I heard my name! It was a fellow Louisiana friend of mine, Deloris!
It was so much fun running in to her again! The first time I met her was at Walk Ons at a previous Rock n Roll New Orleans race, so it was great to see her here again!
Heather and I walked around the finishers area for a while, enjoying the sights and sounds of the post-race celebration.
Look at all the food trucks!
We also took our obligatory post-race photo together!
After photos, we made our way to the bus stop. We had a 1 p.m. check out and wanted to take our time getting ready. This race starts and finishes in two different areas, so runners are bussed back to the downtown New Orleans area from City Park.
Will I be back? Absolutely! This is a race I love to run year after year!
Thanks for following along in my journey! It's been a fun one for sure!