Monday, January 19, 2015

Louisiana Half (and Full) Marathon

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I have to do a quick write up because this was really honestly the best 1/2 marathon I've ever ran. Not my time wise... but the actual RACE. There was great communication leading up to the race, a nice big expo, the course was fantastic, and the "Finish Line Festival" was exceptional.

Amanda and I decided pretty last minute that we were going to do the race. It was fairly priced; no complaints! + we got a discount code. Score! The start line was super easy to find - the state capital! Even though we didn't need it, there was a very accessible and organized gear check-in bag. It was a chilly morning; but not their fault. The start line was self seeded and they had pacers with signs so it wasn't hard to establish ourselves amongst the crowd and found our friends very quickly. They started right on time and sent waves out very efficiently. The course itself strolled through and around downtown Baton Rouge, a nice neighborhood, and around the lake. The roads weren't always ideal, dodging pot holes and bumps, but they gave plenty of warning and even had volunteers shouting out the most dangerous areas. (so sorry to my friend Gina for an icky spill).

The course was crowded but I never felt suffocated. Lots of volunteers, locals, and fun crowds handing out water, poweraid, beer, doughnuts, YES, beer, mimosa's, and Gu. A well manned course for sure. Lots of jons too. We actually made a pit stop and only had to wait for 2 other runners in front of us. The finish line was packed full of spectators and fun and alive, full of music. A great finishers medal and a decent recovery walk area (with masseuses and medics on site).

The BEST part was the Finish Line Festival <--- an entire festival! All of the vendors from the expo were set up and food, SO MUCH FOOD. I actually heard that they bring in a second round of food vendors to ensure ALL the marathon finishers get food. AWESOME SAUCE. Jambalaya, chicken and pasta, pasta salad, Vegan Village, red beans and rice, alligator chili, sandwiches, FOOD. Lots of options. Impressive.

A live band was rocking out familiar and comfortable music. They could have had a few more beer trucks on site (long lines) but thank you Abita, the Purple Haze is good! And Grapefruit IPA, yep, it tastes exactly like grapefruit. Interesting.

Amanda and I hung out a few minutes, chatted with friends, cheered more to the finish line, and called it a day. I 100% recommend this race. Yes. Great race!!

Shout out to #teamTOA athlete, Peggy for her first marathon finish!!
Congrats too to my friends: Andy and Becky and Beth and Marcus - MARATHONERS! and Amanda, Tish, Heather, Gini, Ashleigh, Julie, Kevin, and... I know more of you had amazing strong finishes and I'm so proud of you!!

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