Crescent City Classic 10k Recap 2014

This was my third year running the Crescent City Classic, and this year was by far the most enjoyable.

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Last year I was going for a PR, so I was really stressed out the entire time and didn’t have as much fun. This year, being pregnant, there was no chance of a PR so Bobby and I decided to just take it easy, enjoy the course, and take lots of photos. I am so glad we did, we had a blast and got to see several blogger friends as well.

We stayed the weekend at my parents about 35 minutes from the race start in downtown New Orleans, so we woke up at 5:15 so we would have plenty of time to drive over to the race.

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Gorgeous sunrise on the way across the lake.

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We parked at the Superdome, and hung out in Champions Square while we waited to meet up with some other bloggers.

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We had to go through a security checkpoint to get to this area and the corrals, but luckily we were there early so there were no lines.

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Panera Bread and Community Coffee were both set up in the square with free cinnamon bagels and coffee for the runners. The weather was great, a little chilly to start but it definitely warmed up!

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We met up with some blends, and before we realized it the race was about to start so we had to dodge and weave to get into our corral.

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Larisa, Jen, me and Nicole.

Just 25,000 of my closest friends.

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We hit the starting line, crossed over the timing mat, and were off on a 6.2 mile adventure! We started in front of the Superdome then headed towards the French Quarter down Decatur.

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As soon as we started running, I immediately had to go to the bathroom even though I went when we arrived at the race. I knew this would happen, and kept my eyes open for a good time to stop. I knew we were coming up on some well hidden public restrooms, so we ran as I looked, and before I knew it we were passing St. Louis Cathedral.

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Then we passed the always delicious Café du Monde.

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Finally I spotted the bathroom, and luckily there was no one even in there, hooray! I felt much better after that and we continued on through the quarter.

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We turned onto Esplanade, which is a great street to run on because it is entirely shaded by huge beautiful trees.

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I loved looking at all the old homes, and there were so many spectators cheering us on!

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We passed one of my favorite sights on the course, free beer and breakfast! Oh, the breakfast is alligator sausage. Only in New Orleans my friends.

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I passed on the sausage and beer, but a lot of people were taking it!

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These folks had free mimosas. Yum. If only I wasn’t pregnant I would be all over that!

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The miles were ticking away, and soon we were coming off of this street and out into the sun towards the park and the Museum of Art. I remembered these last couple miles being tough because there is no shade and no great scenery to look at. We took a few walk breaks because I didn’t want to get overheated.

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We made it into the park, and had a mile to go. The Saints mascot gumbo and the new New Orleans Pelican mascot were out at the mile 5 water stop, so of course this girl had to get a “character photo.”

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We were in the home stretch as we passed the museum of art. Only .3 to go!

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We rounded a corner to the last .2, which I love. It’s a gorgeous oak tree lined street. I kicked it in and we pushed hard to the finish.

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We did it! Our time was 1:19. Definitely my slowest 10k and over 20 minutes off my PR, but also my most fun 10k! I felt very accomplished especially with how I had been feeling. I took two Tylenol before the race to help with the round ligament pain, and it definitely helped a lot. I was still uncomfortable but it was bearable.

We walked a good bit to make it to the entrance to the race fest, and got our medals before heading in.

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Runners got in free, and spectators were only $5 which is a great deal if you ask me, all the Jambalaya, red beans and rice, and beer you can drink, plus live music!

Before we headed to the VIP tent we had to go find where to pick up our race shirts since we didn’t go to the expo, and we stopped off for some grub.

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There were people EVERYWHERE.

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We made it to the tent to discover lots of amazing food and drinks for us. We enjoyed having a shady place to hang out and eat with my blogger buddies and all recap our race experiences.

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Bobby put his name down for a free massage, too.

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Melanie, Me, Larisa, Mindy, and Holly in the VIP area after the race.

We got a text from some other friends to meet up out in the main area, so we went out to chat and for more picture taking!

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We stayed about two hours after the race just hanging out, then decided it was time to head back. I was hoping since we had stayed so long the bus line would be shorter…I was wrong. This is my only complaint about this race. Since we parked downtown, we had to take a shuttle back to the Superdome after the race, and we waited in line 31 minutes just to get on a bus, and I was so tired and ready to be on our way home. They had several busses lined up but were only loading one or two at a time, I’m not sure why there weren’t more volunteers loading up 5 or 6 busses at a time. Honestly other than that the race was perfect, so it’s really my only complaint! Maybe next year we will park at the finish and shuttle to the start instead so we can leave right after.

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All in all we had a great time and the weather could not have been more perfect. If you are looking for a laid back, fun New Orleans race this is for you. You definitely get your money’s worth, and get to experience a New Orleans after party as well as running through some great parts of the city! Not to mention it is an EXTREMLY flat and fast course, great for a PR. I can’t wait for next year, I won’t be missing this race.

QOTD: What us your favorite thing to see at a race after party?

Crescent City Classic 10K

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Back when I first started running in 2009, The Crescent City Classic was my very first “big race”. I had only ran one other race before that, a 5 miler, so I was very nervous about such a huge event. Luckily, I ended up having a blast and went on to run many more races. It has been since 2009 that I last ran the CCC, so what better year to get back to it and run in my home state than on the special 35th anniversary year! This year is different for a lot of reasons other than the fact that it’s an anniversary year.

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Bobby and I from the 2009 CCC.

For starters,  The race has a new title sponsor, the Allstate Sugar Bowl. There is a new host hotel, the Hyatt Regency downtown. This is also where the expo will be held (new location) on Thursday and Friday from 10:00 to 8:00 pm. (you can still register for the race at the expo!) The expo is open to the public and will showcase tons of fitness gear as well as host speakers and sessions. Be sure to check out the schedule. The expo is where you will pick up your bib and awesome new race shirt.  Also new this year is the starting/assembly area. The race will me making use of the awesome Champion’s Square downtown by the Superdome. Parking will be available at the dome for $5 a car, just take the Superdome exit off of I-10.

Another “new” thing for this year’s event is that the race will have corrals for the first time ever. Check out the starting area map for information on the breakdown of starting areas. Along with the new starting area is an all new race course! New Orleans is a great place to run a race because the weather will be mild and the course is SUPER flat. The course runs through the French Quarter and finishes outside of Tad Gormley Stadium. After you finisht he race and collect your awesome finisher’s medal, it’s time to celebrate at the Michelob Ultra Post-Race festival.

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(photo courtesy of Larisa)

The festival is from 8:30 am – 1:00 pm at the Practice Track in City Park. Runners have free access, and family/friends are $5.  Free food, beer, water, and fruit will be served.  Live entertainment by Papa Grows Funk and Marc Broussard, as well as an Awards Ceremony, will take place on the main stage.  This is a great family event and the weather is supposed to be awesome this weekend. If you are on the fence about registering, come on down to the expo and sign up, you won’t want to miss this huge party and 10k race. I will be there with bunny ears on, ready to go!

QOTD: Thoughts on the 10k race distance? Are you racing this weekend?