Friday, February 6, 2015

2015 Rock and Roll New Orleans Marathon Race Report and Video

Here's Holly's 2015 Rock and Roll New Orleans Marathon Report. Dave's comments and the video are included at the end.

This was definitely a must do for Dave (no, he didn't run the race). I pick most of the races but Dave has wanted to go back to New Orleans for years so this was an easy choice. We were lucky enough that our good friends Pam and Stan would be joining us for the race and for a long weekend of fun. Dave will cover the fun long weekend part (in upcoming posts - keep en eye out for them) but I’ll cover the race.

We made it to the expo on Saturday morning and it was a typical big Rock and Roll Expo. We picked up the ugliest race shirt I have ever seen. We did a quick lap around the expo and then headed out.

Race morning started with me meeting Stan in the lobby and him telling me he wasn’t feeling well. Uh oh. This could be interesting. We walked over to the start from our French Quarter hotel and barely dodged the Bourbon Street bleach cleaning crew on the way. They don’t stop for nothing! The start area was crowded but thankfully they had plenty of port-o-potties. We eventually started about 25 minutes after the official start by the time our corral made it to the start line.

We started out fast because we were cold and needed to warm up. It was a nice course out to the garden district. We followed the St. Charles street car line to Audubon Park and then turned around to run back. Stan took a pit stop here but I didn’t wait as I can’t stand still for too long or my legs really feel it. I told him I would stay on the left and slow down the pace. Unfortunately he had a long line and it still took him 2 miles to catch me. Sorry Stan!

We now headed back into the French Quarter and Dave and Pam were right in front of Jackson Square. Great Photo Op! Thanks to both of you. After the quarter it’s a long stretch until the half marathoners split off from us and hit the finish and we head further away towards Lake Pontchartrain. I was feeling ok and Stan was doing better as well. We saw Pam and Stan again and they had some snacks for us. We also had a beer stop right around the halfway point. Thanks to those nice people!
I ran into Larry Macon around mile 15. Larry is amazing. He has run over 1400 marathons and is always happy and willing to stop for a picture (the last time we saw Larry was in Oregon).
Right after seeing Larry my ITB started acting up. I thought I was done with this issue but apparently not. I took some Tylenol and put some Icy Hot on it when we saw Dave and Pam again around Mile 17. This helped a bit.
When we got to the lake it was a very long out and back. The back portion was into the wind and it was pure suckage! Lots of colorful words were coming out of Stan and mine’s mouths. We finally made it back to see Dave and Pam for one more snack and another round of icy hot. Around Mile 23 the ITB really started hurting so we had to walk a ton. I was pretty mad because I wasn’t really tired and I know we could have finished faster. But we did finish! It was great to get to the finish line and get our medal and a really nice Brooks Finisher jacket. I had a great time with Stan and am thankful that he and Pam made the trip!

Dave's Comments

I set a new record this race: Number of times going the wrong way down a one-way street during a race: 3. Oopsies! The part I was most neurotic about was making it from mile 4 back to 9.5 so we could be at Jackson Square. We figured everyone would want to spectate from this location. To our surprise we walked right up. We had time to grab hot beverages from a French Market style cafe and spent time taking pictures of the area. Pam and I found a great spot between 13 and 14, but we were in a world-of-hurt after that. As we tried to navigate up to 15.5 we ran into very narrow streets with no parking. I let Pam out while I tried to get a space but in all that fun we had just missed our runners. They were going at a good clip so we skipped forward 2 planned areas and just made it to see them at 17.5. We then sped off and hugged the shores of Lake Pontchartrain to barely just make mile 18.5. We hung out there for the comeback at mile 22 and then made it to the finish in plenty of time.

For the spectator the race course gave a great tour (at least the route I drove). We got to see the Garden District (and the uglier backside of the Garden District), French Quarter, the Business District, the Canal Street trolley, a large concentration of New Orleans above-ground cemeteries, nice parks, and Lake Pontchartrain. We made it to Mile 1, 4, 9.5, 13.5 twice, 17.5, 18.5, 22, and the finish.

Snacks consisted of apples, Kind Bars, and chips we bought at Walgreen's.

We'll recap all the non-race fun in future posts. Here's the video:

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