We went down to New Orleans area to spend Christmas with my family, and when it was determined we could stay through the weekend, I went to the New Orleans Track Club website to see if there were any local races I could incoporate into my training. Perfectly, a 25K (15.5 miles) race was scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 28, and the day I looked at the race website was the very last day to pre-register. So register I did!
The day of the race was a very foggy, humid day. There was a slight breeze which almost made it seem chilly before the race started, but I knew that cold feeling would end about 5 seconds after the race started.
The race course was basically out-and-back on the levee of Lake Pontchartrain beginning at the Bucktown Marina in Metairie. So, we ran 7.75 miles one way, then turned around and ran back.
The fog covered up the view of the lake for a lot of the run, and so there wasn’t much scenery, but the race was really well supported as far as the number of water stops, which were there every 2 miles or so. The even had Clif Shot Bloks for the last few stops. Also enough porta potties and the race was so small that there wasn’t a wait at any of them!
I started out feeling rather sluggish and slow, but was more worried about just getting to the turnaround point because at that point, mentally it helps to know that there is no way you can quit because the only way back to your car is to go the way the race was going. For the last 9 miles of the race I was pretty much on my own on the course. I got to see everyone who was ahead of me when they had turned around and were coming back in the opposite direction, but once I turned around myself, it was very barren. I focused on each mile and on drinking plenty of water at each water stop. I didn’t get passed at all in that last half, but I did pass 3 people who had each stopped to walk. I never really stopped to walk except through water stops and then in the last two miles, there were two uphill climbs that I walked to conserve energy.
I was very happy to reach the finish line.
I felt I did pretty terrible and I was ready to get a shower because I was soaking wet from sweat due to humidity, so I didn’t even bother to stick around at all. When I checked the race results, I had gotten first place in my age group! Well, apparently there were only two of us in my age group who ran, and I beat the other girl.
(All above photos from NOTC’s Facebook page)
Instead of a T-shirt, participants got these gloves: