Over the past 5 years I have run many races and many places, but this past Sunday was definitely a first for me. The Run Through History 5K in New Orleans took place entirely on the grounds of a historical cemetery. At first glance, my thought was — is this allowed? Is this okay? I remembered visiting the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia and seeing signs emphatically stating “NO JOGGING.” I couldn’t believe anyone would have actually gone running there, as it seems so disrespectful. Quickly I saw that this race specifically benefits Save Our Cemeteries, which is dedicated to restoration of New Orleans’ cemeteries — so it’s approved by the cemetery people and directly impacts the efforts to keep NOLA’s cemeteries in the best shape possible. New Orleans is pretty well-known for its historical above-ground burials and mausoleums, and some of the more famous cemeteries draw tourists quite often. This race took place in the Metairie Cemetery, which can be seen from nearby I-10. I got my husband to agree to run with me, and we set off from my parents’ house 25 minutes away, about an hour before the race. We had a little trouble finding the entrance, but once parked, we picked up our race bibs and shirts with no problem and had plenty of time to get situated before the race started. Like many unique races, this event attracted runners and walkers alike. It had rained off and on the day and night before the race, so the weather was pretty muggy and humid. The race started about 5 minutes late, but we set off at about 9:05 and it was a pretty quick run from there. The course was entirely on the paved roads throughout the grounds, with mausoleums on each side. There were also lots of pretty trees and shade. The race was pretty uneventful — just a lot of graves!
I sped up for the last 0.75 and left my husband behind — sorry babe! I got a picture of him after he crossed — he hadn’t run in like two weeks and he forgot his good running shoes, so he was wearing like 10-year-old Saucony sneakers. So he did a good job, all things considered.
Race results are not posted yet, and my Garmin messed up (this has become a trend lately), but I passed the finish line at about 30:30 gun time. We started about 20 seconds after the gun went off and the first half-mile was pretty congested. I maybe could have gone faster, but I’m OK with that time. They had plenty of food and drink items after the race, and we got a snowball since we were dripping with sweat. It was so humid! After that we drove through a beignet/coffee place in Metairie on the way back to my parents’ house. Interesting race, for a good cause!