Race for the Cure
The race started at Woldenburg Park (a riverside park near the Aquarium of the Americas, between the French Quarter and the Mississippi River) at 9:30 a.m., so Kristina, her mom and I headed downtown around 8:30. It was gray and slightly drizzling, and for that reason Ren and Gary decided not to run it.
There were lots of people there, and the park was full of tents set up for registration, food, drink, and other stuff. Some people were already drinking the beer, but we stuck to water.
At 9:15, we headed down to the race start (well, not at the start, of course) and streched some while Kristina’s mom took pictures of us. Then, at 9:30, it started!
It took us 31 seconds to cross the start line, and we weren’t able to start running until we were at it. But we started running slowly, the crowd dispersed, and the rain stopped. Not surprisingly, there were people out on the streets. Some homeless man heckled the runners, but most of the people that were walking around yelled their support.
We had to dodge lots of piles of horse poop, but other than that, we didn’t have many obstacles. We went down Decatur, then up Esplanade nearly to the interstate, then back down Esplanade and back up Decatur, so we didn’t actually enter the French Quarter, we went around it.
There was water at miles 1 and 2, which was handy. We hit mile 1 at 13:36, which is our normal pace, which I was happy about. We decided at the beginning that we were going to run the whole way, even though we’d never run that far before straight. In fact, our previous record was 18 minutes straight, so this would be quite a feat if we managed it. Still, there was no doubt that we would. It just felt so easy! The weather was cool, there was no sun, it was perfect.
We hit mile 2 at 26:24, a bit faster than the first mile (taking into account the 31 seconds it took us to cross the start line.) I started to tire a little when we hit Decatur, but we had some supporters there, cheering us on (really just 3 or 4 tourists), which took our minds off things for a bit. I really should say “my mind” because it didn’t seem like Kristina was struggling as much as I was.
When we were about 1/4 mile from the finish, we saw Kristina’s mom, ready to take another picture of us, this time running. That too was a nice distraction and after that, we decided to pick up the pace. We sprinted the last tenth of a mile or so, and Kristina made it in a stride ahead of me. The timekeepers were cheering us on, telling Kristina “don’t let her catch you!” As if. Our final time was 40:04, with our last 1.1 mile in 13:40, which actually amounts to negative splits the whole way!
As we crossed the finish line, we got our medal and grabbed some water. I stretched some, and then we went in search of food. What a fantastic spread there was! Lucky Dogs, hamburgers, spinach salad with feta and walnuts (!), yogurt, bananas, Chee-Wees, beer, Pepsi, and water. The longest line, at 10:30 a.m. was not for food, but for beer. Only in New Orleans. We got goody bags with a jar opener, magnet, t-shirt, Band-aid samples and some other little stuff. It was fun. After we ate, we left. My hip hurt all day, but I rested on Sunday and should be able to run again on Monday.