Jennifer Clark (HF16743, DA3643, MM15623) – Big Easy Halloween Half and 5K. Half #256 is in the books.
It’s Fall in the South. That’s prime running season so we headed to New Orleans for the Big Easy Halloween Half. It was held in the Lakeshore area and started and finished at the Blue Crab restaurant. I did packet pick up the morning of the race and it was simple. I told them my name, and they gave me a bib and a T-shirt. Parking near the blue crab is not very plentiful and having the street blocked off in front of the restaurant made it even more difficult. David finally found a spot and wouldn’t you know, it was right next to running friends from Arkansas, Carol Earle’s, and Teal Clark! We really enjoyed visiting with them pre-race.
The race was about 10 minutes late starting. There was an announcement that they were still closing the streets along the race course. We got underway at 7:40. The race course ran down Lakeshore Drive, along Lake Pontchartrain, for about 3 1/2 miles then a 3 mile loop that we did twice before returning back down Lakeshore to the start/finish area. New Orleans is flat, flat, flat, except for levees. There were four of them on this course, so we went over 8 in total, making it not a very flat course…LOL.
Sadly, races are not permitted inside the city of New Orleans anymore. I have heard that it’s because they do not have enough police to monitor and close all the streets necessary. The Levee District has its own police force and races can be held on Lakeshore Drive. It’s not as scenic as being in town and there are very few spectators but the Levee Police did a great job keeping the street closed to traffic. As is typical in a city, the streets were cracked, and there were some potholes to watch out for.
There were aid stations about every mile manned by friendly volunteers in costumes. There was water and Gatorade at each and some had bananas also. The last aid station had beer and fireball shots too! I am especially glad there were that many water stops because it was extremely hot and humid. There is very little shade on the course.
There is a large outside area at the Blue Crab, both uncovered and covered, for an after party. There were bananas and limited snacks, and of course, lots of beer. A band was playing also, and of course David Clark had to help out with his Cowbell, because everybody needs more cowbell.
The Big Easy Halloween half is not the most scenic or has much bling, but it is a solid half marathon within easy driving distance for me. There will be a Big Easy Shamrock Half and 5K at the same location on March 3.
Photo and Post Credit Jennifer Clark