|Half Marathon State # 13
Half Marathon #25
On Sunday, February 28, 2016, I ran in the New Orleans Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon. There were approximately 11,600 finishers in the half marathon. This was state #13 (half marathon #25) race toward my 50 By 50 Challenge to do a half marathon in all 50 states before I turn 50. The weather for the race was great. It was around 52 degrees at the start and maintained throughout the race, with about 82% humidity and a 6 mph ESE wind.
We decided to drive to New Orleans, as opposed to paying near $1000 to fly. We decided to split it up and drove to Auburn, AL on the Thursday prior, and then finish the 11 hour journey on Friday morning. After arriving in New Orleans we met our friends Matthew & Kira at our hotel, the Hilton Riverside New Orleans. It was a great hotel location for the start of the race, as it was only about 5 blocks away. After we got settled in we walked to the expo about 2pm and it was not crowded at all. The expo was at the convention center, which was also in walking distance of our hotel.
If you look closely you can see a Matthew photobomb!
Here are the three amigos and our race bibs.
Since it was planned to be a nice race morning, “Flat David” was able to use shorts and a short-sleeved running shirt, which was perfect for the weather.
On Sunday morning, the scheduled start time for the race was 7:30 AM, so we woke up about 5:00 AM, and were able to take our time. We headed to the start about 6:30 AM, since it was only a short walk.
For the start, I got Corral 3, so I was close to the front, and started about 7:35 AM.
The course reminded me a lot of home in Charleston, SC. It was a flat & fast course, which included pot holes, cracks, and uneven roads. Since I run on this all the time, I just fit right in. I did not take any photos during the race, but my friend Matthew did, so here is a little slide show from the course.
It was a great day for the race, and I did really better than I expected. I finished with an official time of 1:53:27 (8:40 pace). I give some credit to my new Garmin Forerunner 630. I set some pace alerts to warn me when I was getting too fast. This helped me in the beginning of the race, because I always start out too fast. This help me maintain throughout the race, and then continued to have great energy at the finish.
I felt really good after the race, and loved the medal with the St. Louis Cathedral on it.
All it all it was a great day and another state down toward my goal.
Now before I get into my cupcake store review, I have to take an aside for another report. While I was soaking in the ice bath, my lovely wife went out to Cafe du Monde’ and picked us up Beignets and juice. Talk about an awesome snack after crossing the finish line!
So without further delay, as with all of my 50 state races, I try and find a cupcake store that is unique to that particular location. This trip was no different. We located the Bittersweet Confections for this review. They have a large variety of things beyond cupcakes. We purchased a variety of cupcakes, and each and every one of them were excellent. I would recommend this place in New Orleans if you tire from the beignets!
Stay tuned next week, as I am going to do a post on our adventures in and around New Orleans.
So that is a wrap for State #13. New Orleans, LA was a great race and I would recommend it if you are looking a for a fast PR ready course. Next up is the Inaugural Star Wars – The Dark Side Half Marathon at Walt Disney World in April. My next race toward my 50 States Challenge will be in Minnesota in May, with the Carpenter Nature Center Apple Blossom Half Marathon in Hastings, MN.