Monday, January 21, 2013

#39--The Louisiana Marathon

Baton Rouge, Louisiana
January 20, 2013

This was just the second year for this marathon.  I always thought I would run my LA marathon in New Orleans, but this fit better into my schedule this year.  It was a well executed, no frills marathon.

Getting there was pretty easy, with an on time connecting flight from Houston.  I checked in at the host hotel/casino, the Belle of Baton Rouge.  This was kind of an odd fit for a host hotel.  There was a very nice, small packet pick up and expo.  The pasta dinner Saturday night featured two inspirational speakers, one woman battling recurring brain cancer while she competes marathons and triathlons, and a man who is a bilateral arm amputee who, despite his disability, has done nearly 100 tri's with a special bike and unorthodox swimming technique.

The race started at 7 AM in front of the state capitol.  Conditions were cool, calm, and clear.  It was a relatively small field of runners, which was nice.  The course ran through the cypress tree lined parks and neighborhoods of Baton Rouge, and included a segment through the campus of LSU.  I felt good and ran a very steady race, crossing the half mark in just under 2:15 and finishing in just over 4:30.  Aid stations were well stocked and plentiful.  There were very few spectators and basically no entertainment on the course.  I don't need either one, but they are kind of nice to have.  I have found that Sunday marathons in a southern city generally aren't well attended by local spectators.

The finish line was again in front of the state capitol.  There was a great finishers area, with fruit, water, beer, and local flavors including red beans and rice and jambalaya.  The latter two are just about the perfect recovery food, with a great combination of carbs and protein. 

I had a flight to catch so I wasn't able to stick around for the post race party, which was getting a lot of buzz.  After a quick shower, I headed back to the airport.  Proud of finishing my 39th race, I was nevertheless humbled by the lady sitting next to me who just finished #361.  Now she is crazy!

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