David Redor: A pleasant Rock ‘n’ Rollin’ marathon in Louisiana

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Par Rédaction mars 2, 2016 10:09

David Redor: A pleasant Rock ‘n’ Rollin’ marathon in Louisiana


Fantastic marathon, splendid weather, wonderful atmosphere: A perfect day.

 New Orleans, what a great and festive city!

 “A pleasant Rock ‘n’ Rollin’ marathon in Louisiana!”

I wake up at 6 am feeling a bit tired as I walked a lot this week visiting the city of New Orleans. I jog to the start area and get there in half an hour. There are a lot of people there, it’s indeed quite a big marathon. I am supposed to start from corral #16 about a half mile away from where I am standing. However, as it’s impossible for me to go through the crowd, I decide to stay right where I am and start from there, i.e. from corral #5. We leave in staggered starts and I begin with the 5th group eight minutes after the gun goes off.

I do not feel very well at first. I run calmly but do not breathe easily, and my stride feels heavy. It’ll take me five kilometers to fix all this. I reach the fifth kilometer in 30 minutes. At km 8 someone encourages me for the first time today. It’s really cool: “Crazy Dave, you’re the man!” cheers a woman as she runs past me. I’ll get more encouragements during the run.

The first 14 kilometers follow a long out-and-back straight stretch along St Charles Avenue in downtown New Orleans… Lots of ambiance, crowds of people, and music bands playing everywhere. It’s really great! I reach km 10 in 01:02. The slower pace I have chosen to keep suits me well. I decide to run on the softer dirt surface of the famous streetcar rail lane to preserve my joints. We wind our way through the levee and the famous French Quarter with its magnificent and colorful houses, beautifully decorated and brightened with plants. I run in front of the golden bronze statue of Joan of Arc, “a gift from the people of France to the City of New Orleans.” I swallow up the 15 km in 01:35. We continue on a long avenue lined with oak trees and weeping willows: everything is clean and well-tended. I pass km 20 in 02:07 and finish the half marathon in 02:17.

My pace is slower than usual as this superb course gives me the opportunity to take pictures and videos of the magnificent scenery around me. This marathon turns out to be for me like a beautiful hike and I take time to enjoy everything that I see around me. We continue towards the huge New Orleans City Park, where the finish line lies. But first we have to run around the park and head north to the shores of Lake Ponchartrain, an immense body of water lined with palm trees. The scenery is stunning.

I reach km 25 in 02:47 and pass km 30 in 03:30. I have slowed down, no doubt about it, but I enjoy the scenery completely. While passing me, a runner says he has seen me run in Alabama a month ago and congratulates me. Feels good! I reach km 35 in 04:19.

We are back in the huge park to run the last kilometers. I stop to film a huge pelican standing all alone: What a majestic bird! I hear the crowd cheering and encouraging the runners. The finish is not far. I cross the finish line in 5:23:59. I am greeted there by my friend Eddy and his girl-friend Nathalie who came from France specially to support me! A real treat!

I get to drink a well-deserved refreshing beer, courtesy of the organization of the marathon. I really deserve it!

I stay for a while in the finish area in the park to enjoy this memorable moment. Then I slowly walk back to the hotel.

It was a perfect day for running, as you probably have guessed. Everything contributed to make it successful: a fast and flat course, easy to access, very beautiful places, decors and scenery, very festive atmosphere with many bands playing, an impeccable organization, and the best weather to run. There is nothing more to ask for… besides – as always – for a bit more food on stops during the run…

I absolutely recommend this marathon that will be on my top 10 marathon list. I’ll need to fully rest next week as I walked too much during the past couple of days. But I could not help it as I wanted to experience and immerse myself in the ambiance of this very atypical city.

Let’s meet next Saturday for a fast, flat ocean marathon course on Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

David

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