Latest reviews by Jennifer

(2018)
"Fun 5k with a TON of great swag and prizes."
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This is a fun New Orleans 5k along the lakefront. We brought the whole family out for this one to enjoy the miles, food, and fun. This race is so well done by RUNNOTC. There's a half mile for the kids and they even pulled out extra medals from last year to give to the kids so they got a medal too. That was a HUGE deal to my two boys and it's these little touches that keep us coming back.

Pros:
- Super simple packet pickup the day of the race.
- Very nice out and back course along the lakefront.
- Abundant parking at the race start.
- THAT medal! It's a crab AND a bottle opener. And this is just for a 5k! LOVE.
- Great, super soft race shirt with a fun design. I actually wear this shirt often.
- So much great food after. I had beer, and snow-ball popsicles, and jambalaya and there was plenty more other stuff too. Amazing line up of vendors.
- THE POST RACE PRIZES. Seriously. SO MANY DOOR PRIZES!! My son walked away with $300 last year. This year we won some free boxing classes. It really is fun to see if your number gets drawn.

Cons:
- None!

Noteworthy:
- So. Many. Bridges. ....ha. This is not your typical flat as a pancake New Orleans race. Several overpasses/bridges along the race route made for some tough running with the jogging stroller. But I really loved the challenge! Nice to mix things up.

I would definitely recommend this race if you're in the area or local. It's a good one!

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(2016)
"New race finish area! "
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This race has quickly become one of my favorite races of the spring. It's an Easter tradition in New Orleans. The race always happens on the Saturday before Easter. With a huge field of participants (I think over 17,000) from runners to walkers to strollers, it can be both a highly competitive race or a fun party in the back. Some people pull coolers full of adult drinks the whole way! There's even a fun costume competition with prizes.

Pros:
- GREAT expo. They always bring in some really great vendors for the expo and it's huge for a 10k. I like that a majority of the vendors are local too.
- Flat, scenic course through downtown New Orleans, the French Quarter, then up Esplanade to finish at City Park.
- Wonderful finish festival with lots and lots of food, beer, and great music
- The addition of timed corrals has greatly improved this race for those who truly want to RUN it. They were policing the corrals pretty heavily this year so make sure you sign up for the corral you want to be in. I moved up to a faster corral this year and it made a ton of difference. MUCH less weaving and winding around walkers.
- I really liked the t-shirt design this year.
- Medals for all finishers!
- The first 500 people to finish (based on chip time) in each gender receives a commemorative poster (worth $50)! I was only 4 seconds away from a poster this year!!! WHAAA!!!
- Aid stations every mile were manned but some great, enthusiastic volunteers.
- Tons of fun costumes and crazy antics along the race route. (jello shots anyone??)
- Fun family/kid zone in the finish festival with a climbing wall and blow up obstacles and slides.
- The buses were really quick taking people from the finish to the start in the morning. Very little wait time.
- It's spring in New Orleans. The weather was gorgeous!
- New race finish area eliminates the old blind finish. I liked it!

Cons:
- The lines for the porta potties at the start were really, really, really long. I ended up just having to hold it and run really fast to the finish to go. Ha!
- There was some confusion by the people policing the corrals on how to get to the "D" corral. They told us to walk through the "E" corral to get to "D". It took us several minutes of weaving through a mass of people when all the while all we had to do was walk around to the side of the street to easily enter there.
- The roads can be a little rough - but that's New Orleans. You learn to look down as you run.

I truly love this race. It is always one of my favorites and one of the funnest races I do each year. I'll keep coming back for more each year! Next year that poster is MINE!

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(2016)
"Run for the king cake, cake balls!"
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This is fun race that's kind of a tradition for our family. We've run it now 4 years in a row and we always push the boys in the stroller for it. It's a great fun race always around Mardi Gras, with a Mardi Gras theme and even special awards for the best costume. What makes this race every year are the super cute medals and the GREAT after party. Tons of good food and the king cake flavored cake balls are to die for. I always grab several after the finish line.

Pros:
- SUPER cute finishers medal for ALL race distances - even the kids one mile fun run. The medal design just keeps getting better and better.
- Decent race t-shirt - long sleeve cotton with a cute Mardi Gras graphic.
- Relatively flat course around LSU and the LSU Lakes.
- GREAT post race festival = lots of beer, food, and good music. Food ranged from Jimmy Johns sandwiches, pulled pork BBQ, gumbo, jambalaya, and king cake flavored cake balls.
- KING CAKE FLAVORED CAKE BALLS!!
- There's a costume category, so lots of fun costumes on the course.
- Parking was very easy and stress-free in the garage right by the race start.

Cons:
- The roads were pretty bad this year. They ran us down one road that was all torn up for construction. If you weren't paying attention you could easily step off into a huge hole.
- Lots and lots and lots of walkers. Add that with the road construction = very narrow running path which lead to lots of boxing in.
- The water at the aid stations was warm and tasted terrible. Like, out of a dirty garden hose terrible. Luckily we carried some with us in the stroller because it was really bad.

It was really cold this year, so we didn't stick around too long after the finish but it really is a fun party in the park. We will be back again next year to run it again!

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(2016)
"Bad roads, construction, and heat = race killer"
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This was my fifth marathon and probably one of the hardest I've ever run. The bad New Orleans roads on the first half plus the intermittent construction plus the early heat and humidity killed this race for me. It was not one of my faves but it's done. I can check it off my bucket list.

Pros:
- Good sized expo with the usual vendors you see at a RNR event.
- Decent race t-shirt, but QUIT printing them in black please! Why? WHY? Black tech shirts in the summer = Ew!
- Packet pick-up was well organized and easy to maneuver.
- Excellent aid stations throughout the course with a good variety of water, Gatorade, snacks, salt, and fuel.
- The race volunteers were really great. Very helpful and upbeat.
- The course scenery on the first half is lovely. You run down St. Charles through the Garden District, through the Quarter and then up Esplanade to end at City Park. It's a good route that a lot of New Orleans races take.
- There were some fun bands on the course - mostly the first 13 miles.
- The medal design this year was really cool. I liked the St. Louis Cathedral.
- The marathon finishers jacket is a really nice touch. It's a pretty decent Brooks jacket too!

Cons:
- The roads were HORRIBLE! I expect bad roads in New Orleans for most of the race, but add on the trolley car construction and it made the roads rough, full of loose gravel in places, and narrowed down to a 4 foot bottle-neck in others. It was rough going, especially on the first half.
- The back half is pretty desolate, with not a lot of scenery or spectators or SHADE.
- The merchandise for the race seemed pretty meh and cheap looking this year. I was underwhelmed.
- It's an RNR event so it was super, super crowded.

Again, I can check this full off my race list. But one and done for me on that distance. I'd do the half again, but not to full. Just not the race for me.

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(2016)
"Great race for a PR!"
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This was my second year running The Louisiana Marathon. I ran the full in 2013 and wow, have they improved it tremendously! I ran the half this year and thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of it. I even managed to snag a sweet little PR! I will definitely be running this one again.

Pros:

- GREAT expo. Their expo is comparable to any Rock 'n' Roll expo I've been to. So many great vendors with a lot of different products to check out and sample.
- Nice, soft, cotton/poly blend t-shirt. The graphic design is nice and I'd honestly wear this more than a tech tee.
- Abundant parking around downtown Baton Rouge close to the race start. We parked about 2 blocks away for $5. Can't beat that!
- There's a really cool race app you can download that gives you all the information you need for race weekend: Parking, start times, directions, even weather! I lived on that app. It was so well done.
- Pace groups are offered for the full and half marathons if you choose to run with them.
- Great race support all along the course with both the aid stations (almost every mile) and from the spectators. I saw so many great signs on the course. Spectators were offering donuts and champagne at one point. That's new.
- Nice scenery along the course through downtown, LSU campus, around the LSU Lakes, and through the neighborhoods around downtown.
- The after party is amazing. SOOO much good food! Jambalaya, mac & cheese, gumbo, chicken and rice, pulled pork sliders, and Abita beer. And there's a live band playing on the main stage. Felt good to just sit, eat, drink a beer, and listen to some good Cajun music.
- There's a separate vegan tent with several different vegan offerings too.
- They have a kids' area set up at the finish festival with face painting, blow up slides and bouncy houses to keep kids entertained as the families wait. Great idea.
- Plenty of porta-potties at the start and on course.
- Nice finisher's medal.
- Relatively flat course (one overpass and a few small, rolling hills). Great course for a PR.
- FREE digital downloads of your race photos. Not many races do that. Very classy.

Cons:
- The roads can be pretty rough. Lots of pot holes and cracks to dodge. I saw a couple of runners fall.
- There are no set corrals. It was a bit of a free-for-all at the start. You had to find your pacers and kind of line up with them.

All-in-all this was an amazing race and I definitely recommend it to anyone wanting to run a half or full marathon in Louisiana.

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