The Louisiana Marathon; Jan. 17, 2016; Baton Rouge, LA
Lifetime Marathon #29, Louisiana Marathon #3
Race morning started early on Sunday with a 6:25am call time for the pre race Pacer photo, just the beginning of all the shenanigans. The pre race staging area and corrals were all well organized, no lines at the porta potties, but quite a bit of waiting around in the bag check lines. (To be fair I waited until pretty last minute to try to drop my bag, it was cold out and I didn’t want to let go of my blue jeans.) Once we were in the staging area we waited patiently for the race to kick off, which happened at almost exactly 7:00, right on time. I’ve run the Half Marathon here twice before, 2013 and 2015, but this was my first time to take on the full course in Baton Rouge. I was co-pacing the 4:00 finish group with Heather, who was finishing up her titanium tour that day by running a marathon in 30 states in a 365 day period. Great Odin’s Beard that’s incredible!
Like any other race the course was a crowded coming out of the starting gate and into the first mile. Things thinned out a little bit coming onto the bridge at Mile 1. (Remember the bridge we ran twice in the 5k, bleh.) Coming off the bridge the course wraps around some really pretty lakeside neighborhoods. This lasts the bulk of miles 2-9 and is a gorgeous run. Heather & I worked to keep the energy high in our pace group, taking selfies and talking to the runners about their goals and past races. Finding the first time marathoners and the people just looking to PR and even BQ. Pacing is a fantastic way to meet the runners around you. Early in the race they’re still happy to see you.
I ran into a few friends along the course, a lot of Maniacs and my Instagram friend @Sas_Rubel. The middle part of this course was a little underwhelming. There was a large out and back loop around a couple of neighborhoods to get us from mile 11 to mile 24 where we rejoined the half marathon course. The course does offer a lot to look at though through the beautiful tree covered roadways. There were pockets of spectators out along the roadway as we approached the final 2 miles, I even lucked into a Mile 24 mimosa! (That’s 6 marathons in a row that I’ve found mimosas between mile 22 & 24, how lucky is that!)
We came around the final corner after climbing the bridge again and burning most of the minute cushion we built up and saw the finish line ahead. As we made our way through that final quarter mile stretch we pushed the runners around us to get in front of us and really lock in that sub 4 marathon finish. Then I talked Heather into running across the finish line backwards to capture this incredible moment as she goes Titanium! We came across the line at 3:59:21, it’s hard to get much closer to your pace time than that!
We picked up our Rendezous Deja Vu Award for running races on both Saturday & Sunday. I’m really excited about that crawfish plate.
One of the best things about this race this year was the addition of 100% FREE RACE PICTURES sponsored by Pro Compression. (It’s no wonder all of my friends love that company so much) They were posted a few days after the race and free to download from Facebook. It worked out great because the race pictures from my GoPro did not properly showcase #TheGibblers socks from Pro Compression that I wore for the marathon.