A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Jazz Half Marathon Recap 2016

on November 10, 2016

I travel a lot for my job (currently in Bethesda Maryland!) which means I get to run in a lot of different places. It definitely makes it easier to check states off of my 50 states running list. 🙂 I went to New Orleans in October for a meeting and took advantage of the timing to run the Jazz Half Marathon. In addition to getting a new medal, which is always a perk, it gave me a nice way to get in that week’s long training run. Win win!

The expo for this race was very small and set up in a hotel meeting lobby. It made things very quick and easy to navigate, but it also meant that you wouldn’t have the chance to pick up any last minute things you might need. Always a concern if you travel for a race! I was out of Nuun and hoping I could pick up an extra tube at the expo, but had no such luck. Lesson learned: When you travel for a race, be sure you have all of your essentials with you. Regardless, it was great to be able to pick everything up and be out again within 5 minutes.

My biggest challenge on race day was that I nearly went to the wrong location! This was totally on me, not the race itself, but Jackson Square (which was what was stuck in my mind) and Lafayette Square are two entirely different places. Oops! I ended making it over to Lafayette Square with time to stop in the lobby of an office building for a real bathroom break (always appreciated) just before the race started. There weren’t any set starting corrals, but as the race wasn’t huge, that wasn’t a big problem. The 5K and half marathon runners were all mixed in together at the start, but the directions for the split were clear later on.

The first three miles ran through the business district, circling down by the convention center and up near the SuperDome. It was really flat, which is great, but the road was also a little tricky in places in terms of surfaces.
Sections of uneven streets

Superdome

As we approached 3 miles, they had a clearly labeled split point for the 5K runners to peel off and the rest of us headed out to St. Charles Avenue for my favorite stretch of the race. I loved seeing the architecture and the Halloween decorations through the Garden District.
Garden district

Halloween decorations in the garden district

After a few miles along St. Charles, we had a nice loop through Audubon Park. While I’ve been to the zoo in New Orleans, I’d never actually been in the park. It’s lovely! It was also nice to see so many families out in the park. The Louisiana girl in me is also a sucker for Spanish moss.
Audobon park

The trip back up St. Charles Avenue was a lot less shady than it had been earlier and I was definitely tired after too many late nights (and too much alcohol), but I kept putting one foot in front of the other. One disappointing factor for the back of the pack was that the bands that were out for the first half of the race had packed up by the time we came through. I could have really used the distraction!

Bands on the course
I will say that I had a personally nice little moment at the finish line. Some one I’d passed came up near me again and a couple of blocks out from the finish, I decided that I wasn’t going to be passed. I picked it up and left her in the dust (relatively speaking of course). As slow as I’ve been running lately while I’ve focused on longer distances, it was sort of fun to pick it up for a while and see that I could still do that, even at the end of 13 miles.
Post race party

We finished the race back at Lafayette Square and it was a big party! I was pleasantly surprised by that. There was a band and tons of food options, which was nice. Somehow I missed the water in the finishing chute, which was disappointing but I think I found a new favorite: cold Diet Coke after a hot race! There were also food stations where you could get jambalaya and red beans and rice, as well as a beer stop. It was sort of fun to walk away from Lafayette Square with a medal and a beer at ten am. 🙂
Jazz half marathon

There weren’t nearly as many costumes as I was expecting for a Halloween weekend race, but given the heat and humidity that was totally understandable! I definitely recommend this race as a great way to see a different, non-Bourbon street, view of New Orleans.

What’s your favorite thing to grab when you cross the finish line? (Other than your medal of course!)

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11 responses to “Jazz Half Marathon Recap 2016

  1. Definetely my wife to hold me 😉

  2. Anna says:

    Great idea to get in your long run! Gary is doing a 10 mile race Thanksgiving weekend – I wonder if he will do his additional miles before or after. Suggestions?

  3. How awesome there was jambalaya for post-race noms! I would have also wanted a beignet. I love races that add a little more than a bagel and a banana and incorporate their local culture.

  4. What a great opportunity to turn your work travel into run travel! I’ve never been to New Orleans, but this sounds like a nice race (with a cute medal). Generally when I cross the finish line, right after I collect my medal, I reach for something salty 🙂 Congrats on another great finish!

  5. I just hate we did not meet up. It is always fun to read the recaps of those that ran the same race you did. I more times than not don’t remember a lot of it. I’m like you, I loved loved all the moss in the trees in Audubon Park. Wouldn’t this be a great place to run on a regular basis? I was more excited about the coffee at the finish line than beer, course after I cooled off and I too missed the water. My husband did the 5k and was waiting on me and we walked all the way around the park looking for water! There usually are more people dressed up too. Great recap I’ve got to get mine done!

  6. […] one from the Jazz Half Marathon in New Orleans is adorable (and came with beer – which might be swaying my opinion of its […]

  7. […] nice hybrid option I use a lot is to look for races anywhere I’m traveling (like the Jazz Half Marathon this fall). If I’m going somewhere for work or family, might as well take the chance to try a […]

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