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New Orleans Half Marathon Course Review

Posted Feb 15 2011 8:00am
Matt and I safely made it home late last night after an interesting travel day. TSA searched my luggage because they thought the Stick was some sort of weapon. Matt got body scanned, and our pilot got a round of applause after landing the plane safely in 40 mph wind gusts.

Suffice it to say, I'm happy to be home and happy to be looking back on a great race.

I think part of the reason I had such a great race in New Orleans is because of how well the race was run.

For a race that's only in its second year, I have very few complaints and tons of good things to say.

The Good:

The expo: Matt and I went to the expo on Friday and were happy to find it fairly empty. We got to take time without being rushed or waiting in long lines.


Brooks gait analysis: At the expo, Brooks had treadmills set up with cameras on the back to record you running. Matt and I both tried it out and got some interesting insight into our running bio-mechanics. I think this feature will be at other Rock N Roll events during the year.

Plenty of porta-potties: Lines were long, but they moved at the race start. I also noticed tons of porta-potties on the course.

Well-stocked aid stations: Tons of volunteers and more than enough water and Cytomax at each one. Also very well spaced on the course.

Awesome organization: The race director had his act together. The start moved smoothly and quickly. No delay getting corrals across the start line. Mile markers were well marked and the split for the full and the half was too.

The course: Flat as a pancake.

Crowd control: Even though there were thousands and thousands of people running this race, the corrals did their job and prevented people from bunching. I always had plenty of room to run even when the roads narrowed a bit on parts of the course.

The Not So Good:

Street conditions: People say PA has bad streets but they haven't seen a thing if they haven't seen the streets in NOLA. Lots of patched potholes and cracked roads made for some rocky footing at times.

Crowd support: It was very, very minimal in some areas and most of the crowds were quiet except at the finish line. This didn't bother me a ton, but I know for some people lack of crowd support is a big deal, so I wanted to at least note it.

Mile one: This was my least favorite mile of the course. You go through a really ugly industrial area with not much to look at. It was just really blah compared to the rest of the course.

This was one of my favorite races to run and I would definitely do it again if it wasn't quite so far from home. The street conditions were definitely annoying, but I didn't have any major issues other than having to pay closer attention to where I was stepping. This race gets my ringing endorsement. If you're looking for something fast and flat, with moderate temperatures, this is your race.

Giveaway winner:

 The winner of the Stonyfield yogurt and organic make up set is Jason. Please send me an e-mail (jess@jessruns.com) by Wednesday afternoon with the address you'd like your prize shipped to.
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