Back to Football Saints 5k
9/8 Workout: 3.1 mile run / 26:20
It’s ‘fall’ in Louisiana, which really just means the snoball stands are only open for two more months and… it’s time for football!
Saturday was the inaugural Back to Football Saints 5k. It’s been a few months since I did an honest to goodness 5k, so I was excited to see where I would fall. The fastest 5k I had run this year up to this point was 28:01.
Allison, Cate, and I took the streetcar from my house downtown. This was Allison’s first 5k! I think she has been bitten so she may start popping up more regularly in this blog. Cate is coming back from a back injury, so she ran with Allison.
This race was huge! About 4000 people participated in the race, which was more than any of the Back to Football 5ks put on across the country. New Orleans people love them some Saints. Despite being a huge race, it was very well organized. After we snapped this picture we split up to get into our pace groups.
If you are not familiar with New Orleans, that big gold building is the Superdome. One of the biggest reasons to run this race was that it started in Champion Square in front of the Superdome, and ended on the 50 yard line of the Saints home field! Huge motivation to run fast to get there before it was too crowded.
People in New Orleans love an excuse to dress up in costume. I left my Saints princess costume at home for this race, but maybe next time!
Timing Chip? Check. Pure Flows? Check? Bruised and scraped up legs? Check.
I put myself in the 8:00 minute group, hoping that 1) I wouldn’t get stuck behind too many people walking and 2) that they might push me to run faster. Although the race was huge, it was a lot of people walking or just out there to have fun. I was surprised by how close we were to the start line.
The race started on time, and very quickly the 8:00 minute group moved up to the start line and was off! I hadn’t looked at a map before the race, so I really didn’t know where we were going. The course went through downtown New Orleans and into the French Quarter. I missed the first mile marker and there were strangely no clocks at any of the mile markers. It wasn’t until I was in the Quarter at the turnaround point that I heard volunteers saying we were 1.3 miles into the race.
I saw the 2 mile mark and my watch said exactly 17:00. The last mile was so hard because the humidity started to catch up to me. As we were rounding the Superdome, I would catch a blast of air conditioning every once in awhile and get really excited.
Running into the Superdome and onto the field was such an exciting experience! There was a big blow up finish line and Saintsation dancers at the end, along with Gumbo, one of the Saints mascots.
I wish they had been playing music or something in the Superdome because it was eerily quiet, but I guess the organizers wanted people to hurry off the field. No such luck. People were seriously enjoying hanging out on the field.
I was pretty darned pleased with this personal best for the year and with how I did compared to the rest of the field.
This was a great race and definitely worth checking out for next year.