Wednesday, March 7, 2012

RNR New Orleans Half - March 4th

New Orleans, Louisiana
State #6
Start Time: 7am
Temperature: 50 at the start, 55 and sunny at the finish
Bib #8481
Overall:  3008/13066
Division Place: 140/1128
Gender Place:  1168/8326
Finish Time: 1:59:51
  
At the last minute Saturday night, B,E, L and I decided to meet at my hotel lobby pre race.  I'm so glad we did.

E, me and L
We stayed two blocks from the start.  I even left my throw away in the hotel room, as E convinced me it was warm enough outside.


The first 5 corrals were full as we searched for corral 8, the crowd swung right.  Ah, that's where the rest of my 22,000 friends were (the race sold out).  26 corrals full of runners ready to tour New Orleans.
Corrals 6-26, way back...
We snuck in at corral 6, as that was the only break in the barriers.  I was texting B, trying to find her; she didn't make it to the hotel.  Note:  trying to find someone, especially a short person, in a sea of 22,000 people is almost impossible.  I had my eye out for Beth, as well.  Never found her either.

The gun for the first corral went off right at 7:00am.  We steadily moved forward.  I was surprised how quickly we crossed the starting mat.  I started my Garmin as I crossed, then not 20 steps into the race, it said I had lost the satellite signal.  Um, great.  I had run without my Garmin in Austin, but I needed Crash today!  It is set to show me the overall average pace (which is a 9:09 if you are attempting a sub 2)! 

I stopped and started it, hoping that would help.  Nope.  At mile 1, it showed 1.4 miles completed and my overall average pace around 7:00.  Not good, not accurate  No pressure on E, but it would be up to her to bring me in at my sub 2 goal.  Just after my Garmin failed, B came running up behind us.  Cool!  She was a welcome distraction.

Shortly after mile 1, we saw firemen running, in full gear with tanks, one was carrying a flag.  Like a dope, I ran ahead and ran backwards to attempt a picture of them.

Girl, get out of my way of the firemen...
S ran behind us the whole race.  As we ran down St. Charles Avenue (ha, just like in Monopoly) , I enjoyed looking at the historic homes.  The trees that shaded the road were amazing as well.  Even though the sun was out and it was getting warmer, the shade came and went often enough that it wasn't unbearable.  
The crowds never thinned out the whole race.  I didn't attempt any more in race pictures, either.  Sorry.  

St. Charles was an out and back.  E did her best to entertain me with stories.  I didn't wear my iPod at all, just enjoyed E and the bands throughout the course.

At mile 8 we came back into downtown.  I ran across to the Gu station and attempted to grab a bunch, because that's what B does.  I only got one, just barely, from the last volunteer (Vanilla, yum).  E was a great tour guide, especially for the last three miles, when I really couldn't talk much.  She pointed out Cafe du Monde, the French Quarter, shops and the St. Louis Cathedral.  Running a half marathon was a great way to tour this city.

We picked up the pace at Mile 12.  E asked how much I had left in the tank.  S pushed his way up with us.  As we got closer to City Park, S said our pace was 7:30ish.  I could see the finish and kicked it in with all I had.  E and I grabbed S' hands and the three of us crossed the finish line together (unfortunately the official photos cut E out of my pictures).


My Garmin kept one stat correctly.  The overall time was almost spot on.  Crash said 1:59:57, official finish time 1:59:51.  E, you are an amazing pacer!  I know we had to push it at the end, but I had just enough left to keep up with you.

The finish was filled with bagels, bananas, water, chocolate milk, Gatorade and Snickers Marathon Bars (B, I grabbed 3 of them to make up for my lack of Gu).  All finishers got a mylar blanket, and I wrapped my goodies up in it.  E left to run her boyfriend in, while S took a break.

It's hard work, running behind two girls in Sparkle Skirts for 13.1 miles.
Eventually, I found B and L, for a post race picture.

L, Ruth, B and me, in front of the concert stage.
City Park was a great place to finish a race.  Lots of room for everyone to spread out and relax for a bit.


I worried about not checking a bag and having a jacket after the race.  It was warm enough without one.  Do all RNR races give out mylar blankets at the end (even to half marathoners)?  I hope so.

The race finished about 5 miles from the start.  We struggled to find the shuttles.  Once we found them, the line was huge (spectators rode too), but moved quickly.  They loaded 2 buses at a time.

Lots of people, lots of buses.
I know I'm still on a runner's high from this race, but I really enjoyed it and this city.  It was the first of three RNR halfs I will be running this year (Portland in May and Seattle in June).  This course was truly flast, no hills in sight!  I hope they keep it the same for next year.  When I win the lottery, I want to come back and run this one again.  The volunteers were great, most of the water stations had themes (one was celebrating St. Patrick's Day, who knew they celebrated anything but Mardi Gras down here?)

Finally got my Mardi Gras beads, and I kept my shirt on the whole time!

31 comments:

Heather @ Just a Colorado Gal said...

Congrats, what a fun race!!

Out of curiosity, I'm running my first full in September and it's a RnR. I'm a music runner (always!) but is there enough on the course to go be safe w/out iPod?

TMB @ RACING WITH BABES said...

Awesome job!

Sounds like a blast!

The Unexpected Runner said...

Awesome run! Congratulations! One day I, too, hope to break the 2 hour barrier. Thanks for showing me it can be done!!!

chasingdownadream said...

Congrats on an awesome race. And I love the medal. Love, love, love it!!! :)

Lisa J said...

7:30 pace?!?! you go girl.
Last year this was the race that I had to run for a few minute then walk for a min due to IT BAND- GREAT race to do this because it allowed me to pay more attention to surroundings like you said.

So glad you got your sub 2 goal.... whats the game plan for colorado?

Tasha @Healthy Diva said...

I said I would never go back to NOLA, but now I might have too! It sounds like the race was a lot of fun. GREAT job on the sub 2!

Wells L said...

The outfits are SUPER cute! Looks like a madhouse, but sounds like a BLAST!!! Great job on getting a sub 2 with all of those people - nice work!!!!

abbi said...

Great job on the race and the sub-2!

Penny said...

Congrats. So happy for you getting that sub 2 for your half. I have done to marathons, but I havent done a half yet. But April 28, I will be doing my first half. So excited.

BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

Congrats!! It sounded like a really fun race!

Jen said...

Looks like a great race and I am glad you had a blast!

Carla said...

Congrats on an awesome race! Gimme some of that!

I wonder what happened with your Garmin. How weird and unsettling.

Ricole said...

Congratulations on your sub 2!! You rock! I would love to do that race someday. I seriously have nightmares about Garmin acting up like that! That sucks! Yay for Seattle and Portland, I'll be at both! :-)

giraffy said...

Congrats!! Looks like tons of fun :)

Kathy said...

nice job on the sub 2! sounds like a fun race!

Abby's Road said...

Congrats on your race!
I think I saw you during the out and back. That part kept me entertained a lot.

I loved this course, too! It was so scenic of the city.

FreeJulie said...

Love it! Love that medal, and it looks like you had a blast. Way to go!!

Becka said...

Cannot believe I was able to find you at the start! PS, 3 GU and 8 Snickers marathon bars :D

Cynthia said...

Congrats on an awesome race and a sub 2!!! You rocked it!!
I ran Seattle RnR full last year and they gave out space blankets to both full and half finishers, as did the Vegas RnR and I ran the half there, so I think all RnR races do.

Looks like I will get to see you at Lake Lowell and Seattle RnR :)

I wish I could run Portland RnR but there's just to many other destinatation races I have my eye on, besides Seattle RnR I am working out details for San Fran Marathon and I really wish I could run the Lululemon half marathon in Canada but I don't think that will happen this year.

Suz and Allan said...

Congratulations on a great race and a very impressive time!

Run with Jess said...

Nice running friend! Chicago R'nR had space blankets too (in Aug!). I would love to run New Orleans some day.

Laura Boll said...

Congrats on breaking 2 hours! Sounds like a great course... I'll have to check it out, I think we're now within driving distance of nola, maybe I'll try for this one next year! Ride that runner's high. :)

Mallory said...

That's an awesome medal!!!!

Shelley said...

Woohoo, congrats on such a great finishing time! Looks like you had a blast, and I love the idea of a "running" tour of New Orleans!

Alma said...

Nice race Kim! E paced me to a good time last year, too! Way to rock the bright colors.

Beth @ RUNNING around my kitchen said...

Congrats, sounds like a great race!!!!

Elizabeth said...

i had sooo much fun with you!! and love the pic of us at the end. wait till you see mine :) i think I want to be a pacer when I grow up :) and yes, they give out the mylar things at all of their races (from what I can remember). and, i followed suit after i ran with P and took more snickers bars. I think i have 5 or 6. :)

Jamie said...

Congratulations! Great race!

Kortni said...

Congrats...glad you enjoyed the south!

Yo Momma Runs said...

Congrats on your sub 2! You guys looked awesome too! Love your colors.

Lisa said...

Way to go! Congrats on your sub 2 finish! Nice to hear your positive review of the race. I'd love to visit New Orleans someday.