October 31, 2010

Jazz Half Marathon Recap

My goals for the Jazz Half:
1.  Use the half as part of a 20 mile long run
2.  Have fun
3.  Get some great pictures
Mission accomplished on all accounts.

The day started off when I met a friend around 5:30 so we could run downtown to the start, about 5.5 miles away.  I knew I wouldn't want to keep going for another 7 after the race, so I figured this would be the best way to squeeze in the extra miles.  Not surprisingly, the roads were pretty empty at this hour but the miles passed quickly as we made our way in the darkness.

Team "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun"
with obligatory side ponytails all around. 
We got to the start with a lot of time to spare so I headed down the road to knock out the last 1.5 miles before the race.  As usual, there were runners arriving from all directions so I got first glimpse at some of the costumes.  There were plenty of superheroes, Saints fans (LOTS of black & gold tutus), various animals, zombies... perhaps my favorite was a guy dripping in LSU attire.  Not because I love LSU, but because the guy had on a HUGE cowboy hat, yellow fringe around his waist & ankles, running rights & a purple lei around his waist.

There were also some scary Halloween hazards on the course.  First, 2 miles in we passed the Boogie Monster.  And by "boogie" I mean he was snot-rocketing into the crowd of runners.  Please, people!  I recognize that snot-rockets are an expected hazard, but move to where you're not going to slime anyone!

Then, arriving on St. Charles we started our trek through the deadly pothole passage.  Hell... who am I kidding?  All of New Orleans is a pothole obstacle course.  But right after Lee Circle is particularly bad.  We passed our first casualty around mile 3-4 who looked like she'd recently face planted, with blood gushing from her nose, elbows and knees.  Ouch!  After making sure she was ok, we continued on our journey.

On our way back from Audubon Park we passed State Street - known for its Halloween zeal - and stopped for pictures.  We posed in front of one particular house (above right) that has at least 20 skeletons in their front yard.  We're standing next to "Deadly Glare."  There's also "the Scream," a skeleton doing a cart-wheel & hula-hoop, "dead tired"... all pretty bad puns but entertaining nonetheless.

Then, less than a mile from the finish line we passed my favorite "costume."  Some guy was standing on a rock  (presumably brought from home?) at Lee Circle.  Dressed as Jesus.  Why?  Who knows.  This is New Orleans.  He probably does this everyday and simply relocated for the race.  I almost didn't stop for the picture - we were almost at the finish line after all - but just as we were leaving the circle I knew I would regret not having his picture.  So here he is, "Jazz Half Jesus" in his full glory standing in front of a line of port-a-potties.  (We shouted his name to get his attention and he gave us his best pose):
"Jazz Half Jesus"

Once we arrived at the finish line it was time for food.  Any NOLA events always have good food so we downed a couple cups of water and then headed over for the real goods.  Among the offering were Jambalaya, Kung Pao Chicken, Mich Ultra & chocolate fudgesicles.  Mmmm.  Add a bunch of bands, rocking out on stage, a ga-zillion runners & spectators and you've got yourself a party.

Overall, a great race.  My only complaint is that the price is a bit steep ($60) for a half marathon - I prefer running marathons for less.  But it's the only New Orleans race around Halloween so, all in all, it's pretty entertaining.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you had fun! I'm worried about potholes now for my New Orleans race!! Im running the RnR in February!