Read my review of the Uptown Classic Run in New Orleans, LA benefiting the New Orleans Jewish Community Center.
Audubon Park, New Orleans
5k, 1/2 Mile
Same day registration available?:
This race was organized fairly well. This is a timed race with bib chips. All registered participants are timed. The free parking was limited to a space across the street from the event tent, otherwise cars would be towed. Therefore it was hard to see the tent from the parking lot, or even when driving up to the park. We almost thought we had the wrong day the calendar! Once we found the tent, registration was smooth and seamless. The sound system wasn't very clear during announcements so it was hard to hear the race director once all the runners arrived.
The course is a large (one time) loop around half of the lake located in the park. It's completely flat and paved. The scenery was very pretty and serene with the Fall like foliage on the ground. Large trees shade the rays from the sun and there are no shortage of geese (and poop!) along the trail-your nose will notice them before your eyes see them. There were water stations at mile 1 and 2.
Overall this was a good experience. A downside for me is that the wearing of headphones (or anything that would limit your hearing) is largely discouraged during this run. I love my wireless lightweight Beats headphones and use them to play my race playlist with optimal sound quality which allows be to better pace myself. Therefore, like most of the participants, I wore headphones and just turned down the volume so I could hear what was going on around me. Everyone was nice and friendly. There was a much larger turnout than I expected since this was a park run which was a pleasant surprise. After the run there were unlimited nachos, popcorn, water, soda and other delightful snacks. There were no vendors per se, though the food was sponsored. The race coordinators and volunteers handled giving away all of the food.
The peaceful experience of running through the park with fellow runners was the stand-out for me at this race. Most race days are hectic, harsh and jolting but the aura of this run was the exact opposite. Maybe it was the location, the organizers, the participants or all of the above. Whatever it was, worked!
Would I run it again?
I would run this event again. I assume it's purposely schedule for the week after #mardigras in anticipation of the large crowds throughout the city however I would suggest moving the date to #mardigras weekend. Since the location is well away from Bourbon Street, there may be large increase in participation with little negative impact as a result!!
How to register:
Check out @readontherun Instagram for more pics!