Like all of this...
1. Aunt Karen wasn't running the race - but she did wake up at 5:30am to help us get ready. She also donned a headband and a runner's bib (aka a post-it with the number 2 on it). While we were racing, she was getting the house ready and picking up food for the Crawfish Broil scheduled for later in the day. We appreciated her enthusiasm!!
2. My Aunt Jeanne - who joined Weight Watchers a little over a year ago and lost A LOT of weight - completed the race in 63:59. She wanted to point out she's 50, and she can KICK, and STRETCH, and KICKKKKKKKKK! I'm really proud of her and seriously, I'm not jealous at all that she's faster than me...
3. The Crescent City Classic is more of a "Social Function" than a race. There are more walkers than runners, people start drinking at 7 am, and in addition to water stations, people set up stations for jello and tequila shots. My Aunts' friend, Diane, pointed out to me: "If you're trying to run a 10K at a serious pace, this is not the race to do it." So next year, I'm walking and drinking (see number 4, below).
4. Referencing number 3, my father and Uncle participate in our mini-tradition socially. My uncle buys 2 or 3 cases of beer, throws them in a rucksack and walks the 6.2 miles in his Army fatigues carrying over 48 cans of beer the whole way...and one in his hand. My dad and Uncle John's buddies help out by drinking the beers; effectively lightening the load the closer they get to the finish line. I think they stop at bars along the way as well, but I can neither confirm nor deny that.
5. My favorite station from 2011 was back this year in 2012. Re: Number 3, non-race volunteers camp out throughout the course and blast music, cheer, and provide beverages that are most certainly NOT water. My favorite group passes out jello shots and wears tee-shirts that say "Jello Shots" on the front and "It's not like you're going to win..." on the back. I find this hilarious - and next year, I intend on partaking in the non-water hydration provided along the course.
As with most things in New Orleans, the Classic, though athletic, is a drinking extravaganza. I stopped into a restaurant in the French Quarter to use the bathroom at 8am before the race started and the bartender almost convinced me to get a Bloody Mary. Peer pressure in Sin City! And I almost caved - I'm so weak!
After the race we cooled off at Aunt Jeanne's with an amazing batch of Crawfish, potatoes, sausage, onions and lots-o-snacks. I gave my diet the day off, having run 6.2 miles that morning. Judging by how much I ate, you'd have thought I ran a marathon...and I've been paying for it at the gym all week.
So that's the REAL Classic Recap - and not just me moping about running an 11 minute mile and getting attacked by ants.