As many CYJ readers know, the inaugural Louisiana Marathon is taking place this weekend in Baton Rouge. In preparation for the full marathon, I recently drove the route to get a preview of what I would encounter along the way.
The race starts at the Louisiana State Capitol Building. Runners will be gathered in the parking lot located in the front of the Capitol Building.
As runners leave the starting line, they will make two quick turns and then proceed down Lafayette St. until they arrive at the Old State Capitol Building.
When runners arrive at the Old State Capitol Building, they will take a left onto North Blvd., where they will run by the new North Blvd. Town Square. The North Blvd. stretch is a little over a mile and includes some minor elevation change before the runners hit the most difficult “hill” of the race: the North Blvd. overpass.
Following the descent , runners will take a right onto North 19th St., which eventually turns into Park Blvd. and then changes names again to Dalyrmple Dr.
Following a 2 mile stretch of name changes, the route arrives at the campus of Louisiana State University.
After nearly 5 miles on campus, the route travels into the College Town area on the southeast corner of the campus. I believe that with the field spread out at this point and with the quietness of this neighborhood, runners will feel alone for nearly a mile before the route returns to the LSU lakes.
Following the run around the LSU lakes, runners will take a short detour into the Hillsdale area and then on to City Park. There are some slight elevation changes during this 1 mile stretch.
City Park is the halfway mark for the marathon. In my opinion, the remainder of the route will be much more mentally challenging than the first 13 miles. The next 10 miles is an out and back, traveling on Kleinert Ave., Claycut Ave., Sevenoaks Ave. and then into the Tara Subdivision. I have run Kleinert Ave. and Sevenoaks Ave. many, many times, and I really enjoy the scenery. So, I was excited to see that these roads were on the route. However, I struggle so much on out and back routes that include long stretches on the same road. I find it mentally tough to hit the halfway point in a long out and back route and realize that I have to turn back around and run the same route again. This is not a criticism of the route, as it is extremely tough to map out a marathon in city such as Baton Rouge.
Upon completing this 10 mile portion, runners will return to Park Blvd. with only 2 miles to go. Yes, you do have to return back over the North Blvd. overpass, which is sure to be a test with tired legs. But as you descend the west side of the overpass, the remaining 1.5 miles is relatively flat. Once you see the Old State Capitol Building, you will know that you are rounding third base and heading home.