It was a hot, humid, windy Sunday morning at the South Shore Harbor in New Orleans, site of this year’s 5150 triathlon, but athletes persevered despite the tough conditions on race day. This year’s event marked a site change from UNO’s lakefront campus, also the site of the Ochsner Ironman 70.3 New Orleans, which is expected to move to South Shore Harbor in 2013 as well.
Swimmers were able to brave the waters of Lake Pontchartrain despite strong easterly winds from Tropical Storm Debby in the Gulf of Mexico, thanks to the new swim location in the harbor, which is protected by a seawall. The M-shaped 1500-meter course proved confusing for some, thanks to the bright sun and some choppy water, but several athletes expressed how glad they were that a swim was able to take place, unlike other events that have been derailed thanks to oceanlike swells in Lake Pontchartrain. On the 40K, two-loop bike course, athletes faced a series of climbs that were especially challenging thanks to a strong headwind while they headed back east. And finally, the 10K run, also a two-loop course, was flat and fast, even if it was nearly entirely in the sun.
In addition to hosting 5150, South Shore Harbor was also home to the Big Easy Sprint triathlon, consisting of a 400-meter swim, 20K bike course, and 5K run.
Winners of the 5150 were David Thompson from Saint Paul, Minnesota, in 1:57:27, and Becky Lavelle of Aptos, California, in 2:11:52. Top local finishers were Ben Hall of Ruston, Louisiana, in 2:09:51 and Stephanie Smith of Metairie, Louisiana, in 2:24:36.
Winners of the Big Easy Sprint were Matt Kelso of Houma, Louisiana, in 1:12:26, and Andrea Albergo of New Orleans, Louisiana in 1:19:48.
By Katherine McCoy
2012 Peach Festival 5K- Ruston, Louisiana
Nearly 400 runners of all ages gathered in Ruston Saturday, June 23, for the Peach Festival 5K. The course was scattered with hills, passing by a cemetery, through downtown and the campus of Louisiana Tech University, finishing on a downhill. The atmosphere was fun and lively with participants enjoying each other’s company after the race and cheering on the remaining runners.
First place went to Josh Pearce with a time of 16:57.
By: Don Lachney
2012 Red River Road Runner’s Summer Fun Run #3- Bilberry Park 1.5 mile/5K – Shreveport, Louisiana
Last Thursday night was the Red River Road Runner’s Summer Fun Run #3, a 5K at Bilberry, or as we call it, “Hillberry” Park. This is considered to be the toughest race of the fun run series. The overall male finisher, Shane Huff, blistered the course, finishing in 18:49, a 6:04 pace, through the “mountains” of Shreveport. The overall female finisher was Denise Cook, 22:02, running a 7:06 pace.
For the young (7-17 year old) YOUth FIT participants, the overall winner of the 1.5 mile run was 12 year old David Lopez in 12:23. The top YOUth FIT 5K finisher was Madeline O’Rear, 16 years old, defeated the hills in 30:17.
At the post-party of watermelon and popsicles, the most common comments were: “That was intense!”; “Glad that one’s done for another year!”; “I need more hill training”; and “We need shirts that say, ‘I survived the Bilberry Park 5K!’”.
By: Shelley Armstrong
2012 NABJ 5K Run/Walk – New Orleans, LA
Baton Rouge and New Orleans participated in the 2012 Be Fit NOLA – New Orleans Health and Fitness held on Saturday, June 23, 2012. This race was sponsored by the National Association of Black Journalist. The route took place along the beautiful Mississippi River. We were able to join NABJ as we continue our journey to a healthier community at their 7th Annual 5K Walk/Run. We enjoyed the company of NABJ members and other guests as we made strides to healthier living, all while taking in the invigorating culture and scenery of New Orleans.
Despite the 83 degree heat in NOLA during the race we were still able to “Preserve the Sexy”.
By: Georgette Sterling