This Saturday will be the 4th annual Jazz Half Marathon and 5K in New Orleans, benefiting Children’s Hospital. As the temps are dropping, the competition will heat up with a competitive field of runners hitting the streets of Uptown New Orleans at 7:00 a.m.
Starting near Poydras and Camp Street downtown, the half marathon runners will take a route that loops through the CBD and then out onto St. Charles Avenue to Audubon Park, around the running path of Audubon Park back to St. Charles Avenue for a return trip to near where the race started. The route highlights great scenes of New Orleans, from historic homes along the Avenue to the oak trees of Audubon Park, and most importantly the sight of the finish line in Lafayette Square. For those who will undertake the 5K distance, a route that encompasses the downtown area will be the task at hand, ending in the same location as the half.
As with everything the city of New Orleans does, the Jazz Half Marathon has unique twists that make the race an experience all its own. For example, make sure to have your game face on when you cross the start line, as well as when you run down Howard Avenue near mile 3.25, as you enter and exit Audubon Park at miles 7 and 9, and again as you cross the finish line. Local TV station WDSU News Channel 6 will cover the race as a media partner, and will have cameras at those locations giving live updates on the progress of the runners during a live telecast. Also, in years past, the finish line festival has featured great New Orleans foods that include a regional favorite, Blue Bell ice cream bars.
Parking on race day can be precarious for participants, so be certain to park in legal parking spots and to steer clear of streets that may be occupied by runners in the last miles of the race. Pay lots are available throughout the area, as is street parking with meters; however, metered parking is paid on weekends after 8:00 a.m. in the city. Be sure to feed the meter accordingly.
For those who have yet to sign up for the Jazz Half Marathon or 5K, race-day registration is available. For runners who have signed up already, there is no race-day packet pickup. Visit JazzHalf.com for details on last-minute registration and packet pickup happening today only at the Rouses in downtown New Orleans.
by Fred Ruckert