The tree's, telephone poles, lights and everything else gets covered in beads in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. This year, someone really decorated several of the light posts along the course which amused me highly.
I love the sparkeley-ness of New Orleans, particularly after Mardi Gras. This year with only 1.5 weeks separating Fat Tuesday from the race, meant there were beads on many surfaces that were still colorful and sparkeley.
Here I take a moment to appreciate the beads and compare the bead covered post to my outfit which consisted of lots of pink and bit of sparkeley.
You can see marathon runners on my right and the half marathoners are on the left across the St Charles Trolley tracks.
Other years the marathon course has gone north on Poydras Blvd, the road that the Drury Hotel (where I have stayed the last 2 years).
Sadly this year I had to divert by about 400 meters to get to the hotel for my breakfast (even worse last year, the breakfast opened early, but this year breakfast started at 7 a.m. and the race started at 7 a.m.!)
Because I wanted my belgium waffle, I took a slight detour about mile 10 to get my breakfast. I had to make my waffle, but it was so YUMMY! Although a few minutes later I followed this up with a white chocolate covered marshmallow's. I will advise those of you considering to do this, don't. I nearly puked...
Along the course there was a great pyrennes. I love big dogs so I took a moment to give him a hug.
Oddly enough my doggie friend was just barely heavier than gilligan at 120 lbs (Great Pyrennes are usually closer to 150 lbs).
The dog was really sweet and very soft. Each time I travel for a marathon, I miss Gilligan (as well as my kitties) so any time I see a critter, I try to meet and give them a pet or a hug.
Near the end of the marathon we ran through City Park. City Park is one of two large parks in New Orleans (Audabon Park located in the Garden District is the other large park).
City park has several playgrounds as well as some authentic Louisana bayou/swamp land.
I took a moment to slide down the kiddie slide (although the person taking the picture did mention loudly that I may have been way over the recommended 50 lb limit!)
I have to say getting out of this slide was very challenging because it was only about 3-4 inches from the slide to the ground...but I am a professional!
After finishing the race, I saw my friend John "the Penguin" Bingham. He is really nice and so enouraging to everyone.
I have met John numerous times including a Fleet Feet Fun Run, along the Marine Corps Marathon Course, at the Phoenix Rock and Roll and Disney Marathons.
John is very kind and so supportive of all runners. He has authored many books that are very inspirational and definitely provide advice, encouragement and support for all runners.
This past weekend I ran my 3rd Mardi Gras Marathon. Previously this race was an exceptionally well organized marathon by the New Orleans Track Club. I have really enjoyed the previous "intimate" race.
This year it was the Inaugural Rock and Roll Mardi Gras Marathon. There were 15,000 runners and apparently it took me nearly 30 minutes to cross the start line.
My gun time was 5:40 but my chip time was 5:12. Sadly this time does not deduct my various pit stops along the way including a stop at my hotel to make then eat a belgium waffle. Nor does it account for visiting with several friends along the course, stopping at the various aid stations to imbibe in "adult beverages" or other activities.
I did have a great race and was excited to see lots of friends along the course. Because I have run this marathon for several years, it seems some of the spectators know me. This is really cool because I feel like many of the spectators and volunteers along the course are my friends and it is like a mini-reunion.
The course is neat because you get to see the Garden District, French Quarters and City Park. All of these places have a very different feel, but are typical New Orleans. Also this year since Mardi Gras was just 2 weeks ago many of the tree's along Charles Street had beads. I guess the tree's in New Oreans are really wild!