Saturday, September 7, 2013

Saints Back to Football 5K: The 2013 Recap

While I was on my west coast adventure running the Disneyland Half Marathon and 10K over the Labor Day weekend, there was an exciting event happening back home in New Orleans. The New Orleans Saints Back to Football 5K took over downtown NOLA with more than 5,000 runners celebrating the kickoff of the 2014 NFL season.

Even though this is an event I've missed out on two years in a row, I've seen how much fun it is through the eyes of fellow runners. For 2013 I hooked up two of my friends and encouraged them to run the race together. Anne, who you'll recognize from previous race recaps including the NOLA Trail Run Series, jumped on the running bandwagon and is training for her first half marathon in the fall/winter. Emmeline; on the other hand, is a major NFL fan, but enjoys her toenails too much to ever think about taking on distance running. This was the first organized event she's run since I've known her, though she is out at all of my New Orleans marathons cheering in support. Pairing the two of them up for this race was a match made in football heaven, and I was able to experience the
morning vicariously through them.

As I was lining up for the Disneyland 10K, I started receiving text messages and pictures from both Anne and Emmeline letting me know how their morning progressed. They purchased matching Fleurty Girl Saints tutu's, had on their best game-day gear, and made it to the start on time. By their own admission, this is no small feat for either of them in my absence. After the race, I could tell how much fun they were having by the pictures with Sir Saint and posing on the 50 yard line of the Mercedes Benz Superdome.

I've since talked to both Anne and Emmeline about the Saints Back to Football 5K and both gave great reviews about the event. The course started in Champions Square next to the Mercedes Benz Superdome, ran an out-and-back on Poydras street through the New Orleans Central Business District, followed by a loop around the stadium and finishing inside on the 50 yard line of the field. There was one water stop midway through the course, and plenty of runners and supporters out to enjoy the day. They even got some pretty great New Orleans Saints themed shirts, the new NFL approved clear plastic game day bags, and medals at the finish line.

I wouldn't trade in my weekend in Anaheim for anything, but I'm jealous that these two ladies got to run a race without me. The texts from later in the day informing me that they were needing someone to refill their post-race mimosas was slightly satisfying. It let me know that I was missed.

3 comments:

  1. The Saints 5k was definetly a fun race!

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    1. Yes it certainly looks like it, Nicole. Your recap was great as well. People should check it out here: http://ndeckerrunner.wordpress.com/2013/09/02/a-family-finish-at-the-nfl-saints-5k/

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