Crescent City Classic 2015 Expo

You can often judge the success of a race based on their expo and vendors. Usually for a 10k you don’t expect much of an expo, or even one at all. It’s usually pick up your race packet  and t-shirt and then “See ya at the start!” Let me tell you, NOT with the Crescent City Classic 10k expo. They have an expo that rivals most half and full marathon expos I’ve been to! The expo is held on the Thursday and Friday before the race at the Hyatt Regency in downtown New Orleans. It’s a gorgeous and HUMONGOUS hotel. Thankfully they have signs pointing everyone in the right direction of I would have been lost and attending some banker convention.

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I was already working downtown on Thursday, so I decided to just pop over that afternoon and walk through the expo and grab my bib. One of the things I love so much about this expo is that they really promote the local businesses and running community. As we were riding down the escalator to the expo there was a HUGE Community Coffee blow-up coffee cup. Ahhhh…coffee. That might just hold me over for the day. Ha!

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There were good signs directing you right where to go to pick up your race bib. It was so quick and easy. I even picked up two other bibs for friends by proxy. All they needed was my ID and the email print out from my friends so they could look up our names. They found our corrals (sorted by color) and issued me our bibs. (Yes, I was a dork and forgot to take off my work lanyard).

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Once I received by bib I turned the corner to the fun! Varsity Sports and Brooks Run Happy were there with all the fun Brooks games and SWAG. Community Coffee had a huge set-up with free coffee, a mega Keurig machine and coupons and free k-cups. I grabbed…well, let’s just say, a few. Blue Runner was there handing out samples of their red beans and rice and Michelob Ultra was there handing out BEER!! Yes. I said BEER!!!! Only in New Orleans….beer AT the expo.

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They strategically placed the t-shirts so you had to walk through all of the merchandise to get your shirt. Nice job guys. Ya got me for a pair of sunglasses and a couple of t-shirts! I got this super cute onesie and matching tee for me from Nola Girl.

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And I also got to meet Robin and snag one of her uber cute tanks from Fit By You. Isn’t she just adorable!!! So sweet too.

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Towards the end of the expo Winn-Dixie had a whole wall set up of freebies to try and you could even take a fun picture with the Easter Bunny! (Not exactly sure which camera I’m looking into but my friends look lovely).

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Some of the other local vendors there included Dirty South Running and CHRONOS Body, Health, & Wellness Spa (I want a Mother’s Day package there please!). Many of the local half and full marathon race organizers were present as well, often offering a discount for race sign-up at the expo.

I didn’t have time to stay and listen to any of the speakers they had scheduled but there were some great topics for runners. Sad to say, I missed the second line on Friday at the expo. It looked so fun!

All in all it was an excellent expo and just one more reason why I love the Crescent City Classic.

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Crescent City Classic 2014 Race Recap

2014 Crescent City Classic 10k Race Recap from Jennifer Zenuch on Vimeo.

I am almost ashamed to say that this is the first year I have ever run the Classic. Easter is a big holiday for us and we almost always either have family in town or we’re out of town. It’s a hard race for us to coordinate and run. But this year we were free of family commitments. We were free to run the race! I was excited. My friend Nicole won two free tickets and she allowed me to use one of them! I registered Mr. Z earlier in the week and we were ready to go.

I hit the expo on Thursday afternoon. I had to run through pretty quickly because I was working downtown but, “Wow!”. What a great expo for a 10k race. Packet pickup was fast and easy to maneuver. I quickly walked through the vendor area to see what they had. There were so many great vendors there. I purchased some really cute running tanks from Dirty South Running and Geaux Run and talked a bit with Craig Watson, the race director for Baton Rouge Beach Marathon (SUCH a great race – one of my faves).

Saturday morning we woke up at 5:00 a.m. (EEP!) and got ready. We drove to meet up with Nicole and picked her up to combine bodies into one car. We decided to park at City Park and catch the shuttle to downtown. I was worried the shuttle bus lines would be slow so we gave ourselves plenty of time. The buses ran very quickly and efficiently though. There was no need to worry. We got to the Superdome about 7:30 and met up with Heather and Larisa, two other social media runners from the Gulf Coast.

Before we knew it, it was time for the race to start. We were pushing Baby Z in the stroller so we were waiting to jump into the last corral at the very back (as we were supposed to do). By the time we got to the start line the race had been going for 30 minutes. I knew this was a big, crowded race and I had no illusions of grandeur of racing it with a jogging stroller. We just set out to run/walk and weave in and out of the walkers as best we could. And we also just set out to have fun.

It was rough going getting the jogging stroller through the mob of walkers in the back. We were running a pretty good pace for the first several miles and we were STILL passing walkers and strollers at mile 3. I don’t think those people went to the back of the corrals. O_o The race support and water stations were great all along the route. There were plenty of bands, music speakers blasting, crazy costumes, dancers, cheering squads and free alcohol to keep you entertained the entire time.

Baby Z became REALLY unhappy around mile 5. I don’t think he was feeling well and at that point he just wanted OUT of the stroller. So we took him out and walked a little over half a mile taking turns holding and playing with him. Suddenly as we approached City Park he said he wanted back into the stroller. THANK YOU LORD!! We managed to bang out that last half mile and finish the race. It was a huge cluster of people at the end. The crowd mostly kept moving well until it was time to enter the festival area. They had corralled that down to about five lanes of single file people. It bottle-necked terribly and it was almost impossible to get the jogging stroller through the barriers they had set up. There was no way that was handicap accessible and I had seen several wheelchairs on the race route. That was a bit disappointing to me.

Once we (FINALLY) got into the festival area we managed to meet back up with Nicole and several more friends that we knew were running the race. We saw Heather and Larisa and even Mindy  one more time. While the food lines were long, I did pawn some yummy red beans and rice off of a friend. The weather was absolutely gorgeous. You could have not asked for a better day. All in all it was a fun race and a fun way to get out and spend a Saturday morning.

Song Title: Spring to Come
Artist: John Butler Trio
Album: Flesh & Blood