Marathons: Paul #31, Leah #21, State #16 : Louisiana Marathon 2014
19th January 2014, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA
Finish Time = 3:52:47
We were unsure of how this marathon would turn out following the Christmas period and only a few short training runs due to the UK rain. Everything went really well though, the weather was perfect – sunny but still cool and the race was well organized.
We checked into our hotel and had a great view of the Mississippi River, which we later ran alongside for a pre-marathon tune-up.
It was the race that had been chosen to be the Marathon Maniacs Reunion, so 250 – 300 Maniacs members were there. We were both interviewed at the Expo for 30 minutes by a sports science research group studying running communities and the Marathon Maniacs in particular. We also attended a conference hosted by the founding members, the 3 “Main Maniacs” which was a lot of fun.
After the Maniacs Reunion we did a bit of exploring around Baton Rouge and found a coffee house called PJ’s. Of course we had to go there.
We had our first experience of the well-known “Southern hospitality”; the people of Baton Rouge were very welcoming and friendly and on the day of the race were hugely supportive. We spoke to several people on the run including a few locals who were also very talkative.
Being in the Deep South, the regional accents were great, with a lot of “y’alls” thrown in to sentences along with the ever popular “Lookin’ good!”. I’ve come to learn that I should have no expectations for people understanding me in the US with my British accent and with how strong the Southern accent is I thought I would be guaranteed to have issues. But actually everyone seemed to know exactly what I said, first time. I didn’t get any weird looks, confused stares, “you want what??” questions and no-one had to ask Leah for a translation of what I was saying (that has seriously happened on multiple occasions). As a side note, in a lot of races at aid stations when volunteers hold water in one hand and Gatorade in the other, they’ll shout out “WAH-TER? GA-TER-RAID?”, I’ll reply with my accent “war-ter” and they’ll look at me like I’m mad. That doesn’t sound like either of the options. I get that, but it kinda sounds the closest to “wah-ter”, right? But usually they’ll say “Uh, Gatorade?”, I’ll reply “no, war-ter” and then they’ll hand me Gatorade. Sigh.
We hit our usual goal, managing to complete the marathon in under 4 hours and added State number 16 to our list. At the finish we went over to Maniacs VIP tent which served up some traditional cuisine, as well as mimosas (UK buck’s fizz), and got to know some of the other Maniacs.
It was a great start to 2014’s marathons and hopefully Alabama next month will be more of the same.
Elevation Graph from my running watch:
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