I packed my things on Friday evening to head down to New Orleans (only an hour drive away). Originally I was going to run with my brother but due to planning problems, ended up I was going to be running this event all by myself.
That evening I went over to the exhibition hall in the Hyatt Regency hotel and was flabbergasted by the size of the vendors. I walked the area at least twice and geeked out at all the running gear. Purchasing a 13.1 magnet to replace the other lost in a car wash, I was in runner gear heaven. I also happened to pick up some cool running tees and of course my bib and race shirt. That night I went to dinner with a friend I haven't seen in years and came home to bed fairly early.
Race morning came quickly as I was up early and ready to get going. I drove down to the finish and planned to take the bus to the starting line. Unfortunately I had to walk back to my car because there wasn't any gear check for this race. Bummer. Regardless, arriving at the starting point at Champions Square in front of the super dome was exhilarating Having been a New Orleans Saints fan for years, the music blaring and anticipation in the air was just wonderful. I was definitely ready to race!
I got into my colored corral and waited... and waited... and waited. The starting gun was at 8:00 AM and it wasn't until 8:23 AM that I crossed the starting line. By that time the first finishers were nearing the end of the race! Crazy!
The CCC is always a fun race as they have bands lined up all along the route. From jazz to blue grass to rock, it's a race that has a constant flow of music in your ears as your feet pound the pavement. This race varies from the elite runner to the walking jello-shot lover and anywhere in between. I'm not kidding when I say there's people dressed up in full costume (and drunk) and then there's runners seriously giving it there all. It's a race for everyone - except the kids!
I didn't want to push myself to hard for this race as I really hadn't been running regularly or training up this event. (It snuck up on me!) So I stayed with a 1:00 run/walk interval throughout the whole race which helped me to keep my breath and not get too fatigued. Unfortunately around mile 5 my hip flexors started cramping hard. The only thing that helped me keep going was that I knew the finish line was coming up soon. So despite my pain, I gritted my teeth and ran to the finish. Thereafter I pushed through the crowd, grabbed my medal, took quick pictures, got some water, and sought out a small quiet spot where I could stretch my hip flexors.
Inside the CCC Festival the music and smell of food was irresistible. I spent a good half hour just sitting in the sun, stretching, and enjoying the music as my body started to relax. Once I felt like I could get back up on my feet I headed to the red beans and rice tent, jambalaya tent, and beer tent (Yes, all three!) I scarfed down the meal and beer, drank some more water and hobbled back to my car for a shower and an hour ride back home.
I can't say it enough, I love CCC 10K. It's a fun race that is large but local. The people are always encouraging and the event is well run. While i didn't PR this year I was only 3 minutes shy. There's always next year!