This was the race recap from this weekend’s Gulf Coast Half Marathon in Mandeville, LA. This was written for nola.com/running, but I thought some of you might enjoy reading it as well! I hope you like it!
Yesterday, the Gulf Coast Half Marathon series wrapped up the 2011 race series with the Gulf Coast Half Marathon Louisiana Northshore. Even though the race weekend culminated with yesterday’s half marathon, race weekend events kicked off much earlier in the week. Packet pick-up was available on Wednesday and Thursday at the Varsity Sports locations in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, respectively. On Friday and Saturday the packet pick-up was held on Varsity Sports Mandeville, which also hosted the expo featuring great deals from shoe and apparel vendors and information about other upcoming races.
Friday night, the Gulf Coast Half Marathon hosted the 2nd Annual Joe Relaxo Shrimp Boot Stroll. Several hundred participants made the stroll from The Lake House to Barley Oak to raise funds for Save Our Shore, a non-profit created to aid recovery efforts among victims of the BP oil spill and encourage restoration of the Gulf Coast’s fragile ecosystems. It was the perfect way for racers to relax and get ready for Sunday’s festivities!
Sunday morning started out breezy and cool with some racers fearing it might just be TOO chilly. However, by the 7:00AM race start, temperatures had warmed up to right around 70° F with light winds around 18mph…nearly perfect racing conditions for October in South Louisiana. The sun was shining high and all of the participants seemed excited and anxious for the race. Runners started entering the corral in beautiful Fontainebleau State Park around 6:40AM, and by the gun start, all 1,149 racers were on their way!
The majority of the half marathon route took runners through Old Mandeville, running past Pelican Park, historic homes, along Lakeshore Drive, and finishing back in Fontainbleau State Park. Race participants were welcomed to the post-race party by the sounds of The Lewinskys playing on the Abita Beer main stage, food provided by Izzo’s Illegal Burrito, and massages by Jones Physical Therapy.
The flat and fast course offered impressive finish times for many race participants, with the average race time being 02:19:53. The top overall male and female finishers as follows:
- Rich Bouckaert 01:17:37
- Tom Luongo 01:21:23
- Billy Borrouso 01:23:19
- Kristin Wenstrom 01:22:36
- Courtney Cooper 01:23:54
- Samantha Mazer 01:26:42
Race participants were treated to 12 water and aid stations along the route, with each station competing to win a cash prize for a charity of their choice. Water stations were judged on cheerfulness, ample supply of Gatorade and water, and cleanliness. The Northshore Cross-Country team came in first place, collecting $1,000 for their school’s team, Varsity Sports won the second place prize, donating $500 to Save Our Shore, and Team in Training collected the third place prize of $250 for their charity’s fundraising.
Overall, this year’s Gulf Coast Half Marathon Louisiana Northshore was an overwhelming success! Participants loved the route, had a great time racing, and many have already expressed an interest in running again next year! Good times were definitely had by all! The Gulf Coast Half Marathon series will be returning to Mandeville next year on October 14th. However, if you are looking for a great half marathon even sooner, be sure and catch their January half marathon in Gulf Shores! Check out the link here!
Complete race results can be found online at louisianahalf.com.