This Sunday runners from all across the state, country and WORLD will hit the streets of Baton Rouge for the Louisiana Marathon! While some of us are struggling to keep our New Year fitness resolutions (ahem… me), these guys and gals have been training for months for this. If you’re not running — and even if you don’t know anyone running — it’s still such an AMAZING sight to see. So today, it’s all about being an awesome spectator!
5 Things to do if you’re NOT running the Louisiana Marathon!
Last year was my first time out at the Louisiana Marathon. Conrad was running his first half marathon, and I grumpily agreed to go out early before the sun even came up in LAYERS of clothes because it was SO cold. I had no idea what I was getting myself into and probably complained a bit too much about being in the cold, tracking the race, moving around, etc.
But y’all! Let me tell you — it quickly became one of my favorite things to see in Baton Rouge.
Seeing such a large mass of people running and achieving their goals literally brought tears to my eyes. Some athletes have been running for years, and some people had just trained for their first ever marathon. It’s SO motivating to see what they can endure at any age to reach their personal goals. It’s quite a humbling experience to say the least — and something everyone should start their year off by seeing.
So even if you’re not running the marathon, there’s still so much to take away from the whole day… and I know with these tips today you’ll have an absolute blast at the race and will feel just as part of the experience — with or without your own medal.
1- Pick out your location(s)
A big part of being a spectator is being in the right place at the right time. Take some time before Sunday morning to review the course and map out your locations for the day. I suggest moving around to various points on the track throughout the race.
To catch the beginning of the race, head downtown or on Park Avenue, which is a great shady spot with lots of oak trees! Then, head to LSU’s campus or the LSU Lakes as the runners make their way through that area. No matter what, you’ll want to end up back downtown for the finish line. Head there around the two-hour mark to catch the really elite half-marathoners as they finish up!
You can check out the viewing times and locations chart here and even track runners on the app! But no matter where you end up, runners will be happy to see you and hear your encouragement anywhere on the course!
2- Make mimosas and cheer!
Once you’ve picked your locations, be sure to set your alarm EARLY (the race starts at 7AM!)! Load up your lawn chairs and ice chest and head out in time to beat traffic.
And it is a Sunday Funday after all, so be sure to pack champagne and orange juice for mimosas! Plus, it’s Louisiana, so you know we can have a tailgate or party any where — even on the side of the road.
While you might not need the liquid courage, you can definitely encourage folks as they run by!
3- Hand out snacks & supplies
If you really want to be a champion spectator, load up extra supplies and snacks to hand out during the race. You’ll be surprised on what types of things runners need during the race — bandaids, tissues, feminine products, etc.
While there are water stations set up along the course, you can offer additional bottled water or sports drinks. Plus, it’s Mardi Gras in Louisiana, so I know runners would LOVE your generosity when it comes to handing out King Cake! (especially those from out of state!)
When it comes to food, make sure to hand out stuff that’s easily picked up on the run and easily eaten and digested. #protip
4- Go LIVE!
I think I’m most excited this year for the chance to SHARE more of race and day on social media! Think of how much social media has changed — even since last year’s Louisiana Marathon! We didn’t have Instastories, and this year, you have the capability to go LIVE with your marathon experience.
Share the day with your friends and family on Facebook Live — maybe share the beginning of the race or folks crossing the finish line.
But I’m really looking forward to more runners going LIVE and sharing their points of view during the race. (Lookin’ at you, Conrad!)
We live in such a digital world and I think the race is such a cool thing to be able to share with people who live in Baton Rouge and all over!
5- Head to the After Party!
The fun don’t stop after the race is over. In fact, it’s just getting started! Near the finish line, they’ll host the Finish Fest. There you can enjoy ALL sorts of Louisiana food like gumbo, jambalaya, étouffée and more. Plus, there will be plenty to drink and live music!
Most of us have Monday off for the Martin Luther King holiday, so there’s plenty of time for festivities (and recovering from festivities!) before heading back to work on Tuesday.