Jazz Half Marathon 2016 Recap
The people who put this race together are hands-on and leave no questions unanswered. I have had several interactions with them over the last 4 years and they have ALWAYS been helpful and accommodating. Excellent!
The day before the race the packet pick up was in the Renaissance Hotel. There was no confusion or problems with picking up my packet. The packet pickup has several tables/booths with other race discounts, and sample running products. It isn’t big as I am use to and it needs to be filled with a lot more sports products like shoes, and clothes. That is my opinion though.
When signing up for the race there are links to Panda Parking for discounted parking. Pick them early or you will be stuck with a high parking fee. I purchased discounted parking and had NO trouble getting in or out. The time was good for 5am-2pm. There are many options for parking near the race start but fill up soon.
The day of: The weather started off a cool 65 but half way in the sun decided to put on a show raising the temperature to 78. Not too bad. I have run in worse weather. The people, and there were plenty, started pouring into the Lafayette Square around 6am. The costumes were in full bloom: Wonder Woman, Spiderman, Ghouls and other various characters. The majority of us just showed up as runners!
The route is 99% flat leading us through the New Orleans downtown area to and through the Audubon Park as the turn around. The park is the best part of the race. The beautiful Live Oaks line the road as it twists through the park. The water stops were plenty offering both water and Gatorade. No gels or anything of the like. The spectators were in small masses to make the whole route full of cheers. (A half-mile before the finish line there is a table with liquor shots. They are spectators supporting the runners. All four years that I have run this race they have been there.) There were (and have been) several bands and churches singing and playing for the runners all along the race route. Maybe not something that will give you a kick to finish this race faster but it is a nice sentiment to support us runners. There are port-a-potties along the route. I didn’t notice any lines as I ran by.
The finish line is crowded with cheering family, volunteers, and race finishers. There are volunteers waiting for the racers with medals in hand. The Lafayette Square has various booths with clothes, sample products, and food. The food is excellent. The options of Jambalaya, Red Beans and sausage with rice, hamburgers/hot dogs, drinks(beer) and lots of water. There is plenty of room to get a seat on the ground to relax and listen to the dj on stage.
The finisher Medal is in good taste and one anyone would covet for their collection. The finisher photos are good BUT a bit expensive.
I recommend this race for all runners!