Race for the Cure New Orleans was my fourth Komen race of 2018. I had appointments that lasted until 6:30 the night before so I started driving at 6:32. I’d received a trial of SiriusXM so I tuned to the 80’s and took off blasting Tears for Fears, The Fixx and Prince. The night ride was uneventful until I drove into the fog over Lake Pontchartrain. I am a white knuckle bridge driver especially when the local drivers treat it like it’s the Indy 500! Luckily I made it safely to my Airbnb, caught a few hours of sleep and arose for NOLA Komen.
NOLA Komen has a unique tone and I tried to be ready for whatever she threw at me. I picked up my packet and was impressed that it came with tickets for food. I wrote a pink note for the wall, entered the survivor tent and was greeted with food, water, gifts and a snow-ball machine with my choice of flavors and spirits! This was New Orleans, ya’ll!!
I kinda found my number, (21 YEARS), and stepped into the survivor line. The ladies around me asked where I was from, in their gorgeous Cajun accents, and were surprised that I had driven from Birmingham for their Komen. These women were warm, kind, funny and encouraging. They told me NOLA Komen was a real family event and many of them had tents outside of the venue where they would grill, fry, drink and party all day. I was invited to join them, meet their family and EAT.
The survivor parade started with a SECOND LINE! We danced our way towards the staging area with a live band through spectators congratulating us. It was fantastic!
The 5K was divided between runners and walkers and the runners had a 15 minute start before the walkers. That was smart, effective and efficient. I chose to walk this Komen because I hadn’t had enough sleep, food or water and the sun was BLAZING. My goal was to not die in New Orleans before finishing the 5K.
And I didn’t. It was a great walk even with my sunburn because yes, you still need sunblock in New Orleans in October. Sadly I had to bale on the food invitations. I had become too hot and had to find my car to sit in the air conditioning for a while before I returned to my Airbnb.
I’ve decided NOLA Komen is my favorite and I plan to return next year and run it! I felt LOVED in New Orleans and the community of survivors is strong. I hope to reconnect with all of the ladies I met this year and to bring some of my runner friends so we can all party together. If you’re a NOLA fan and want to help them wipe out breast cancer, you can make a donation at my link here.
When was your last visit to New Orleans? Was it for a race or to party??