Marathon 8 in 50 of the #50in50: Louisiana (Baton Rouge, LA)

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8 of 50 states in the #50in50 done:

  1. NEW YORK 11/4/18: @nycmarathon

  2. NEVADA 11/11/18: @runrocknroll Vegas

  3. PENNSYLVANIA 11/18/18: @Philly_Marathon

  4. WASHINGTON 11/25/18: @seattlemarathon

  5. TENNESSEE 12/1/18: @stjude Memphis

  6. ALABAMA 12/8/18: @irunrocketcity

  7. FLORIDA 1/13/19: @rundisney #wdwmarathon

  8. LOUISIANA 1/20/19: @thelamarathon

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I woke up super early (3am) in New Orleans and drove to Baton Rouge for the marathon. It was super cold! In the 30s. I met with the race director and founder and gave them copies of the Jan/Feb Men’s Health issue that includes the article on page 12 about the 50 marathons in 50 States that I’m running for the Gweneviere Mann Foundation, in memory of Gweneviere.

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I wasn’t prepared for the weather. I wasn’t expecting it to be as cold as it was. I didn’t have a long sleeve shirt or gloves. I kept my uniqlo jacket on for the first 3 miles. I decided to run 4:15 pace because of the conditions and because I still needed to ease back into my running schedule after a 5 week break during December and early January. It was a good decision for me to choose that pace.

My pace group was very friendly and talkative. They carried a bunch of Honey Stingers.

Baton Rouge is a relaxed place with nice architecture and plenty of nature trails. I love how I am getting to tour some of the most interesting cities of each state in the US on foot. I think it’s a great way to explore a country and meet its people.  

After the race, I hit up the finisher festival. They had local Louisiana foods for finishers. Each finisher got 6 tickets to use at booths: Stew to Go, vegan gumbo, vegetarian chili, jambalaya, alligator stew, cookies, and drinks. It was the tastiest finisher festival that I’ve been to so far! Louisiana cuisine is delicious.

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I broke away in last bit, half mile, and finished in 4:13. I think I could have run a 4:09 or even faster, but i was satisfied with my time. 4:04 is still my PR (NYC 2018). 

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The medal is really big and colorful, and doubles as a bottle opener. So cool. 

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I changed into clean clothes into the car, and headed back to New Orleans, arriving just as the Saints vs Rams game was starting. I was staying at a hotel right on Canal Street, bear the Super Dome. The traffic wasn’t bad at all, since it seemed everyone was already seated at the game or about to watch at home.

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I saw someone with their dreads hanging out the car window. Loved it!

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I watched part of the game in the hotel. The Saints were up, so I went to go eat at a vegan place called Seed, just as the 3rd quarter was ending. No one was on the road, all empty. I had a vegan po boy and vegan Mac n Cheese. Yum! By the time we left the restaurant, the Saints has lost in overtime 26-23. It was a bad call.

Overall the Louisiana Marathon was a great race. Be prepared for a cold morning. They have several race distances, including the full, half and kids races. Des Linden competed at the half and won it. Overall I recommend this race as it’s a fairly fast and flat course, and has a tasty finisher festival! Check then out and sign up for next year’s race when they open up!

Next marathons on the schedule:

  • MS (Mississippi Blues in Jackson) 1/26

  • AZ (Phoenix) 2/9

  • TX (Austin) 2/17

Join me on the #50in50 for the Gweneviere Mann Foundation, with many ways to get involved.

Please download Gweneviere’s song

She was excited about releasing an album that she had just finished, but she passed before she could realize that dream, so we just recently released a single "What I Can Be" off of her album for her so that we could fulfill that dream for her. Download it here

Together we will save lives through early detection programs for lung cancer and brain tumors.

I ❤️ you Gwen.

-Yasir

Yasir Salem