BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Thousands of runners participated in the Louisiana Marathon, which was held Friday, Jan. 17 through Sunday, Jan. 19. Some described it as one of the most anticipated races in the capital city.
The event featured three days of activities, six bands, 40 chefs, a 5k, 10k, the half marathon, and the full marathon.
Runners came from all over the country to participate.
“I did the full marathon. It’s part of my quest to do a full marathon in each of the 50 states. Today was my 30 state, and it was my second-best time ever,” said Badia Eskandar. Eskandar traveled from Boston to participate.
"I came to Baton Rouge to do the half marathon. I’ve run marathons on six continents. I have one left and that’s Antarctica. I’m motivated to finish, and I tell myself you’ve come too far not to finish this race. You’ve trained hard. You’ve done this before. Don’t give up,” said Antonia Routt.
For many runners, the race was more than just getting to the finish line.
"We also represent colors here at a lot of local races just to bring patriotism and awareness to people that you don’t have to be a fast runner just to get out here and do this. It’s for all people all shapes all sizes and all runner,” said Elena Branzaru, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran.
“We’re giving out little flags to all the kids, elderly, really anybody. I tell you that joy when they’re like aww really makes your day,” said Ryan Mast, a firefighter who ran in full gear.
For some, it was the perfect day for a non-traditional bachelorette party.
“Jessie's getting married in two weeks and so for her bachelorette party, we all dressed up like Star Wars,” said Mandi Fremin.
“This marathon is part of the bachelorette party too. We're a bunch of athletic nerds, so why not,” said Jessica Jefferson.
For others, it was the beginning of the rest of their lives together.
A Finish Fest was held after races wrapped up. It featured lots of food and local music. Featured restaurants included Bistro Byronz, FRESHJUNKIE, Jolie Pearl, Ruffino’s, Rouj Creole, Walk-On’s, and many others. Musical acts included Your Mom, The Michael Foster Project, Where Y’acht, Sera Buras, Golden Guys, and Jonathan Boogie Long.
A list of winners can be found below:
- Louisiana Marathon Men’s Division:
1. Kenney Rayner, 2:28:30
2. Ryan Crandall, 2:37:04
3. John Hitter, 2:41:47
- Louisiana Marathon Women’s Division:
1. Samantha Yeager, 2:51:31
2. Katie Moran, 3:00:42
3. Rosalie Teeuwen, 3:01:45
- Louisiana Half Marathon Men’s Division:
1. Christopher Capps, 1:10:01
2. Richard Bouckaert, 1:10:16
3. Derek Yorek, 1:11:33
- Louisiana Half Marathon Women's Division:
1. Jackie Range, 1:22:07
2. Ellen Benoit, 1:26:01
3. Varinka Ensminger, 1:26:11
Louisiana Marathon officials said a total of 86 runners qualified for the Boston Marathon in April. Read more figures from the Louisiana Marathon below:
The Louisiana Marathon by the numbers:
- 912 Total Finishers
- 385 Females
- 527 Males
- Average Time: 4:29:06
- Total Miles Run: 23,894.4
The Louisiana Half Marathon by the numbers:
- 2,022 Total Finishers
- 1,206 Females
- 816 Males
- Average Time: 2:23:13
- Total Miles Run: 26,488.2