Zydeco Marathon to Close Lafayette Streets This Weekend
Lafayette motorists here is a heads up for you. There will be a lot of foot traffic in and around our city this weekend and no, they won't be sticking to the sidewalks either. This weekend Lafayette and Acadiana welcome the return of the Zydeco Marathon, Half-Marathon, Team Relay, 5k, and 1 Mile run. See, I told you'd there would be a lot of foot traffic.
There will also be a lot of visitors in town for the annual running event too. While many events such as the Zydeco Marathon have had fewer entries because of the coronavirus pandemic things are starting to fill back up. And organizers of this year's event are looking for not only a large crowd of participants but a large crowd of spectators along the race route to cheer these runners onward.
Naturally, with this many people in the streets road closures will be necessary. But in many cases, if you're patient officers posted at the closed intersections will allow you to at least cross the race route when race traffic dictates it is safe to do so.
But traffic along the main race route will be limited between the hours of 7 am and 1 pm on Sunday and from 8 am to 10:30 am on Saturday.
Here is a look at the route for Sunday's 26.2 miles and 13.1-mile events.
The route is a double loop. In other words, those running the Half Marathon will make one circuit while those doing the full distance will make two loops. And yes, the course is quite sprawling and will take runners through some of Lafayette's most beautiful areas.
The route will also take runners to the only hill that I am aware of in town too. That's the one that everyone will feel in Bendel Gardens. As a runner, I can tell you that the hill doesn't look that big until you've tried to run up it on very tired legs.
Here is the map for Saturday's 5k event. That route is confined to the general downtown area.
The start time for the 5k race, that's 3.1 miles for Americans who can't be troubled to learn the metric system, is 8 am on Saturday morning. Gun time for the Sunday events is 7 am.
What's very exciting about the Zydeco Marathon to me is that it brings in so many guests to our town. There are numerous social events connected to the race and the fact that Downtown Lafayette will be hosting ArtWalk on Saturday will only give those visitors even more reasons to fall in love with our part of the world.
If you encounter runners this weekend I do hope you'll not be an ass. Step out of your car and cheer these athletes on or better yet, bring out your lawn chairs along the route and give them a cheer when they run by.
Just remember half marathoners at mile 12 and beyond and marathoners at mile 23 and beyond might not seem as appreciative as you would hope they might. It's a mental grind when you get to that point in the race and words like "you got this" and "almost there" tend to make runners want to throat punch spectators. Or, maybe that was just me.
Regardless, events like these are a great opportunity to show off our town, our culture, our joie de vivre and we need to support them. I also hope you'll support those sponsors that support this race and will go out of your way to make our guests in town feel welcome.
And if you are visiting, thanks for taking a little time to get to know us a little better.
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