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What you should know before running the Crescent City Classic

New Orleans is just one day away from the start of the 46th Crescent City Classic, and the annual running event is expecting 15,000 participants on this year's start line.

The Classic attracts people of all ages – and fitness levels, with organizers saying more than 60 percent of participants choose to walk rather than run.

World-renowned sports performance specialists – and WWL health and fitness experts – Mackie Shilstone and son, Spencer, say "getting the body right" before pounding the pavement is paramount for success at the Crescent City Classic – or any run for that matter.

Here are a few pre-race tips to help runners go the extra mile:

Meet a runner's best friend – shoes

According to Mackie, the single most important thing a runner can do is purchase the right running shoes. Whether you supinate, pronate or stand somewhere in the middle (neutral), the selection of proper footwear can make all the difference in running success and safety.

Mackie says, 70 percent of runners make first impact to the ground with their heel. So heavier runners will require a heavier heel counter because when the foot strikes the ground, the body weight is magnified by 5-7 times – five times in a moderately fit person, and seven times in an out-of-shape person. 

"If you don't have the right running shoes where you have a thumbnail difference between your big toe and the end of the shoe, if you don't have the right lateral mechanics," explains Mackie. "Many people will go out and try and do this and have not prepared. So preparation in getting the right running shoe, that's for you."

Podiatrist-prescribed custom orthotics can also provide a substantial – and now affordable – solution.

And he says never, ever wait until race day to break in a new pair of kicks.

Roberts, who also leads a run club for the Louisiana Running + Walking Company, once again supports Mackie's suggestion on breaking in new shoes.

"I always recommend at least getting a few runs in even the week prior if it's a new pair of shoes," said Roberts. "But don't pull them right out of the box on the day of, especially if it's a completely different change [of shoe]. So, if you're going into it with a new speed shoe thinking you want to try something faster...don't recommend it.

Fueling the body is high-performance

Sodium is important because exercise lasting 60 minutes or longer is going to require the replacement of electrolytes. Anything longer than 90 minutes will require the intake of carbohydrates. 

"Fueling the body is high-performance," said Mackie. "Mis-fueling the body is tantamount to disaster."

Mackie says most sports drinks do not provide enough sodium, which is needed to effectively use the glycogen in your liver and muscles and circulatory system.

"I'm not telling anyone on a hypertensive-type diet (less than 1,500mg per day) to go out there and increase your sodium," said Mackie. "[But] the requirement for sodium sits up there around 2200 milligrams."

Mackie also warns against the intake of fiber before a long run – or race – like the Crescent City Classic.

"You don't want any fiber in the diet," explained Mackie. "You don't want to have to go in and unfortunately have to use the toilet because your nature calls."

Truth about carb-loading for the Crescent City Classic

Mackie claims carb-loading for events such as the Crescent City Classic can be recipe for disaster. He explained that a moderately fit runner – someone running between 15-30 miles per week – can expect to finish a 10k in approximately 50 to 70 minutes. This means heavy carb-loading the night before can be excessive and counterproductive.

"Carb-loading simply means everybody's going out and eating a lot of pasta," explained Mackie Shilstone. "But let's let's go back to basics. Let's go back to human physiology. We're talking about 10k (6.2 miles). We're talking about the liver and muscle and circulatory system of the average person out there is 2,000 calories. You burn 100 calories for every 10 minutes of exercise."

Former Tulane runner and local running coach Aislinn Roberts agrees with Mackie.

“Don't go crazy on those carbs," the Willow School alum told WWL. "I know everyone starts thinking about it, but if you do go crazy, you might upset that stomach. So, it's kind of important to make sure that you're not going overboard with all that.”

'Movement is medicine' | Benefits of stretching for health

Warming up before exercise is an essential part of your pre-workout or run routine.

As a specialist in corrective exercise and performance enhancement, Spencer Shilstone says static and dynamic stretches not only optimize athletic performance, but also provide greater overall health benefits for everyone – including those in a sedentary lifestyle.

"Stretching is very important to activate your body," explained Spencer. "Movement is medicine and whether you're just sitting at a desk for a really long time, you're getting your hip flexors very tight. So, you could be going for a race or you could be getting up from the desk. It's important to stretch out and mobilize your body.

(03/29/2024) Views: 242 ⚡AMP
by Aaron S. Lee
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Crescent City Classic 10k

Crescent City Classic 10k

The Crescent City Classic isannual 10-kilometer race held in New Orleans, Louisiana,United States. Mac DeVaughn founded the Classic and held the first race in 1979. The race was originally held in the Fall, but the race is now held the Saturday before Easter. The Classic is New Orleans’ (and the region’s) premier 10k road race, and one of the oldest...

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Why 10k is the perfect distance, according to these running experts

The Greek messenger Pheidippedes has a lot to answer for. Had his journey of glory been over the far more user-friendly distance of 10k rather than the 40k it was, there’d likely be so many more runners.

Back in 490BC he ran from the coastal town of Marathon back to Athens to report a Greek victory over Persia, and then promptly collapsed and died (in his defence, he had run 240km beforehand, so was understandably exhausted).   

From his memorable final 40k – the distance from Marathon to Athens – the modern-day 42.2k (26 miles, 385 yards) marathon developed, and has become the go-to event for tens of thousands of runners worldwide.

What makes 10k so perfect – by Saga Exceptional’s resident running expert

I’ve been running for more than 50 years and can confirm that taking part in marathons comes at a high price.

Running that kind of distance can take a heavy toll on your body, as well as time – which is where 10k events come in. The distance offers all the glory and kudos of the marathon – as well as the camaraderie, buzz and general excitement – but none of the significant muscle damage. And many experts believe that 10k can be the perfect distance for older runners. 

Marathon races such as London, Berlin and New York grab all the headlines and yes, on the surface they do appear exciting, tempting even. You find yourself watching the London Marathon on TV and saying: ‘That’ll be me next year.’ But, as any finisher will tell you, there’s a cost. 

As a runner, I’ve completed many 10k races – all the way from the incredible Borobudor race in Indonesia, which finishes at the foot of an ancient temple, to a more apparently mundane sounding (but it isn’t) Southend 10k, which finishes by the mile-long pier.

As such, I can say with no word of exaggeration, that a 10k can match a marathon in many departments – and even outdo it in others. I once ran the Crescent City Classic in New Orleans and then the spent the rest of the day running around the city taking in all the sights. Try doing that after a marathon!  

There are some fabulous 10k races around. The Asics London 10k on July 9, for example, takes in all the classic sights from Big Ben to Piccadilly Circus. They deliver everything a big city marathon can offer. Or you can choose a local event, of which there are hundreds up and down the country every weekend. Everybody is welcome, the atmosphere is always great, and should you get the bug, well, there’s always another one next week. Plus, your body won’t mind.  

(03/28/2024) Views: 241 ⚡AMP
by Paul Larkins
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Crescent City Classic 10k

Crescent City Classic 10k

The Crescent City Classic isannual 10-kilometer race held in New Orleans, Louisiana,United States. Mac DeVaughn founded the Classic and held the first race in 1979. The race was originally held in the Fall, but the race is now held the Saturday before Easter. The Classic is New Orleans’ (and the region’s) premier 10k road race, and one of the oldest...

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The Crescent City Fitness Foundation announced a goal of raising $1 million for local nonprofits at this year’s Crescent City Classic 10k

With the 41st run of the Allstate Sugar Bowl Crescent City Classic just a little over six weeks away, officials with the Crescent City Fitness Foundation announced a goal of raising $1 million for local nonprofits.

“The New Orleans community never ceases to amaze us with their generosity when it comes to charitable giving and supporting those in need throughout the area,” said Crescent City Classic Charity Director Hilary Landry. “All we can hope is to continue to outdo ourselves year after year.”

The nonprofit partners recruit and organize teams of 100, 75, 50, or 25 runners and walkers who commit to raising a minimum of $200 for their charity by race day.

Official charity runners receive various perks and incentives as part of the “RUN FOR IT” program including private party tent access, starting position in the charity corral and personal online fundraising page.

The Allstate Sugar Bowl Crescent City Classic 10k road race, expected to attract almost 25,000 runners and walkers, for its 41st running, will be held Saturday, April 20. The 6.2 mile course begins outside the Mercedes Benz Superdome and runs through the historic French Quarter to City Park where the popular Michelob Ultra Post Race Fest is held. This year’s after party will feature the Phunky Monkeys playing in concert as festival-goers enjoy 227 kegs of draft beer and 43,000 servings of red beans and jambalaya.

(03/22/2019) Views: 2,214 ⚡AMP
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Crescent City Classic 10k

Crescent City Classic 10k

The Crescent City Classic isannual 10-kilometer race held in New Orleans, Louisiana,United States. Mac DeVaughn founded the Classic and held the first race in 1979. The race was originally held in the Fall, but the race is now held the Saturday before Easter. The Classic is New Orleans’ (and the region’s) premier 10k road race, and one of the oldest...

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Jake Robertson sets a 10K PR and wins Crescent City for second time

New Zealand’s Jake Robertson, 28, also known as the “white Kenyan” since he has been training in Kenya for ten years, came to New Orleans for one reason.

He wanted to be a repeat winner and set a new 10k PR. He did both and more winning the Crescent City 10K in a new PR of 27:28.

Jake blew away the field winning by 50 seconds. Edwin Sol was second in 28:18. Jake’s time ties the New Zealand national record in a 10K road race, with his twin brother. "I think it is even more special than breaking my brother's record, so it's cool," he said.

"I'll keep it for one year. I really tried to change my approach today even though it didn't look like it. I did slow down at one point because I wanted to save a little bit more in the last mile. I really want to get that course record, and I keep getting closer every year." 2018 was a huge year for the Crescent City Classic as it marks the 40th anniversary.

(03/31/2018) Views: 2,758 ⚡AMP
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Jake Robertson was the first non-African to Win CCC10K since 1997

Jake Robertson (NZ) last training session (photo) in Kenya before traveling to New Orleans for the Crescent City Classic 10k this Saturday. He won last year running 27:55 (PR), 15 seconds ahead of Kenya's Edwin Rotich. Jake said today, "fast time would be nice but I'll have to wait and see what the day will bring." The weather can always be a factor racing in New Orleans...Jake has been getting in some tough workouts with the "boys" in Kenya: like 10 x 2 minutes @ 2:56-2:50km pace and then 10 x 30 seconds @ 2:45km pace. Other workouts he has posted include: 12x600m with 1 minute recovery (running them between 95 and 97 seconds). "Excited about my future," he posted. "Today is another opportunity to progress on my goals near and far." With all this speed work, is he ready to tackle Sammy Kipketer's course record of 27:10 set in 2002? That’s really fast! (03/26/2018) Views: 2,176 ⚡AMP
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Jake and Zane Robertson are the world’s Fastest Twins in the Half Marathon

Jake and Zane Robertson moved from New Zealand to Kenya to live and train ten years ago. When they arrived they found it very hard but then they found Shaheen [world record holder in steeplechase] training in Iten.

He heard their story and said, “That’s a poor life. Tomorrow I’ll get you a house next to me. You’re on me in Iten.” They moved to Iten with Shaheen’s training group. He didn’t charge then rent.

The twins lived, ate and trained like the Kenyans, who run 2-3 times a day six days per week. Running is the number one most important thing for most Kenyan runners.

Did this change of life help them become two of the fastest runners in the world? They think so. Jake has run two 1:00:01 half marathons and Zane has run 59:47.

Looks like their life in Kenya is working for them. Jake is running the Cresent City Classic 10K March 31...going for a repeat win.

Photo: Jake Robertson training in Kenya

(03/18/2018) Views: 4,631 ⚡AMP
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Jake Robertson going for repeat win at Crescent City

Jake Robertson from New Zealand won the Crescent City 10k last year in 27:55. In many of past this year’s was dominated by runners from Kenya. Jake is returning this year and wants to again cross the finish line first. (03/08/2018) Views: 1,944 ⚡AMP
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