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Louisiana Marathon readies to welcome thousands of runners

Now in its ninth year, The Louisiana Marathon is expecting to draw close to 8,000 runners & walkers to Baton Rouge. Projections for the 2020 event include runners from nearly all 50 states and as many as 10 countries.

Starting on January 17th the expo opens at the Raising Canes River Center then continues through the weekend with two-days of running, walking, and celebrating healthy living at the Finish Festival near the State Capitol.

“It’s become the premier event,” says Pat Fellows, who helps organize the annual marathon. “People know what they’re getting—a great course and a great post-race party.” Previous studies indicate that the Louisiana Marathon weekend generates between $2 million and $4 million in economic impact each year. “We’ve sold out every downtown hotel every year,” Fellows says.

The event includes distances for every age & ability. Saturday, Jan. 18th starts with the Ochsner 5K (3.1 miles) & Ochsner Quarter Marathon (6.55 miles) and is followed by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Kids Marathon (1 miles).

Sunday features the half marathon (13.1 miles) and the full marathon (26.2 miles). This year the event has joined the second edition of the Abbott WMM Wanda Age Group World Championships in 2021 as a qualifying race.

Launching in Sept. 2018, the Abbott World Marathon Majors Wanda Age Group World Rankings aims to raise awareness of the sport of marathon running by highlighting the achievements of age-group marathon runners, that otherwise might go unnoticed.

The weekend also hosts the Louisiana Farm Bureau Insurance Corporate Wellness Challenge creating a culture of health and wellness in the workplace. Categories include the Top 3 teams from companies of 1-99 employees, 100-999, and 1000+.

The 9thannual Louisiana Marathon will take place on Jan. 17th – 19th, 2020 in downtown Baton Rouge.

(01/07/2020) ⚡AMP
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Louisiana Marathon

Louisiana Marathon

Welcome to the Louisiana Marathon Running Festival. Rendezvous with runners from 50 states and over 30 countries who share a passion for Louisiana as they race our fast, flat and festive courses. Stick around for the best Finish Fest on the bayou and enjoy tastes of gumbo, jambalaya, étouffée, duck confit and couch du lait (to name a few dishes...

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The Louisiana Marathon is expected to attract 8,000 runners over the Jan. 17-19 weekend

The projection for the 2020 event—which begins Jan. 17 with an expo at the Raising Cane’s River Center and continues Jan. 18-19 with a series of races downtown—is a significant jump from the early days of the Louisiana Marathon. It’s already a 183% increase from the inaugural event, which took place in 2012 and drew in 2,830 runners.

“It’s become the premier event,” says Pat Fellows, who helps organize the annual marathon. “People know what they’re getting—a great course and a great post-race party.”

Based on registrations to date and past statistics, runners will likely come to downtown Baton Rouge from nearly all 50 states and from as many as 10 countries. They’ll also bring with them an average of 1.75 additional people, swelling the potential economic impact even further.

Fellows declines to comment on anticipated revenues the weekend will generate. However, previous studies have shown the Louisiana Marathon generates between $2 million and $4 million in economic impact each year, spread among hotels, restaurants and other local attractions.

“We’ve sold out every downtown hotel every year,” Fellows says.

Some runners will arrive as early as the Wednesday before, while the majority will pour in that Thursday. 

Over the past couple of years, the event has steadily gained more runners after a downturn in attendance that took place at the 2017 marathon, when organizers’ marketing push was interrupted by the 2016 Baton Rouge floods. At its 2016 peak, the event attracted nearly 9,000 participants. 

In the meantime, marathon organizers are continuing a major marketing push that’s evolved over the years to include mostly social media promotions. Currently, they’re focused on getting the word out about the Saturday races, encouraging more people to register themselves and their children for the quarter-marathon, 5K and kids marathon, in particular. Meanwhile, the more publicized full- and half-marathons will take place Sunday.

(12/21/2019) ⚡AMP
by Caitie Burkes
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Louisiana Marathon

Louisiana Marathon

Welcome to the Louisiana Marathon Running Festival. Rendezvous with runners from 50 states and over 30 countries who share a passion for Louisiana as they race our fast, flat and festive courses. Stick around for the best Finish Fest on the bayou and enjoy tastes of gumbo, jambalaya, étouffée, duck confit and couch du lait (to name a few dishes...

more...
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Weather in Louisiana can be unpredictable, but the Louisiana Marathon has avoided any major issues from Mother Nature since its inception in 2012

Even with warm conditions in 2017 and near-freezing temperatures in 2018, the weather has been about as good as can be expected for Baton Rouge runners.

The 2019 Louisiana Marathon might be different, however, as the city is expecting a roller coaster of a weekend.

“We’ve had great weather for the most part for seven years,” Louisiana Marathon race director Jonathan Dziuba said. “Two years ago, it was really warm and runners don’t necessarily like that. We have emergency and contingency plans in place for warm weather as well as for cold weather, as well as dangerous tornadoes, high winds and lightning and things like that.”

Regardless of the weather, Dziuba and the race production team made sure they could accommodate the injuries that might arise from extra cold or warm weather. That won’t change this weekend.

The high of 66 and low of 35 is forecast for Saturday’s Louisiana 5K and quarter-marathon (that's the good part). Consistent rain and thunderstorms are expected during those morning runs, WBRZ chief meteorologist Josh Eachus forecasted.

The weather is set to be clear and sunny Sunday for the half and full marathons, but temperatures will drop between 35 to 40 at race time.

Dziuba said he's confident the race will run smoothly regardless of the weather.

“I keep hearing (about) this terrible weather, but the weather actually looks fantastic,” Dziuba said. “Other than this rain Saturday, after the races are over, I’m not sure what everybody’s talking about. It looks really good and we work very closely with the National Weather Center. We have direct lines to meteorologists and weather agencies in 15-minute increments (during the races).”

The race production crew takes extra precautions to accommodate the various weather outcomes.

Runner safety is paramount to the Louisiana Marathon team, said race communications director Erin Rosetti, and a color-coded event alert system keeps marathon participants aware of the ever-changing weather conditions.

 

(12/11/2019) ⚡AMP
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Louisiana Marathon

Louisiana Marathon

Welcome to the Louisiana Marathon Running Festival. Rendezvous with runners from 50 states and over 30 countries who share a passion for Louisiana as they race our fast, flat and festive courses. Stick around for the best Finish Fest on the bayou and enjoy tastes of gumbo, jambalaya, étouffée, duck confit and couch du lait (to name a few dishes...

more...
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2018 Boston Marathon Winner Desiree Linden will run the Louisiana Half Marathon in January

The first American female to win the Boston Marathon in 30 years, Desiree Linden, will compete in The Louisiana Half Marathon on Sunday, January 20, 2019.

She will use the race as a tune-up as she prepares for the 2019 Boston Marathon, taking place on Monday, April 15, 2019. Runners and spectators can meet Linden during the Shipt Louisiana Marathon Expo on Friday, January 18, and during a Q&A session with Linden on Sunday, January 20, at The Louisiana Marathon Finish Fest.

The full marathon boasted the highest percentage of Boston Qualifiers for January races last year.  There are four distances including the half marathon. 

“We are thrilled to have Des Linden join us for the 2019 race weekend. As she prepares to defend her Boston title by running The Louisiana Half Marathon, she will experience our fast and flat course, winding through downtown Baton Rouge, historic neighborhoods and LSU’s campus,” said The Louisiana Marathon Strategic Partnerships Director Craig Sweeney.

The three-day running festival, culminating with the nationally-recognized Finish Fest, is a culturally rich event that celebrates both running and the unique culture that defines Louisiana. 

(12/30/2018) ⚡AMP
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