Mar 24, 2014 8:55 AM by Elizabeth Hill
LAFAYETTE, La., March 20th, 2014 - Lafayette will host the first annual Zydeco Marathon and Half Marathon on Sunday March 30th, 2014. The Zydeco Marathon is a USA Track and Field sanctioned and certified full and half marathon. The race also serves as a qualifier for the Boston Marathon.
"We have been anticipating this for more than a year, when the idea to hold Lafayette's first full marathon came together last February" said co-founder and marketing director Andrew Ward. "As of today, we have almost 2000 registered runners from Acadiana and all over the country, including 28 states and Canada and Germany. It's an honor to be a part of something that will not only bring in new tourism to our area, but continue Lafayette's reputation as a progressive, forward-thinking community with health and fitness as a priority."
The public should be aware that between 7am and 2pm, there will be road closures in certain areas of Lafayette, and to check the route map ahead of time if traveling that morning. Streets to avoid on race morning are the Saint Streets, Jefferson Street, Bendel Road, West Congress Street between Cajundome and Downtown, and Girard Park Drive. Cheer sections are designated at Cajun Field, Downtown along Jefferson Street, Girard Park, and the Oil Center.
Lafayette General Medical Center will be accessible from South College on the Johnston Street side. The southbound lane of Coolidge (nearest the hospital) will be open for direct access to the front entrance. Anyone with an emergency should go directly to the traffic control officers at those intersections near the hospital. Please do not attempt to enter onto the course. The officers will make sure you get there quickly and safely.
Residents living along the route is encouraged to turn their front yard into a cheer section with their friends and family. Distance runners love motivation, encouragement, and a little humor as they make their way through long courses. We want to show off Lafayette's warm and hospitable personality to those from out of town. Make signs, play music, anything to help the runners to stay positive and have fun.
Ben Berthelot, President & CEO of the Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission (LCVC) added, "The Zydeco Marathon is a great opportunity to showcase Lafayette Parish to people from all across the world. While there are marathons all over, there is no other place that offers the unique experience and combination of great zydeco music, great food, and the friendliest hospitality anywhere. We believe that the experience the runners will have here in Lafayette Parish is one that will have them wanting to return for more, and that they will become great ambassadors for our area to their friends, family, and the "running community" as a whole. "
At the completion of the race, there will also be a free outdoor concert, labeled the "Finish Line Festival", held in the UL Intramural Fields next to Blackham Coliseum. Local zydeco bands will perform, headlined by Geno Delafose and French Rockin Boogie, and local restaurants will be on site for food, including Lagneaux's, Poupart's, and Charley G's.
Race proceeds will benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Acadiana. Online registration information, along with course maps, pre & post race festivities and other race details, can be found at zydecomarathon.com.