Louisiana Marathon race director Jonathan Dziuba doesn’t plan to sleep much.
Dziuba's job isn’t to snooze, he said.
Until Saturday, he must continue to steer the assembly process for the Louisiana Marathon — Baton Rouge's premier race weekend, kicking off with Friday’s exposé at the Baton Rouge River Center and continuing through Sunday’s finish festival at 1 p.m. after the main event, the marathon, near Louisiana’s state capitol.
Dziuba is planning for a maximum of four hours of sleep per night between Thursday and Sunday — roughly 12 hours of sleep total throughout four days, three nights of setup for the race’s annual weekend.
“I’ll get, I think, four hours (Wednesday) night,” he laughed. “Friday, I’ll get three or so. Then Sunday night, I’ll get a couple. … That how it goes though, that’s the job.”
In the insomniac interim, Dziuba will steer the setup for Louisiana Marathon — a three-day event featuring five races, with the first beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday.
As of Thursday, Saturday’s quarter-marathon is sold out. The 5K on Saturday nearly is too, said Louisiana Marathon spokesperson Erin Kenna.
The “real” production, though, is already underway.
Louisiana Marathon weekend, for Dziuba, began Wednesday when marathon staffers trucked and palletized about 20 stashes of equipment, gear and amenities for about 9,000 participants, delivering some to Baton Rouge’s River Center, where race participants collect their race gear, bibs and race numbers at Friday's expo.
“We are tracking, you know, to be somewhere between 8,000 and 9,000,” said Danny Bourgeois, Louisiana Marathon’s marketing director. “With the activity that’s in play, and the things that are going on locally, last year we had 1,200 people sign up, or more than that, race week. We’re on that path again.”
Thursday, a handful of Louisiana Marathon’s 49 staffers began the weekend-long checklist beginning with ensuring the course and aid stations were functional.
The rest of the staff arrived in Baton Rouge on Thursday night, sitting through a two-hour presentation detailing an hour-by-hour schedule for each staffer. Dziuba said the marathon will even detail contingency plans — or a “Plan B” — during the meeting.
“We go through and make sure everybody knows what their job is and what their roles are, which can be different day to day,” he said. “But they’ll know what’s assigned to them and what they are responsible for. … We go through that pretty extensively tonight.”
Friday morning, Dziuba and Louisiana Marathon’s crew will be awake by 7 a.m. Road closures for the race route begin Friday, which also begins a hectic day for fellow race directors.
“Starting at noon, we’ll be out at the Capitol grounds,” Dziuba said of Friday. “They’ll be bodies, trucks and forklifts flying around everywhere Friday. It’ll go together pretty quick. ... The plan is by lunch time it’ll be all hands on deck to get the venue and everything together.”
In accordance with the race’s plans, the Baton Rouge police department’s presence will be widespread throughout the course, inconveniencing Baton Rougeons as little as possible.
“We’re out there more to ensure safety versus enjoying (the race), but it is nice to see the community come out and enjoy this to see whether it’s personal goals or goals they may have for the future,” said Don Coppola, BRPD’s Public Information Officer. “It is nice to see.”
The marathon crew plans at wrap up by 9 p.m. Friday after assembling the start/finish line structure, constructing stages and testing audio equipment near the event's hub adjacent to the Capitol Park Museum on North 4th Street.
On Saturday, the Louisiana Marathon crew — featuring more than 1,000 volunteers — will awaken at 4 a.m. and continue additional setup until 8 or 9 p.m.
Sunday’s wake up call? 3 a.m.
After that, Dziuba and his crew can rest.
“By Sunday, our great, big family is usually ready for a cold drink and a nap," he said.
11 a.m.-7 p.m.: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana Expo at Baton Rouge River Center
7:51 a.m.: National anthem at Louisiana State Museum
7:55 a.m.: Ainsley’s Angels Wave Start at Louisiana State Museum
8 a.m.: Louisiana Quarter Marathon & 5K presented by The Advocate at Louisiana State Museum
8-11:30 a.m.: Family Fest hosted by Abita Beer & Lamar Advertising at the festival grounds
9:45 a.m.: Announcement of top finishers in Louisiana Quarter Marathon & 5K presented by The Advocate
at the Festival Grounds
10:11 a.m.: National anthem at corner of North 3rd and North Street
10:15 a.m.: Louisiana Kids Marathon presented by The Advocate at corner of North 3rd and North Street
10 a.m.-5 p.m.: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana Expo at Baton Rouge River Center
6:51 a.m.: National anthem at Louisiana State Museum
6:55 a.m.: Ainsley’s Angels Wave Start at Louisiana State Museum
7 a.m.: Start of Louisiana Marathon and Half Marathon at Louisiana State Museum
8 a.m.-2 p.m.: Finish festival hosted by Abita Beer & Lamar Advertising at the festival grounds
11 a.m.: Announcement of top finishers and Half Marathon awards at the festival grounds
1 p.m.: Announcement of top finishers and marathon awards at the Festival Grounds