Three runners give their views of the Crescent City Classic _lowres

Advocate photo by Gary Estwick -- From left, Thomas Schiffer, Tisha Seghers and Rich Bouckaert gather at the finish of the Crescent City Classic on Sunday in City Park.

Richard Bouckaert ran Saturday morning with the goal of becoming this year’s fastest local in the Crescent City Classic.

Thomas Schiffer ran to promote youth health and fitness.

Tisha Seghers ran in a 10K for the first time.

The New Orleans Advocate chronicled their stories leading up this year’s trip through New Orleans. And afterward, the trio discussed the training and the run — including Bouckaert being hit by a car earlier this week during a training session, Schiffer’s new pre-race sleeping strategy, and Segher’s planned cheat meal.

What was your time?

Tom: Under an hour.

Tisha: 69:07 - My goal was to run between 60-70 minutes, so I just made my goal time.

Richard: I was hoping to be pretty close to 32 (minutes) flat. I came up a little bit short of that at 33:03.

Why did you run Saturday?

Tom: I came to support the Kelly Gibson Foundation and health and fitness for the youth — I’m a teacher. But also for myself, just to see how well I can do. This is my first Crescent City Classic. It’s great to be a part of the New Orleans atmosphere within a healthy run, if you will.

Tisha: I promised my family I was going to get up and do something. I made a promise to my daughter, Nicole, that I would run this race, and I needed a goal to work toward. This was something to look forward to.

With the help of the New Orleans Track Club, the training program has helped me immensely. I wasn’t a runner before this — I started running the Sunday after Thanksgiving — so this is very new to me. Today was my furthest run I’ve ever tried. ... I hope to be able to continue.

My husband wants me to run a half marathon. I’m not quite sure I’ll do that. But I do definitely want to keep up with it. I feel better about my day. I feel more energetic. I definitely feel like my metabolism has increased. I appreciate the fact that it’s helped tone my body. I’m pleased with the results.

Richard: It’s one of the premier 10Ks in the U.S., and you got it right in the backyard. So it makes sense to have that on your training calendar as a must-do race. I’ve probably done it six or seven years since I’ve been down here.

What was or will be your first post-race cheat meals?

Tom: Some jambalaya and a Michelob Ultra.

Tisha: I started with a mimosa, and I haven’t made the rounds yet. But I definitely wanna see what everybody has to offer here. ... (Later I’ll) enjoy beignets and a cafe au lait.

Richard: I’m about to grab a burger and fries with a big soda from Company Burger.

What are your fondest memories of the race course, the sights the sounds?

Tom: The course was beautiful, going down the French Quarters then up Esplanade, into and around City Park. And then the people that come out on the sides, cheering; the warmth of the New Orleans community really shows itself. ... I dig that.

Tisha: The people cheering on the sideline were huge for me. They always seemed to come out and scream, “Hey, you can do it,” or, “You can do it, you’re doing great,” at the right time. And I would say a silent “Thank you” to them every time I passed them up. Another thing I thought was cool was a lot of people with their music out. Just blasting music. And that just made you kind of want to dance at the same time!

Richard: One of the best times was coming down in front of Jackson Square. I remember when the race used to start there. ... Going down and seeing everybody out there (cheering), that was helpful to make it. And the finish, the scenery coming down Roosevelt Mall, everything, is like a picture-perfect ending to the race.

Who was your race buddy?

Tom: About 15-20 people also came out with the Kelly Gibson Foundation, partnering with YouthRunNOLA.

Tisha: My husband, David, was hoping this year to be in the Top 500, but he sacrificed his race for mine, which I’m really appreciative of.

Richard: Power Miler Track Club. My buddies were out there.

What did this race teach you?

Tom: Go to bed earlier before a run (laughs).

Tisha: Race day is an awesome day. It’s so much different than training days. Training days, I complain: I’m exhausted, I just want to slow down. This day, there’s such a different vibe. And it’s really cool to be around so many people who are just trudging through it, and you realize, “Wait, a minute, I just passed the five-mile mark; I’ve never ran that far before! And I only have 1.2 miles to go, and I can do this!” You just do it and go.

Richard: I had the unfortunate circumstance of being hit by a car on Wednesday. I’ve never had that happen before. So leading up to my race, it was a little bit different, trying to get my mental focus back. It was definitely a little difficult. Not only the physical pain, but the mental rigors of dealing with that. I think that kind of led to the time I had. ... I guess the thing I take away is I’m not invincible anymore. Even though I was just hit on my arm and shoulder, I thought I would be able to pull through it, but I think it weighed on my heavily.