Costuming is a colorful part of Crescent City Classic history, and the attire Saturday surely lived up to billing.
While T-shirts, racing jerseys and running shorts are the norm in most towns, there were many more creative ideas on display at the CCC — brides, grooms and superheroes (Wonder Woman seemed to be popular this year) were all over the race course.
Other highlights were a duo dressed as two slices of bread (one with peanut butter, the other with jelly) a guy in a Super Mario Brothers outfit, a full-blown Easter Bunny costume, and one fellow with a rainbow-colored top hat that stretched 2 feet above his head.
Lafayette native Kevin Castille has been running the CCC for a couple decades and has impressed here each year.
The 44-year old expected to easily lead the men’s masters field again Saturday, and he was part of a group of eight elite athletes invited to run.
But Castille informed CCC elite race director Andrew Lilly only moments before the race that he would skip this year’s race.
“He easily could have come out here and ran a time he thinks is bad and still won $2,000 for being the top overall masters runner,” Lilly said. “But he didn’t feel like he could go sub-30 (minutes) today like he does, so he pulled out.”
Henry Wiggins, a Prairieville resident who runs for Southeastern Louisiana, finished 11th overall in 32:26. There was some confusion early on, with many people thinking Wiggins had finished as the fastest local in the race.
However, “locals” as defined in CCC rules, say the person must hail from one of nine parishes to be considered for “top local honors” — Orleans, Jefferson, St. Tammany, St. Bernard, St. James, St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, Plaquemines, or Washington.
Wiggins is from Tangipahoa Parish.
Wiggins did, however, post the fastest time for a Louisiana resident in the race.
There was a new layout to the CCC course this year.
The starting line still was on Poydras Street, but it moved back several hundred yards closer to Claiborne Avenue, not far from the front of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
For the past few years, the race began near the corner of Poydras and Loyola Avenue. Saturday, the finish line was in front of the New Orleans Museum of Art in City Park for the first time, rather than on Roosevelt Mall as it had been in years past.
The post-race festival moved to the festival grounds near Wisner Boulevard rather than the practice track near Tad Gormley Stadium.
Numbers to know
200 — Volunteers needed to organize the flighted race start
18,000 — Cups of Blue Runner red beans and rice served at the post-race festival
25,000 — Approximate number of people entered in this year’s CCC
35,000 — Cups of Blue Runner jambalaya served
46,000 — Cups of Michelob Ultra beer served
$500,000-plus — Dollar amount the CCC donated to New Orleans-area charities last year.