It’s said that death and taxes are the only things certain in life.
Might as well add Ian Carr winning the Great Huey P. Long Bridge Run to the list.
Carr, a 25-year Kenner resident and one of the metro area’s finest runners, won the 5 Kilometer (3.1-mile) race from East Bank to West Bank on Saturday in 16 minutes, 1 second. It marked the fourth time Carr has paced the field in the four-year old race, which also is the second leg of the annual Louisiana Bridge Run Series.
Unlike his previous wins in the “Huey,” Carr said he decided to pace himself going up the bridge’s incline from east to west. Instead, he saved his speed for the descent and the final mile on flat ground, and he had plenty of kick heading to the finish line at Gumbo Festival Park on the West Bank.
Carr finished nearly two minutes faster than his nearest competitor, Gerard Jarvis who was second in 17:43., and David Chaix was third in 18:53.
“I felt pretty good,” Carr said. “I’ve been running a lot of 10-milers about five or six days a week; getting about 80 miles a week in total. I tried to keep my endurance up today. I think this is a new PR for me in the Huey.”
Carr is the three-time defending champion of the Louisiana Bridge Series Run, which also is composed of the United Way of St. Charles Bridge Run over the Hale Boggs Bridge, as well as the Allstate Sugar Bowl Crescent Connection Run. Both of those races are being held on area levees this year, as construction on the spans has forced their temporary location.
Carr won this year’s United Way of St. Charles “Under the Bridge Run” which was held in April. He plans to go for the sweep again in 2016 when the Allstate Sugar Bowl Crescent City Levee Run is held next month. The “King and Queen of the Mississippi” are decided by their cumulative times in all three races.
“I like keeping the streak going,” he said. “We don’t get a lot of chances to run over bridges like this. So I take it seriously.”
On the women’s side, Houma’s Kim Rister led the field, but few were certain who she was when she crossed the finish line. Rister said she wasn’t sure on which side of the river the race began, so she was running a few minutes behind to get to the start just off Mounes Street near Elmwood on the East Bank.
She reached the start in time, though she didn’t have time to grab her racing bib before the race began. Her sprint to the end was impressive, though, and the 33-year old crossed in 19:48, which narrowly clipped Stephanie Hankins (second place 19:50).
It was Rister’s first time running in the event, the former Nicholls State track and cross country standout said.
“I enjoyed it,” she said. “I wanted to do the bridge. It’s beautifully done now. I didn’t even like to drive it before, so I figured running it would be a blast. The scenery was beautiful.”
More than 1,500 people competed in this year’s Huey P. Long Run, race director Mike Wattigny said. More than 7,000 are expected to take part in the Great Louisiana Bridge Run Series this year, and those who complete all three races receive commemorative medals.