Defending champ Ian Carr tops Huey P. Bridge Run field _lowres

Advocate staff photo by KYLE ENCAR --5K winner, Ian Carr runs over the Luling Bridge.

Ian Carr started running three years ago after a change in his social schedule cleared: his band lost its drummer before disbanding.

What a run it has been.

Carr enters Saturday morning’s Huey P. Long Bridge Run as a favorite to defend his title in the Louisiana Bridge Run Series.

One year ago, Carr, still fairly new to the sport, not only finished with the fastest combined time in the three races, but he won all three events. You can call him the reiging King of the Mississippi.

This year’s race over the Huey P. Long Bridge is sandwiched between the United Way of St. Charles Bridge Run (April 5) and the Allstate Sugar Bowl Crescent Connection (June 7).

Carr appears poised to defend his title. Last month, he won the St. Charles Bridge Run’s 5K in 16:11. Matthew Eyler and Nate Castillo rounded out the top three. Jaime Sauer (19:36) won the women’s division.

On April 19, he finished 20th in the men’s division of the Crescent City Classic with a time of 33 minutes, 41 seconds. One year earlier, he finished 40th.

On Saturday, Carr is expected to join a crowd which event director Mike Wattigly expected to be a “hair down” from last year’s inagural participation of 2,200 runners.

“Mother Nature is giving us some great weather this weekend, so were really happy with the new (race) date, and we feel like this one year will still see strong participation,” Wattigly said.

The race, which spans both sides of the bridge, is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. Registration on Friday is $35. On-site registration it is $40.

The first 1,500 finishers will receive a cinnenirative pint glass and T-shirt. For more information, visit