Some people will do anything to get to a party. Case in point, the endurance runners who will be taking part in the inaugural Rouge-Orleans Ultramarathon scheduled to take place in Louisiana on March 4-6, 2011. The race also happens to fall on the same weekend as Mardi Gras, which has prompted race organizers to adopt the slogan “come to run, stay to party.”
The race is a true test of endurance even for supremely conditioned athletes. The course begins at the Louisiana State University Veterinary School in the state’s capital of Baton Rouge and then runs for 126.2 miles along the Mississippi River levee, before ending at Audubon Park in New Orleans. The route winds its way passed sugarcane fields, southern plantations, and mysterious swamplands as it follows the course of the river south through the Louisiana countryside. The trail rarely crosses a road along the way either, which means that the runners won’t have to worry about traffic as they go.
Competitors can enter the race in several categories, including as an individual or on relay teams consisting of two, three or six runners. On the first day of the race, there will be several wave starts to get things going, with individuals hitting the trail with runners who share a similar pace. Once out on the course, they’ll have 40 hours to complete the entire 126.2 miles, which means they’ll need to average more than 3 miles an hour in order to finish ahead of the mandatory cutoff.
Once the runners reach the finish line in New Orleans however, they can join the party at Mardi Gras. After running for more than 126 miles, I’m sure they’ll want a few adult beverages to help ease the pain in their legs and feet. Completing an event like this takes a great deal of stamina and determination, so a celebration will definitely be in order for those who manage to complete the course.
[Photo credit: Robeter via WikiMedia]