The kids are back in school, the stores are stocking Halloween candy, Pumpkin Spice Lattés are back on the menu… it all adds up to one thing; football season is here! Everyone has their own rituals when it comes to celebrating game day, but is there any better place to kickoff Saints season than on the 50 yard line of the dome? We didn’t think so! This year, prove your allegiance by (literally) sweating for the boys in black and gold at the annual Saints Kickoff Run. Not sure what to expect? Have no fear! Just like any good coach, your #NOLAFray fam is here to answer all your questions, and rock the pep talk.
YOU! And by you, we mean anyone who loves the Saints and can run, walk, dance, roll, or crawl your way 5K aka 3.1 miles. All levels are welcome, and a wide variety of Who Dats will be participating, from first time 5K walkers to marathon runners. There’s also a half mile Kids Fun Run for pint-sized fans.
The Saints Kickoff Run is one of the best annual road races in New Orleans. This 5K is always held the Saturday before the first home game of the year. Thousands of Saints fans from all over the country warm up in Champions Square, run and walk together through the streets of New Orleans, then reconvene in Champion’s Square for a rockin after party. Highlights of the route include running the eerily empty CBD streets, waving to early morning tourists and catching whiffs of Cafe Du Monde on Decatur Street, and, of course, most importantly, crossing the finish line on the 50 yard line in the Dome.
Just imagine it: you’re tired and sweaty, the sun’s beating down, you’re wondering how much longer this race could possibly be, and then you round a corner and enter the Dome. You’re hit with a glorious blast of air conditioning as you run through the tunnel and onto the actual field where your heroes play. You look up and see yourself on the jumbotron, your name rings over the loudspeaker, you pick up your pace for this, the last 50 yard dash. You triumphantly cross the 50 yard finish line, fists in the air and a huge grin on your face, while crowds of people cheer you on and cameras flash. For just a second, you know what it feels like to be a full-fledged Saint, and it feels awesome.
As if that weren’t enough, once you head back out of the Dome to Champion’s Square, you’re greeted with live music on the big stage at a post-race tailgate party of epic proportions.
Day-of registration and warm up activities are in Champion’s Square. The race is pretty much an out-and-back course that begins near Champion’s Square and ends on the 50 yard line. You’ll run down Poydras through the CBD, turn on Tchoupitoulas, turn around on Decatur, then head back to the Dome. The post-race tailgate is also in Champion’s Square.
This year’s race is on Saturday, September 7th. Race Day registration opens at 5:30am and activities like a group warm-up begin around 6:30am. The 5K begins at 7:30am. The Kids Fun Run begins at 9:30am.
There aren’t all that many opportunities to get in a workout, push yourself, meet some cool fellow Who Dats, and rock your Saints Pride, all at once. Plus, you get a really nice technical shirt and a sweet medal. Oh, and did we mention the part about running onto the field?!
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School's back in session! The Power Ties team is getting together for Happy Hour at @cavannola , and you're invited! Stop by from 5-7 PM to learn more about our Power Ties program, which links regional professionals with eighth-grade students, and leads them through a series of career-oriented workshops. We're proud to partner with the @firstlinenola Charter Schools on this program. Stop by tonight, and enjoy your first drink on YLC! #ylc #youngleadershipcouncil #nolaproud #proudtocallithome #followyournola #thisismynola #showmeyournola #neworleans #nola #onlyinnola #leadership #civicengagement #volunteer #dogood #socialimpact #socialgood #changemakers #education
Another great reason to participate is to help out two great local charities. Proceeds from this year’s run go to the Young Leadership Council and New Orleans Mission. Young Leadership Council gives young people experience in leadership roles through a variety of volunteer-led community projects. New Orleans Mission is a humanitarian organization that provides food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and other basic necessities to combat poverty, hunger, and homelessness. Just by having an awesome time at the race, you’re helping these worthy groups. Win!
Registration is open online for individuals, teams, and virtual runners through 9/7. Registration will be available day-of if the event is not sold out.
What’s your favorite part of being a Saints fan? Let us know in the comments or tag us on socials using #DCFray and #FrayLife
Looking for a way to cool down after the 5k festivities? Click here to find the best snowballs in NOLA.GET OUR WEEKLY EMAIL »