We’ve made it to September, and while it’s still hot and humid enough to keep non-locals cowering in the A/C, for us New Orleans residents, we know it’s time to dust off our running shoes and head outside after the long, LONG, days of summer. Just as the weather starts to cool off, race season starts to heat up, so whether you’re on day one of Couch to 5K or a battle-hardened running vet, there’s a race for you this fall. Check out our #Fraylife guide for some of the best area races this season. Prices generally go up the closer you get to race day, so grab some friends, plan ahead, and get moving this fall. Your sneakers miss you!
Holy Family Seafood Festival 5K & 1mi Fun Run
Beach Blvd., Pass Christian, MS (~65mi from New Orleans)
Festival Website: www.holyfamilyseafoodfestival.com
Come for the 5K, stay for the seafood festival! The 42nd annual festival features three days of food, rides, art, and live music. At just over an hour away from the city, Pass Christian is close enough for a day trip, but there’s enough going on to stay all weekend. This race is perfect if you’re looking to “get away” without the hassle of getting (far) away. The running will totally cancel out the cocktails and fried seafood, right?
Wicked Wine Run, 5K & 1K Tasting Walk
Saturday, October 6th, 5K 5:00 pm, 1K 6:30 pm
Pontchartrain Vineyards, Bush, LA (~50mi from NOLA)
Race Website: http://wickedwinerun.com/locations/louisiana-neworleans/
Wine and running? What’s not to love? Just an hour from New Orleans, the Wicked Wine Run features a scenic 5K course through the vineyards, with plenty of celebratory wine at the end. Not feeling up to that much activity? The 1K Tasting Walk is more of a leisurely stroll through the vineyard with 4 wine tasting stops along the way. As if that wasn’t enough, the after party features food trucks, a live band, and even more wine!
#Fraylife Tip: Offer to cover a friend’s race fee for being the designated driver. Safety first, kids!
Jazz Half Marathon & 5K
Saturday, October 27th, 7:00 am
Lafayette Square, New Orleans
Race Website: www.jazzhalf.com
The 10th annual Jazz Half Marathon takes New Orleans runners from downtown Lafayette Square, uptown to Audubon Park and back, showcasing some of the most historic parts of the city. There’s an after-party with food, drink, and live music (this is New Orleans, after all).
Run to Margaritaville Pensacola Beach Half Marathon & 5K
Saturday, October 28, Half Marathon 6:30 am, 5K 7:00 am
Gulfside Pavilion, Pensacola Beach, Pensacola, FL (~200mi from NOLA)
Race Website: https://www.margaritavillesports.com/pensacola
What’s better than a weekend beach getaway? How about a weekend beach getaway AND a half marathon?! The race features Gulf views, and a fast, flat, out-and-back course. And obviously, there’s free beer at the end. Halloween costumes are highly encouraged, and yes, a sweat-drenched-monster counts.
#Fraylife Tip: Runners get a Race Rate for the Margaritaville Hotel, which is right on the beach. Score!
Great Inflatable Race
Saturday, November 3rd, 9:00 am
NOLA Motorsports Park, Avondale, LA (~15mi from NOLA)
Race Website: https://www.thegreatinflatablerace.com/new-orleans
The Great Inflatable Race is a huge dose of straight-up, old-fashioned fun. The course features custom inflatables that will have you jumping around, bouncing all over the place, and generally feeling ridiculous in the best of ways. We all need to get outside and play sometimes, don’t we?
Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend
November 1st-4th, All races start at 5:30 am
Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando, FL (~640mi)
Race Website: https://www.rundisney.com/wine-and-dine-half-marathon
Quickly becoming some of the most popular races in the country, next up in the Run Disney race series is the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend. Run the Fall Fest 5K on Friday, the Wine & Dine 10K on Saturday, the Wine & Dine Half Marathon, or really go the extra mile(s) and run the Two Course Challenge: the 10K on Saturday AND the Half Marathon on Sunday. All races go through the parks and feature characters along each course. Be sure to check out the epic after parties, including the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival on Sunday. These are definitely destination races, as it’s about a nine-hour drive from NOLA, but if you’ve always wanted to Run Disney, this is going to be a good one.
Terrain Racing 5K Mud Run
Saturday, November 17th, Times Vary
NOLA Motorsports Park, Avondale, LA (~15mi from NOLA)
Race Website: http://terrainracing.com/locations/neworleans/
Walls, ropes, monkey bars, and of course plenty of mud- Terrain Racing brings you 20+ obstacles to test what you’re made of. Run the 5K course once, or sign up for unlimited runs, and see how many times you can make it through. You might end up with mud in places you’ve never had mud before, but it’s totally worth it.
#Fraylife Tip: Your #NOLAFray crew makes the perfect Terrain Race team- just tell them it’s great practice for softball or kickball on rainy days.
Big Easy Running Festival Half Marathon & 5K
Saturday, November 27th, Half Marathon 7:00 am, 5K 7:15 am
City Park Festival Grounds, New Orleans
Race Website: http://bigeasyrunfest.events/race-info/
With views of New Orleans that tourists never get to see, tell all your out-of-town friends to come down join you for this race through Mid-City, City Park, and the Lakefront. Cross the finish line right in front of the New Orleans Museum of Art, and then celebrate at the after party with food, drinks, and live music.
111th Annual NOAC Turkey Day 5mi & Kids’ ½ mi Race
Thursday, November 22nd, 8:30 am
Tad Gormley Stadium, City Park, New Orleans
Race Website: https://runnotc.org/races/2018/turkeyday.shtml
It’s safe to say that after 111 years, this race is a New Orleans institution. Perfect for runners looking to branch out from 5Ks, this 5mi course takes you through scenic City Park and finishes on the track in the stadium. Get your run on early, so you can have your pumpkin pie, and eat it, too, guilt-free.
We want to know what you think when you run these races so be sure to tag us #FrayLife and #NOLAFray!
View More Articles By Katie Baer