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Mar 28, 2014 8:09 AM by Elizabeth Hill

Lafayette gears up for first Zydeco Marathon

When we first met race director Michael Howard a year ago, he and fellow organizers were hoping for at least 1,000 runners.

"It was kind of a shock to go from 550-600 registrants at the end of December to 2,200 now three days before the race."

They got their wish and then some.

"It presented some specific challenges in keeping up with it, but they are welcome challenges and good problems to have for us."

With more than twice as many registrants than expected, Howard says they're working around the clock to get extra supplies like T-shirts, medals, race bibs and water.

"We've spent a small fortune on overnight shipping and expediting orders over the last couple of weeks."

The 13.1 mile loop has been mapped and marked and it will take runners on a scenic route through areas like downtown, the UL campus, Girard Park, The Oil Center and Bendel Gardens.

"If it just looped around town there wouldn't be much to see."

While every runner's goal is to cross the finish line, it helps to have a little fun along the way.

"If our runners come out on race day, race weekend and have as good a time out here as we've had planning it then I think it'll be a knockout."

You can expect roads to be closed on the route beginning at 6:30 am and going until 1 pm. Parking for runners is at Cajun Field and spectators can park at Blackham Coliseum. Everyone is invited to the Finish Line Festival at Bourgeois Park on the UL campus. Runners will receive five food and drink tickets and cash will be accepted at all booths.

You can still register for the race at the expo Saturday at the Cajundome Convention Center. That is also where runners can pick up packets. You can pick up your packet on race day, but there will be no race day registration. You must pick up your own packet.

There have been many questions regarding access to homes on the route and also LGMC. Organizers tell us there will be routes for cars to get in and out of all neighborhoods and LGMC. There will be many traffic control officers in the area to ensure that anyone that needs to get to Lafayette General can. If you have any other specific questions or concerns you can email info@zydecomarathon.com.

Click here for the course map and checkout these other helpful links regarding road closures and other logistics.

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