New Orleans Track Club hosted its final summer series two miler of the year Friday night, with runners and walkers traversing the wet, hilly Lafreniere Park course. Three runners finished in 10:30 or faster, impressive times considering the conditions. Former Sumner High School, LDP member, and incoming LA Tech distance runner Austin Ballow took the win with a quick 10:02, positioning himself for a strong start to his collegiate career. Louisiana Distance Project’s Ian Carr finished a strong summer of racing with a 10:30 and a top three finish. In the women’s race LDP’s Kristin Wenstrom would take the title in 11:58.
As has been the case all summer, NOTC provided a warm, hospitable environment to a field easily clearing 500 participants, encouraging all members of the running community to enjoy the camaraderie of shared achievement, exhibited more lucidly when the terrain and conditions are less than optimal. Parents pushing strollers through mud, beginners attempting their first races, those coming back through injury, and those participating for no other reason than personal enjoyment and fulfillment comprise just as much, if not more, of the foundation to the pillars supporting the sport of distance running as the elites breaking the tape. All were rewarded afterwards with tasty watermelon, sliced in never before seen patterns by LRC’s creative staff, and IPA beers to take the edge off from two miles of pleasant unpleasantry.
The night was capped off with the usual push-up and plank contests. The plank contest winner made even the fittest athletes in the park feel out of shape, indefatigably grinding out a 6 minute plank, easily one of the most impressive feats of the evening.
After a fitting close to another great year of the NOTC summer series, the LRC staff and community offers its thanks to the club for the effort put forth year after year, and we look forward to future events!