“Gator Run/Walk” is the first series event, scheduled for May 15 at West Bridge Park.
Luling, La. – Residents of the River Parishes are encouraged to lace up their kicks for the new Run/Walk Series, sponsored by the Louisiana’s River Parishes Tourist Commission. The series, which consists of four events, is a culmination of the collaborative effort between Buddy Boe, Executive Director of LARPTC, and Chuck George, Race Director and President of New Orleans Running Systems, which is organizing the event.
After celebrating the success of his organization’s Old Highway 51 Half-Marathon in November 202o, also sponsored by LARPTC, George sat down to brainstorm ideas with Boe.
“We’ve hosted events within the area before,” said George, a Kenner resident, “But we wanted to create something that would be inclusive of the entire River Parishes region.”
The inaugural event in the series, the “Gator Run/Walk,” will begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday, May 15, at West Bank Bridge Park, located at 13825 River Road in Luling.
The series schedule includes:
- May 15: Gator 5k & ½ Mile Run/Walk, in Luling, La.
- 28: Grammercy Veterans Memorial Bridge 5k, in Edgard, La.
- 25: Riverside Oaks 5K, in Convent, La.
- 20: Old Highway 51 Half-Marathon, 10 Mile, 5K, in Manchac, La.
- Participants who complete all four of the race series events will earn a custom “Louisiana River Parishes Run/Walk Series” finisher medallion.
The “Gator” kickoff event features a 5k run and a ½ mile walk option on the River Levee jogging trail. A percentage of the event’s proceeds will benefit the Boy Scout Troop #107. George has produced a number of similar events across the state over the years, ranging from small community events to large-scale organizing. He hopes to draw at least 300 participants to the “Gator Run/Walk.”
“We want to use these events to bring an awareness of the great running and walking events in the River Parishes region. People of all abilities can participate, enjoy the experience and receive an award – it’s not just runners,” said George.
Boe praised the organization for offering accessible COVID-safe options to all residents in the area.
“This partnership not only showcases the natural beauty of the area and the number of safety-conscious events that can still occur during the pandemic, but also offers health and wellness options to individuals while raising money for a worthy cause. The LARPTC is delighted to see the amount of support it’s received from the community so far, and we look forward to a successful series execution,” said Boe.
Registration for the “Gator” event is still open, and online registration ends May 9th at 11 p.m. In-person registration is available during the pre-race packet pickup event and on the day of the race at the event site. Participants can choose from a variety of signup options, including:
- Virtual Run/Walk – The entry fee is $25.00. New Orleans Running Systems will mail the race bib number, T-shirt, and finisher medallion to the address used for registration.
- General Registration Division 5K or 1/2 Mile – The entry fee is $25.00 for those ages 18-64 by April 30th, $30.00 by May 9th, or $35.00 on race day.
- Youth or Senior Registration division for 5K or 1/2 Mile – The entry fee (through the day of the race) is $20.00 for Youth (Age 17-under) or Seniors (Age 65-over).
The pre-race day packet pickup event, which will occur from 4-6 p.m. on Thursday, May 13, is hosted by Varsity Sports. A packet pickup will also be available during the race site opening at 7 a.m. Parking for the event will be available at the West Bridge parking lot. Event times are as follows: 7 a.m., Race Day Registration and Packet Pickup; 8 a.m., Start of the 1/2 Mile Run/Walk; 8:15 a.m., Start of the 5K Run/Walk Course.
Partners for this event include Spuddy’s Cajun Cooking Experience, Yuengling, Kentwood Springs, Chee Wees, and Varsity Sports, to name a few. Brooks Shoes is a series co-sponsor and will award a pair of shoes to the overall first-place male and female winners for the series.
For more information about the “Gator Run/Walk” or the event series, please visit https://raceroster.com/events/2021/46916/west-bank-bridge-park-gator-runwalk.
About Louisiana’s River Parishes Tourist Commission
Louisiana’s River Parishes Tourist Commission (RPTC) is the official destination and marketing organization and driving force for tourism in St. Charles, St. James, and St. John the Baptist parishes. The organization offers assistance to visitors, advocates for its stakeholders, and stimulates the region’s economic growth.