Crescent City Classic Features Fun and Fast Times park
The Allstate Sugar Bowl, which took over title sponsorship of the Crescent City Classic in 2012, welcomed over 25,000 participants, including some of the elite 10K runners in the world for the 37th running of the race on Saturday, April 4, 2015. This Easter weekend tradition has become a New Orleans signature event, both as a competitive road race and for its festive post-race celebration. The Classic has been praised in every major running publication as "one of America's fastest 10K's," and as "the originator of the post-race festival."
The men's race was won by Kenya's John Muritu who posted a time of 28:55. The 18-year Muritu battled 27-year old Dominic Ondoro, also from Kenya, in one of the closer finishers in recent years, winning by just three seconds. The top American, Girmu Mecheso, followed in 29:03. Four-time Olympian Abdi Abdirahman, also an American, was fifth in 29:18. Abdirahman is in training for the 2016 Olympic Trials in the marathon; if he makes the U.S. team, he would become just the second American to compete in five Olympic Games.
On the women's side, Hiwoy Ayalew of Ethiopia took the title with a time of 31:54. It was her first Crescent City Classic title as she held off last year's champion, Risper Gesasbwa of Kenya. Ayalew had finished second in each of the last two years. Gesabwa was third among women with a time of 32:51, while another Kenyan, Cynthia Limo, was second at 32:10.
Kevin Castille, a 42-year old from Lafayette, was the top Louisiana finisher for the fourth time in five years, winning with a blazing time of 29:56 – that mark was just 19 seconds from breaking the American Masters (over 40) record. Jackie Blue, of Destin, Fla., was the female masters winner, finishing in 39:31.
"This is one of the premier 10Ks in the country," Castille told NOLA.com. "It's great to be a part of it. I love racing at home."
The top American woman was Colorado's Nicole Camp, who made her Louisiana debut with a time of 36:55, seventh overall among females.
The top local finishers were Andrew Shapero and Michelle Parks. Shapero posted a time of 32:31, while Parks finished in 38:24.
In addition to the elite runners, the annual Allstate Sugar Bowl Crescent City Classic features thousands of recreational runners – and, in the spirit of New Orleans, hundreds of costumes. Seen on the course were many Easter bunnies, the Blues Brothers (annual runners), Stormtroopers from Star Wars, a jockey with a broomstick horse, multiple versions of Superman and Batman, Pistol Pete Maravich (or a gentleman decked out in full Pistol Pete gear) and many others. One Easter bunny finished the race in a shocking 35:51, 40th place overall.
Following the race, was another of the event's traditional post-race festivals. This year's event featured popular musical performers Johnny Sketch & the Dirty Notes and the Dana Abbott Band.
"The Classic is such an amazing New Orleans event, and we're excited to be the catalyst for people coming to experience not only our event, but the city as a whole," said Classic Race Director Eric Stuart.
While the Sugar Bowl Committee is best known for its annual football game, which will celebrate its 82nd edition on January 1, the organization is also involved with many community initiatives throughout the year. Through the hosting and sponsorship of sporting events, special awards and various athletic clinics, the Allstate Sugar Bowl supports and honors over 25,000 student-athletes each year, while injecting over $2 billion into the local economy over the last decade.