Race Review: Best Damn Race New Orleans

This has been a long time coming. This trip came at the very beginning of my busy season for work. Which meant I just kept putting this off. However, here we go!

This was my official first trip to New Orleans. I had gone in January for work but I didn’t really get to see anything. So I’m calling this my first trip. I’ll say, I’m not SUPER impressed with New Orleans. I love my travel buddies but they didn’t like lines so we ended up skipping most of the tourist attractions. However, down to BDR details.

About a month before the race I realized I wasn’t trained and my injury was finally feeling good so I downgraded to the 5K. This was the best decision I could have made!


waterfront visit

We stayed at the host hotel, which was in the business district. The best part about this was that the expo was in the hotel and they had a shuttle bus that was easy-peasy to use! Otherwise, it was a super expensive hotel. Get the pizza from the bar, avoid the breakfast buffet! The first night we got there we went to check out the waterfront area and the remote location for Cafe du Monde! Really, this was all I wanted!

Race day was super simple. We hopped the shuttle for the start line around 6am. Jon and Karen were running the half marathon so they started at 7 and the 5K started around 7:20am. I saw Jon and Karen off, drank my protein shake, and hung out and waited to get started. I was surprised that it wasn’t a super crowded race, I expected more people.


chilling’ in the corral

The course was fairly uninteresting, pretty common for a 5K. However, something happened that has never happened during a race for me before. I got to run with Jon. See Jon was running the half, he finished the half in 1:41 (a PR). I hit the turnaround for the 5K and the same time as he was reaching around mile 3. Which means the 12 minute mile 5K folks merged with the front of the half marathon! To say he was angry would be an understatement. Most of the half marathoners were yelling at people to move to the side or such. (I hear the course was changed from 2017 to 2018)

Quick note: the website appears to have changed the times. It looks like the 5K will go first next year and then the half marathon. 


Medal photo

I did exactly as planned. I had a good run and I finished before it got too hot. I got to catch up with some folk I knew that were working the race. I realized I really don’t miss race management all that much.


Finish line photos

I hung out and waited for Jon and Karen to finish the half! Jon got a PR of 1 minute but he was still pretty perturbed by course issues. Karen came in not too long after and she was happy to be done. We grabbed them some post race snacks and headed back to the bus.


We decided to get cleaned up and head over to the garden district because they promised me donuts! We went to District Donuts and it was just amazing as everyone who recommended it said! If you head to New Orleans you must plan to go to District Donuts! Quick note: NOLA is cash town. Make sure you bring cash!


All in all we had a good time on our mini race vaca! Would I recommend this race to others, probably not. It was a super expensive town for a so-so race. Jon and Karen said the half marathon course was pretty uninteresting. Overall, we were just pretty disappointed with the race itself. The medal was awesome and it glows in the dark.  If you are someone who races for the medals than you would like this one! The t-shirt is super soft! However, larger ladies, get a mens large!

Now, the BDR folks tend to listen to feedback so the chances that the 3rd year of this race will be better is pretty damn possible! If you are a NOLA kinda person take a vaca and add a race! If you are going there to just run, maybe check out BDR Orlando or Safety Harbor!


#5K #BestDamnrace #racing #running