Literally racing into the new year at the Louisiana Marathon and Finish Festival, Jan. 17-19

Photo courtesy of The Louisiana Marathon (Facebook).

The Louisiana Marathon takes its marks in Baton Rouge during Martin Luther King weekend. The 3-day long festival with racing, live music and southern cuisine runs Jan. 17-19, 2020. 

Now, you’ve been to a festival all about fried chicken, the Renaissance, and local music. But have you ever been to a festival all about running? I guess Louisiana just does things a little differently. And that means turning a racing marathon into a weekend-long event that concludes with a party and Cajun cooking. 

What is the Louisiana Marathon? 

The marathon festival is a collection of races and community gathering opportunities spread out over one weekend. It includes a 5K, a kids’ marathon, and quarter, half, and full marathons. So, it’s a family-friendly festival to help you get running or rolling. 

Here’s a look at last year’s marathon.

According to their website, the Louisiana Marathon exists for two reasons. It exists to encourage a more active lifestyle in the community and to be a unique winter celebration of running and Louisiana culture. Each year, it brings national and international runners to Baton Rouge. It’s also a Boston Marathon qualifier. 

Where is the racing course?

The course takes runners from downtown Baton Rouge through the University Lakes, LSU’s campus, and historic river town neighborhoods. The multiple races begin in different places. Mostly, you can find the races starting at the Louisiana State Museum, N 3rd St. or N 4th St. and finishing at the AZ Young Park. 

The EXPO at The Louisiana Marathon takes place at the Raising Cane’s River Center. 

When does it all happen?

Here’s an overall schedule of the weekend:

  • Friday, January 17, 2020
    • 11:00 am to 7:00 pm – The Louisiana Marathon Expo
  • Saturday, January 18, 2020
    • 8:00 am – Louisiana Quarter Marathon & 5K
    • 10:30 am – Louisiana Kids Marathon
    • 8:00 am to 11:30 am – Finish Festival
    • 11:00 am to 5:00 pm – The Louisiana Marathon Expo
  • Sunday, January 19, 2020
    •  7:00 am – The Louisiana Marathon & Louisiana Half Marathon
    • 9:00 am to 2:30 pm – Finish Festival

And if you want a more detailed look at the schedule, check out an hourly breakdown here

What is Finish Festival? 

A weekend of running and jogging deserves celebration, right? Well, the Finish Fest is just that: a party full of food, local beer and live music. 

It features six bands for jamming and over 20 local restaurants for munching. The festivities take place at the AZ Young Park. 

AZ Young Park. Photo courtesy of The Louisiana Marathon.

This part of the festival is open to the public. For access to food and beverages, you must have tickets for that specific race-day. Each runner bib has tickets attached to the bottom. Each ticket is good for one beverage or one taste of food. 

Additional Taste Tour Tickets can be purchased for $3 at the EXPO in the retail area and at the Finish Festival in the gear shop area. Each ticket is good for one beverage or one taste of food. 

And if you want to know who is hitting the stage, here is the musical lineup:

Saturday, Jan. 18

Sunday, Jan. 19

So, get to steppin’! There’s still time for you to register and try your hand (or foot) at running this flat, fast and scenic course. Otherwise, head to Downtown to join the festivities and cheer on your favorite runner.