NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The Crescent City Classic turns 40 this year. A group of Crescent City Classic veterans shared memories of participating in the 10K right from the starting line.
Jim Geis hung the first Crescent City Classic flag to mark the start of the season. Geis is 74, and he shared his memorabilia from decades of experience.
"I've run in seven of them, and the Crescent City Classics, the group that I'm with, has been there for 33 years," Geis said.
Geis suffered a leg injury and couldn't run anymore, but said he still wanted to participate.
"We decided on using this kind of a formal wear and we called ourselves the 'Classics' because of the classic formal wear," Geis said.
The group arrives in a limo and sips Bloody Marys throughout the race.
"We don't wait until the very end to party. We party for the whole race. I guess that's the difference between us and the serious runners," Geis said.
He said it's a race unlike any other.
"It's phenomenal. I mean the people that you meet in the Classic, the runners, the walkers, all of the fans along the way, it's strictly New Orleans. It's what New Orleans is all about," Geis said.
Flipping through his photo album, Geis reminisces on his earlier days.
"This was at Jackson Square where they used to start the races, and everybody congregated there. The limousines used to pull up, we used to get out of the limos and everybody used to look at us like we were from another planet," Geis said.
This is a tradition he hopes to pass on.
"I was thrilled when my daughter said she wanted to do it, more thrilled when my granddaughter said she wanted to do it. It was a surprise," Geis said.
Every year, the "Classics" reunite and share memories with old and new friends.
"Thirty-three years of walking together, it makes us a really close-knit family," Geis said.
Geis said he's going to keep going, even if he can't walk it anymore.
"I hope that I can go with another 25 years when my daughter or my granddaughter are pushing me along in the wheelchair," Geis said.