Thousands of runners enjoy warm weather during Day 1 of Rock 'n' Roll marathon

Thousands of runners enjoy warm weather during Day 1 of Rock 'n' Roll marathon
Fox 8 photo

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Thousands of runners and spectators cheering them on enjoyed today's blue skies and cooler temperatures.

The Rock 'n' Roll Marathon brings in visitors from around the country.

Exhausted and triumphant runners powered through the final stretch of the 5K.

"Today is really exciting because it has a new route going through the French Quarter for the first time ever," Humana Market Vice President Rhonda Bagby said.

Twenty-thousand people from all 50 states and 44 countries traveled to New Orleans to compete.

"It's such a great tourist town, so we find that people really when they're planning their friend vacations and they're also planning their run schedule. It just kind of fits in, and people can come here, have a good time, celebrate the musical history here and then run a race that's got the music on course as well," Organizer Teyva Sammet said.

She said last year, the event brought in more than $46-million to hotels, restaurants, transportation and more.

Not only does it support local businesses, it also features local musicians.

"Got a lot of local bands, more than ever before on course, so they can feel that New Orleans culture as they're running, and it's just a fun experience for everybody," Sammet said.

Runners ranged from kids, to experienced athletes.

62-year-old Debbie Lazaroff is a decorated runner, with 400 half marathons and 153 marathons under her belt.

"Been in what they call the Hall of Fame for three years," Lazaroff said.

Lazaroff and her sister met up from Michigan and Florida for the race.

She travels around the world to compete in her passion.

"I run to live, you know, it's re-energized my will to be better for myself, to eat better, to work out better, and to be able to see a city, many cities around the world," Lazaroff said.

Others, traveled from New York to enjoy the warm weather.

"We just came to get out of the snow, and drink hurricanes," said Len Matyasik. "It's great, it's a beautiful city, wonderful morning, we've been having a great time so far."

"You're just kind of running and going, this is why I do it, you know, I get to see a part of this beautiful city. You get to see it the way that most people don't get to see a city," Lazaroff said.

The half, full and 10K marathons on Sunday will finish in City Park.

Runners will be greeted with a concert from local headliners.

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