This past week I met with Chloe Nicolosi and Casey Urschel to talk about the 2019 New Orleans Pride Run and Walk, which will be held on Saturday, August 31, in Crescent Park. Chloe is the New Orleans Track Club (NOTC) Executive Race Director, and Casey is the president of the NOTC Board of Directors. Last year was the first Pride Run in New Orleans, and also my first 5K. OK, so maybe I didn’t run the entire 5K, but I did cross the finish line. Eventually.
Chloe and Casey answered some of my questions about this year’s event:
Could you tell us a bit about NOTC?
The New Orleans Track Club is a 56-year-old nonprofit membership organization that produces running and walking events throughout the Crescent City. Our mission is to promote running and walking as both a competitive sport and as one of the best and most accessible athletic activities to achieve physical and mental fitness. Our events are open to everyone, of all speeds, who share our passion for the sport and for living a healthy lifestyle.
What is the Pride Run & Walk?
Now in its second year, the New Orleans Pride Run & Walk focuses on inclusivity, unity, and diversity in the fitness community. It is the newest event on the New Orleans Track Club’s schedule but has quickly become a highlight on the local race calendar. Participants and supporters gather on the banks of the Mississippi River in Crescent Park. The racecourse includes a loop through the Bywater and beautiful views of the river. It’s a fun, family-friendly event that helps celebrate Southern Decadence weekend.
Will there be food or drinks, or any special activities other than the race?
You can’t have an event in New Orleans without having a great party, and the New Orleans
Pride Run & Walk is no exception. This year, we’ll have post-race cocktails provided by Absolut, beer from Crescent Crown Distributing flowing from Tap Truck NOLA, food from Louisiana Pizza Kitchen Uptown and Jambalaya Girl, Stumptown Coffee, water from Kentwood Springs, Van’s Snoballs, Elmer’s Chee Wees, and sweets from Baker Maid. Runners and walkers are encouraged to work up an appetite during the race!
Also, this year, there are awards for the Largest Team and Most Spirited Team. We’ll have special celebrity judges appraising team spirit at the post-race party, and will present awards to both categories during the celebration. It’s not too late to sign up your team to be eligible for one of these awards! There’s info about registering teams at NOLAPrideRun.com. Oh! And every participant who finishes the race will receive a commemorative medal.
How did this all get started?
The NOTC’s Board of Directors has made inclusivity and diversity a focus of their mission. They want to bring running and walking to as many members of the community as possible and make New Orleans Track Club events a welcoming atmosphere to all attending. The board recognized that “Pride Runs” are noteworthy events in major cities around the world, and couldn’t imagine why a city as diverse as New Orleans didn’t have one. The New Orleans Pride Run & Walk was conceived to help fill that need.
I know that for last year’s Pride Run, BreakOUT was the charity beneficiary. Have you chosen a beneficiary for this year?
Yes! The beneficiary for the 2019 New Orleans Pride Run & Walk is the New Orleans chapter of PFLAG. Specifically, the donated funds will be directed to their scholarship program that recognizes outstanding GLBT students from Louisiana and encourages continuing education for self-identified GLBT students and allies.
How can folks get registered to participate?
Online registration is open now through August 26th at NOLAPrideRun.com. Registering early allows participants to get a discounted price, plus it guarantees a commemorative shirt. Race day registration will be available starting at 8:00 AM near the start/finish in Crescent Park.
I know that NOAGE is definitely going to have a walking group, and I hope my readers will join us. But if someone is interested in getting involved, but not doing the run or walk itself, are you looking for volunteers for the event?
It takes a whole team of volunteers to produce a New Orleans Track Club event, and we can always use additional hands-on race day. Volunteers are welcome to email us at NOTC@runNOTC.org to join the fun.
Is there anything else you’d like people to know about the Pride Run & Walk, or about NOTC?
We’ve set up a discount code exclusively for Ambush Magazine readers. Use the code “AMBUSH” when registering, and save $5 when signing up online only before August 26. Additional info is available by RSVP’ing to the New Orleans Pride Run & Walk Facebook event, or by emailing NOTC@runNOTC.org.
Thanks so much for the interview, y’all. I’m going to put in one more shameless plug for my readers: If you’re interested in joining a walking group for the 2019 Pride Walk and Run, I hope you’ll join the NOAGE team. Register at NOLAPrideRun.com. See you there!