CRESCENT CITY CLASSIC COUNTDOWN:

Nola.com Q & A with Race Director Eric Stuart



The 
Crescent City Classic celebrates its 35th year on March 30 with new ownership led by race director Eric Stuart. He sat down for a Q&A with staff writer Rachel Whittaker about the changes and upgrades for this year's race, including a new start line on the corner of Loyola and Poydras, a new course and sponsor, the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

 

 

Stuart was all smiles as he said he is ready to put his stamp on the New Orleans tradition.

What was the genesis of the new route going down Poydras, through the French Quarter, passing Jackson Square, turning left on Esplanade Avenue and continuing to City Park?

"A lot of people didn't like the old route. The old route used to start right in front of Jackson Square. The beauty or whatever it was, the attraction of that start, was this mass of people leaving the French Quarter and coming to Poydras and going up Poydras to Rampart, Rampart to Esplanade and the rest. We got so many complaints that we couldn't really run because there were strollers and walkers in our way. So we said since this is the 35th year, the first year we've really taken the race over, let's organize the start and put a new course in."

Will construction on Esplanade Avenue present a problem?

“That raised about 800 different flags, got everybody in a big hullabaloo. As it turns out, they're going to be really good about it and pull up these 12 pads of really bad sections of the street, pour concrete over them and re-pave them for our race and then take it all away until they're done. It worked better than I thought."

 

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