Marathons With Meaning

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Every Saturday before Easter the Crescent City Classic, a ten-kilometer race is run in New Orleans. Bert Rosson, of Jackson, makes final preparation for his first marathon as he pins on his number, takes water from his mother, Lane, and gets ready to join thousands of runners in front of Jackson Square. The course is flat and fast and lures Olympic caliber athletes, making the trip to test their personal best. Following behind, lured by the promise of free beer and jambalaya are mobs of costumed competitors, including Elvis Presley, Spiderman, Daisy Duke and even the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus. In February of 2006 the Mardi Gras Marathon was the first athletic event in the city after Hurricane Katrina. Mile markers along the route indicated the level of water that flooded the city at that spot. The 26.2 mile course had runners traveling through the still devastated sections of Gentilly and Mid-City before ending with an emotional finish at the Superdome, symbol of the storm's destruction.