Gving Back: Runners help keep St. John beautiful

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, October 21, 2014


LAPLACE — While Sunday’s five -mile run at the St. John Parish Andouille Festival was likely seen by most as a little bit of fun competition and a way to stay in shape, participants were also helping a very worthy cause.

The proceeds from this year’s race will go toward helping the Keep St. John Beautiful committee keep the parish clean and aesthetically pleasing to residents and visitors.

“Over the years, this run has always been behind a cause, and over the past two or three years that’s been Keep St. John Beautiful,” race director Greg Maurin said. “We want to keep our parish pretty and we want to support that effort.”

Maurin noted that in past years, the race has helped fund efforts to help the local Fire Department and the Sheriff’s Office.

“At one point, it raised funds for (buying) the bulletproof vests for officers,” Maurin said.

After the race concluded Sunday morning, many participants stuck around for a post-race party, sharing laughs while enjoying food, drinks and live music by the band “Changing Times.” Fitting the cause’s theme further — the left over drink cans were pitched into the recyclable bin.

“We concentrate on putting on a quality run,” Maurin said. “It doesn’t generate a tremendous amount of money, but we’re happy it allows us to contribute a few dollars for the cause.”

Maurin pointed out the event is a true five-mile run and not a 5K. He said it offers runners a bit of a challenge, as many are used to running three-mile events.

The weather was nice and the skies clear on Sunday. Prior to the race, Maurin said he hoped to have around 150 participants, with a mark of 200 being the most the run has ever had.

The turnout Sunday was indeed strong. Maurin said 150 runners and walkers participated and $1,000 was raised.

This year’s winner, Brian Kane, is a junior at East St. John and a member of the school’s cross country team — the ESJ cross country team participates annually along with the team’s coach, Paul Dupuy. Kane finished with a field-best time of 32 minutes and four seconds.

“It feels pretty good,” Kane said. “Last year, I didn’t do so well, and I was determined to win this one.”

Kane said he doesn’t typically run five-mile races, and was battling injury during last year’s run.

This year, he said he conditioned himself better for the race’s length.

“I improved my breathing, my speed and my endurance,” he said.