Welcome, This post will dive into my experience at the Billy Cannon 5k on December 5th 2021. This was my fourth year doing this race! I have only missed this race once due to the pandemic but we are back in full effect baby finishing on the 50 yard line and everything! I had been planning this race for months. It’s so surreal that it is finally here! I want to set the stage initially I was all set to run the Tiger 10k with my LSU Speedflex Helmet on. I had been training and I am in 10k shape for sure. A couple weeks before the race I tried on the LSU helmet and it was a little tight. So I decided I’d only run the 5k instead to save my self from riding the struggle bus for too long in the football helmet. This decision was based on the fact I decided to never try running in the helmet until race day. I didn’t want to suffer through 6 miles when I was just out to have some fun.
It was beautiful foggy fall morning on Louisiana State University’s campus. Seeing Tiger Stadium as I walk up to the starting line was so cool. I hadn’t put the helmet on yet I wanted to minimize the time I had it on my head. Once I did it was so cool taking pictures with people at the start. I am fully LSU’ed up with my race day outfit from LSU Pegasus 38’s, Joe Burrow Home Jersey, Yellow running shorts that were difficult to find, and my LSU Riddell Speedflex Helmet with visor. The race MC cues up the national anthem. After we start loading up the starting corals. The race start was staggered to spread out the race participants. A short wait and I’m at the starting line ready to go!
I want y’all to know I’ve never run in this helmet. So getting into mile 1 I go out way too fast at a point I was running 9:06 pace with a LSU football helmet and visor on. My running fitness has steadily been improving lately and without the helmet I would not rule out that pace. With it a whole different story. At this point Ican hold the pace, but I felt like this might be too fast. It is getting harder to breathe and the visor on the helmet is beginning to fog up. I can still see through it but my vision is definitely impacted. The 5K and 10K split is approaching and I am thankful I chose the 5k option at this point lol. We hit the LSU lakes and I have slowed the pace down to something more manageable. The lakes are always picturesque and so motivating to help you run fast. I need to take advantage of the Lakes for running more often.
I come up on a water station. I must have been distracted by the absurdity of running in a football helmet because the concept of getting water mid race slipped my mind entirely. I came through and grabbed a cup. I then realized how will I get this water to my mouth with this facemask. In the moment I decided I will just throw it towards my mouth and hopefully get enough in lol. I tossed my cup in the trash and kept on running. I see an ad for a race along the LSU lakes. My visor at this point is too foggy to make out signs while running. I still need to find out what race that was. I couldn’t find it on RunSignUp.com. Mile 2 I am fully in the muck of a foggy visor and the helmet is just full of hot air from my breathing.
At this point I am over the novelty of running a 5K in a football helmet. Let’s just finish this race. While my visor is fogged up I am being extra cautious avoiding potholes in the street. I eventually find one and turn my ankle, but I don’t know if I have some weird ankle genetics. Because when I turn my ankles I never get any pain after. At this point I start to see some 10k runner’s zooming by. I want those faster paces one day. I’ll keep working one day we will get there. The football helmet is definitely not built for prolonged activity it is so hard to breath in there. I probably should have taken the visor off but it just looks so cool! As far as running this mile it was just let’s get back to Tiger Stadium and wrap this up lol. In this mile I got shouted at by people passing by so much! Me being super introverted I felt there excitement but also in my head I’m like nothing to see here lol. My lovely wife was also posted up in this last mile to take pictures of me during the race so thankful for her.
I finally see the mile 3 sign! Nothing left but to turn into Tiger Stadium and celebrate! As you make your way in it’s just a bunch concrete and concession stands but once you hit the tunnel to the field it’s electric! Even with no one in the stands or anyone cheering you specifically it’s awesome! From the finish line corral with the LSU flags blowing in the wind, or Tiger Stadium/the field, or the fog the finish of this race is just one of the best! How could I forget smacking the “Win Bar” while crossing the finish line! This race never disappoints. A beautiful campus and awesome finish line. I will definitely be back next year!