Correction: This article has been updated to fix the spelling of Mike Wattigny’s last name. 225 regrets the error.
As the Tiger Nation prepares for the LSU-Bama faceoff this weekend, it’s hard to imagine life without with festive pattern of college football. But when LSU’s regular season comes to a close in a few weeks, the Our Lady of the Lake Tiger 10K intends to extend the joy. The race finishes on the 50-yard line of Tiger Stadium, with participants passing under the win bar as they take their final strides.
The event takes place every year on the first Sunday after Thanksgiving weekend, falling on Dec. 4 this season. While known as the Tiger 10K, it also features a 5K race and 1-mile fun run for kids and families.
“It’s a sea of purple and gold,” says Mike Wattigny, marketing and communications director for FRESHJUNKIE Racing, which founded and organizes the race. “The beauty of an event like this is that you get a broader audience, including people who have never done a 5K, but who just want to finish on the 50-yard line.”
About 4,000 participants are expected to run, Wattigny says, the majority of whom will be evenly split between 5K and 10K registrants.
Each race snakes through the LSU campus and surrounding neighborhood and includes the University Lakes, Baton Rouge Beach, Sorority Row, Dalrymple Drive, the LSU Law Center, the Parade Grounds, campus quad and the Indian Mounds.
The route ultimately leads runners to Death Valley through the stadium’s southeast entrance. Participants cross the 50-yard finish line under a win bar like the one in the LSU locker room.
Wattigny says FRESHJUNKIE Racing, which produces more 30 races in the Capital City and around the region, spent seven years working with LSU to create the Tiger 10K.
“Trying to navigate through the LSU system with so many players involved, it took a while to get the blessing to make it happen,” he says. “But it’s been an incredible event focused on fandom.”
More races and meet-ups this season
Baton Rouge’s mild fall weather makes it a great place to participate in a road race or running group meet-up. Check out the following opportunities this month, including one this Saturday.
Saturday, Nov. 5
Meet fellow runners at the Main Street Market for routes that span 2 to 8 miles. Organizers say wear your college colors, as long as they’re not crimson.
Saturday, Nov. 19
Children and adults are invited to run on the grounds of the Baton Rouge Metro Airport in a race that encourages good health. Food and music follows the race.
Thursday, Nov. 24
The 36th annual Thanksgiving morning race in downtown Baton Rouge is a great way to earn your holiday calories. Register for a 5K or 1-mile fun run. Dressing like a turkey is encouraged.