More than 7,000 people gathered in Champions Square on Saturday, Sept. 8 for the seventh annual Saints 5K Kickoff Run presented by Chevron. Clear skies and loud music welcomed New Orleans Saints fans as they came together to kick off the beginning of the 2018 Saints season just a day before the home opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
One of those Saints fans, was Ryan Barrow, who snapped the streak of five-time Saints 5K winner, Ian Carr.
"My goal coming in was to beat Ian Carr. Ian is a great runner and most of the beginning of this year and all last year he's beaten me in every race," said Barrow after crossing through the 50-yard line finish line of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. "My main goal was to come out here and make a good time and beat Ian."
Barrow, a 30-year-old from Thibodaux, finished in 16 minutes and 14 seconds. Emile Bojanov came in second in the men's division with Carr third. Sydney Beatty of New Orleans won the women's race in 19:52. Jill Marie Kenyon came in second.
Chevron, a partner of the Saints, helps put on the 5K to bring the community together, but to also benefit local organizations.
"This is a wonderful event, it benefits Bastion. Bastion builds homes for our nations most prized possessions and heroes so we're just so happy to be able to participate in that and be able to help in that effort," Chevron public affairs manager Leah Brown said. "This race is about what makes New Orleans unique, it's about community, it's about perseverance, it's about fellowship so it's a great event to come out and get involved in football."
Race director Jamie Monroe noted the race has grown from 5,000 to 7,000 in the last year.
"For 45 minutes there's three miles shut down through the streets of New Orleans then it's basically a Saints parade in the city," Moore said. "This isn't just a charity 5K, this is a Saints 5K, there's a lot of pride, a lot of tradition. Seven years going and I think it keeps going and getting bigger and stronger every year."
Fans and runners returned to Champions Square for live entertainment by The Mixed Nuts, food, and fun. Kids were able to participate in the festivities too with a half-mile Kids Fun Run presented by Raising Cane's that also ended on the 50-yard line of the Superdome.