As someone who has endured mile upon mile of asphalt, I can feel for the thousands of runners who will be participating in Sunday's Zydeco Marathon, Half-Marathon, and related events. Not only do you have 26.2 or 13.1 miles to run, but we're also going to take an hour of sleep time away from you thanks to the switch to Daylight Saving Time. 

That being said, this event, the Zydeco Marathon has already brought thousands of runners, their families, and visitors to Acadiana and we, the local folks, need to show our support.

The course for the full marathon and the course for the half marathon showcase some of the best of what Lafayette has to offer. The runners will see our downtown area, the University of Louisiana, River Ranch, and because the course designers are sadistic, Bendel Gardens.

I'm not saying that Bendel Gardens is a bad neighborhood but it does have the most mountainous terrain (tongue firmly planted in cheek) in the city. Okay, it's got one hill but that one hill has made me cry before.

The need to keep the runners safe on the course will affect traffic on Sunday morning between the hours of 7 AM and roughly 2 PM. Local police will have some intersections blocked and some roads and lanes closed along the route for the safety of all the participants.

Some of the major roads that will be affected include Congress Street from the Cajundome toward downtown. There will also be traffic controls in place along Jefferson Street, Kaliste Saloom, East Bayou Parkway, Settlers Trace, Girard Park Boulevard and many other less traveled roadways.

If you have plans to be out on the roads Sunday morning, please plan ahead and if you happen to get stopped at an intersection and have to wait for runners to pass, climb out of your car and cheer them on.

You can also find a spot to cheer along the route too. As someone who has run a few of these "races", I can tell you the cheering helps. Except for the last couple of miles. That's when the runners hate everyone, well at least this runner just wanted to be left alone in his solemn pity party of pain.

The Zydeco Marathon brings thousands of visitors to Lafayette and the economic impact to our area is measured in seven figures. It's kind of a big deal. Let's make sure all of our runners from in town, out of town, and around the country feel the warmth of a South Louisiana welcome. So they will come back next year and bring a friend.

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