Really great first half marathon! I was definitely running slower than usual, since I did not sleep well, thanks to my drunk hotel neighbors, and cramping up a bit but I made it and the race was a blast! Cant wait to do it again!
Great flat course, wonderful course support, lots of bands, and cheering spectators. The only cons are that the last 6 miles are the most boring (aside from a mile along the lake that's really beautiful) and it's pretty expensive if you don't sign up in advance.
Great Experience, Scenic and Flat Course (but Bad Road Surfaces)
Pros: With one of the flattest courses of any major marathon/half-marathon, the RNR Mardi Gras is nearly perfect for novices and those seeking personal records or BQ times. It's reasonably scenic including the Garden District, the Warehouse District, a bit of the French Quarter and City Park (along with Lake Pontchartain for the marathon course.) Organizers listened to complaints from last year and stationed the shuttle busses closer (about a half-mile from the finishing area as opposed to last year's mile). Also, there were port-a-potties next to each corral in addition to the ones in the start area.
Cons: The worst problem is the condition of the roads. I finished the half in 3:15 (though from the last corral) and there was no Cytomax from about the eight-mile mark. Weirdly, there were long stretches--more than a mile--with no course bands. This was also the case last year.
I walked the half last year, mostly ran it this year and will run it next year. In general, I've found this and other RNR races to be well-organized. If only the roads along Prytania, St. Charles and Esplanade could be re-surfaced, it would be close to perfect.