At the Red Dress Run, beer-drinking people in red dresses run for fun, charity and beer. There are Red Dress Runs elsewhere, but they can't match the thousands that run in the popular New Orleans summer event.. About 8000 red-dressed runners hit the streets each year. And who knows how many spectators.
Although the red dresses are quite a sight, the feat of running in August - in the New Orleans heat and humidity - might be the most amazing part of the Run.
Perhaps it's all the beer-drinking that makes the Run possible - and popular. It's certainly central to the event. In fact, "To acquire a good thirst and to satisfy it in beer", is a specific goal of the Hash House Harriers (HHH) club that organizes the Run in and near the New Orleans neighborhoods of the French Quarter and the Marigny.
At first - and even second - glance, it may seem that the self-proclaimed "Drinking Club with a Running Problem" is all about fun: the beer, their bawdy songs and maybe the cross-dressing. But there's also a charitable purpose to the Run . The Red Dressers brag that close to $200,000 was raised in 2011 and grants were given over 60 New Orleans area non-profits.
2012 Run Details:
The New Orleans Red Dress Run of 2- 4 miles will be on August 11, 2012, starting at Armstrong Park, North Rampart at St. Ann Streets. Gates open a 9:30 a.m. and the run starts at 11 a.m.
You do NOT have to in the HHH to be part of the Run and festivities, including live music and a BBQ lunch. Register at the three-day Red Dress Run Expo, August 8 - 10, 2012, at the New Orleans Fairgrounds, 1751 Gentilly Blvd., or on race day. The fee is $70, cash only. You may pick up your Bib Number and Wristband (both are required for entry to the park) at the Expo or on the day of the race, if you registered on-line. Each runner must bring a picture ID and pick up their items personally. Only the first 4000 registrants are guaranteed the lagnaippe "gimmes".>
Don't forget that a RED dress (or less) is mandatory, but you do not have to look pretty. Actually,the more outlandish and wacky the dress the better.
There's often a "run on red dresses" in the city before the Red Dress Run. And finding one that will fit certain shapes and sizes can be tough. For New Orleans shopping tips for finding a red dress, visit the Run's Facebook Page. Several second-hand New Orleans stores arrange special Red Dress sections.
More About HHH and Red Dress Runs:
The Hash House Harriers (H3) drinking/running/social clubs are global with origins back to the British Empire. Learn more about HHH worldwide here.
Read about how the Red Dress Run started - thanks to a lady in California who ran in heels and a red dress after being told to wait in a truck during a run.