Many participate in Jambalaya Festival 5K race

Kyle Riviere
Runners from around the state showed up Saturday morning to compete in the festival's 5K race. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

People from all over the state came out to Gonzales in droves throughout the weekend for the 45th annual Jambalaya Festival, but the food wasn't the only thing convincing them to make the trip.

On Saturday morning, hundreds of runners showed up to Irma Boulevard for the festival's 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run.

The 5K race was the first of the day as participants from across the parish and state gathered in the beautiful morning sun.

Local runner Clarence Johnson Jr. was the top runner as he was the first to complete the 5K race in 19 minutes and 36.1 seconds.

Wayne Douglas Jr. of Prairieville was the runner-up as he finished at 20 minutes and 0.1 seconds. Prairieville's Keith Babin, Darrow's Keith Balza and Gonzales' own Joshua Mandernach rounded out the rest of the top five.

Craig Knotts of Geismar finished in sixth while Prairieville's Marcus Manuel, Baton Rouge's Jorge Flores, Prairieville's Randall Accardo and Denham Springs' Jimmy Sehon finished out the top 10.

As for the women, Gonzales' own Ann Burstall was the top female runner and finished 25th overall as she crossed the finish line in 24 minutes and 42 seconds.

Gonzales' Bridget Ponzo was the second female as she finished at 28th overall.

All of the runners that participated were given a complimentary T-shirt, drawstring bag filled with prizes and of course, they were all given a free bowl of jambalaya at the post-race celebration.

The festival's 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run were sponsored by Caro Clinic and The Salad Shop, and Cajun Timing was responsible for timing out each race.