Many participate in annual Jambalaya Festival 5K

Kyle Riviere
Photo by Kyle Riviere.

On Saturday, as the Jambalaya Festival was celebrated for yet another year in Gonzales, hundreds of runners from across the state showed up to take part in the event’s annual one-mile Fun Run and 5K.

The day began with the Fun Run at 8 a.m. and ended with the 5K (3.1 miles) at 8:30. Participants received free jambalaya and a complimentary T-shirt afterward. was on hand to time out the race.

Gonzales’ own Clarence Johnson continued to impress at the event. He has been a regular at the 5K race every year, and he has only gotten better with age.

Before last year, Johnson finished third twice in a row. He improved on that last year when he took runner-up honors.

On Saturday, the 38-year-old finally got over the hump and won the event. Not only did Johnson win it, but he finished with a significantly better time than he did last year, trimming it down by an entire minute.

In 2018, he ended with a time of 18 minutes and 48.6 seconds. On Saturday, he crossed the finish line in 17 minutes and 48.6 seconds.

Coming in as this year’s runner-up was Prairieville’s Jacen Lanclos, who finished with a time of 18 minutes and 54.2 seconds. He achieved this feat while pushing a child in a stroller.

The third and fourth spots contained the same exact names from last year, only reversed.

After landing in fourth last year, 17-year-old Gonzales resident Joe Patterson took third on Saturday with a time of 19 minutes and 8.4 seconds. St. Amant’s Aiden Clouatre (16 years old) landed in fourth with a time of 19 minutes and 20.2 seconds.

Rounding out the top five was Prairieville’s Justin Gautreau with a time of 19 minutes and 27.4 seconds.

The first female runner to cross the finish line was Christy Drago. The Geismar resident finished the race in seventh with a time of 20 minutes and 12.5 seconds.

Impressively, there were two very young competitors that finished in the top 40.

At just 12 years old, Madisonville’s Tyson Burns finished in 20th with a time of 23 minutes and 53.3 seconds. Also, 8-year-old Prairieville resident Blaize Kiger ended the day in 34th with a time of 26 minutes and 11.4 seconds.

Here is a list of the top-20 finishes:

1. Clarence Johnson (Gonzales) – 17:48.6

2. Jacen Lanclos (Prairieville) – 18:54.2

3. Joe Patterson (Gonzales) – 19:08.4

4. Aiden Clouatre (St. Amant) – 19:20.2

5. Justin Gautreau (Prairieville) – 19:27.4

6. Nicholas Burns (Madisonville) – 19:48.1

7. Christy Drago (Geismar) – 20:12.5

8. Kenny Schexnayder (Gonzales) – 21:11.6

9. Travis Doucet (Baton Rouge) – 21:16.6

10. Burke Patterson (Baton Rouge) – 21:30.6

11. Joel Ocmand (Houston, Texas) – 21:33.1

12. Chris Whittaker (Metairie) – 21:39.3

13. Jesse Guillory (Eunice) – 21:43.3

14. Tim Allison (Gonzales) – 21:55.8

15. Robert Lanclos (Gonzales) – 22:29.9

16. Christopher Jenkins (Baton Rouge) – 22:49.6

17. Jill Lanclos (Gonzales) – 22:52.5

18. Scott Kleinpeter (Prairieville) – 23:08.6

19. David Weber (Madisonville) – 23:36.6

20. Tyson Burns (Madisonville) – 23:53.3