This year the Cajun Road Runners Club is bringing back a race that honors former club member Al Comeaux. After a six year hiatus, the Al Comeaux 10 miler returns to Acadiana.
Comeaux fought cancer for ten years, but from his first diagnosis, to when the disease was in remission, to when it came back for the second time, he continued running.
The 10-Mile race will be held on Sat., Feb.4, at 8 a.m. in Picard Park in Milton.
Comeaux was not one to talk much about his disease according to his daughter, 34-year-old Rachel Delcambre, because he just wanted to focus on his love for running.
“One of the friends he ran with didn’t know he had cancer for a year because he never said anything,” said Delcambre. “He didn’t go run to talk about his cancer or anything, he just went to enjoy and socialize. The running made him feel better physically, which made him stronger mentally.”
Comeaux did eventually succumb to his illness in 2005 at the age of 52, but not before meeting two of him major goals, making it to his daughter’s wedding and running in the Boston Marathon.
Delcambre said, “He battled cancer for about 10 years and they didn’t expect him to last that long but he did. I really attribute that to the running and the friends that he made in the running group that kept his spirits up. He could’ve gotten depressed and gone downhill, but the fact that he had a race to look forward to every weekend helped keep him motivated to live to the next day.”
For Delcambre, the race is an opportunity to honor her dad and spread awareness about the disease he battled with.
Delcambre said, “When people ask why it’s called the Al Comeaux 10 Miler they might be inspired by my dad’s story. It also gives me a chance to talk about the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I know a lot of people will come run it because they remember my dad.”
In addition to honoring Comeaux’s memory, the race provides local runners with an in-between distance that falls right before the Zydeco Marathon; which makes it a perfect tune-up race to gauge running fitness.
The race course spans throughout the countryside of Milton and will provide runners with a variety of terrains.
Race director Todd Delahoussaye said, “At one point you’ll be running along the river and at another point you’ll be running next to fields with cows. Some of it is shaded and some it is just wide open.”
At the end of the course there will be gumbo and in lieu of a race shirt, this year runners will receive a lightweight reflective jacket embroidered with the Cajun Road Runners and race logo.
Registration ends Feb. 3 and packet pickup will begin the morning of the race at 6:30 a.m.
Delcambre said, “It kind of brings back the memory of my dad. I can’t bring him back, but bringing his name back allows people to ask me questions and it helps to keep his memory and spirit alive.”
For more information about the race visit cajunroadrunners.com or call Geaux Run at 337-706-8763.