Mother, three sons compete in Crescent City Classic 10K run
NATCHEZ — The Gibson family wanted to start living a healthy lifestyle, but they ended up pushing themselves past limits they didn’t know they could reach — and had fun along the way.
Angela Gibson has been an active cyclist and runner for 12 years, and her work ethic and determination to stay healthy and in shape rubbed off on her children.
The mother of four and grandmother of six started off as an bike rider before grandchildren became a part of her life. Angela had to figure out a quicker way to get her exercise done.
Four years ago, Angela got a call from her son, Conor, who lives in New Orleans.
“Conor decided I needed to (run in the Allstate Sugar Bowl Crescent City Classic),” Angela said.
The Crescent City Classic 10K run in New Orleans features more than 20,000 participants each year, and Angela and Conor pushed themselves through the finish line.
Since then, Britt, another son, became interested in becoming healthy, but he didn’t like the exercise path he chose.
“He said, ‘I hate the treadmill,’ and I said, ‘You should start running with me,’” Angela said. “We do 5 miles, three times a week on the bluff at 6 a.m. We’re still working on Reeve.”
Though Reeve, her youngest son, has yet to regularly run the bluff with his mom and brother, it didn’t stop him from staying connected.
“I have a three year old and a five month old, so it’s hard for me to come,” Reeve said. “It’s the hardest part, I can’t get out of bed because I’m tired from the day before, and then I come home from work and have my young kids.”
But Reeve found the time to run in the Junior Auxiliary River City Run in Natchez with Angela and Britt, and he said he did better than he expected.
“I was expecting to call my wife halfway (through the course) and tell her to pick me up,” Reeve joked. “I hadn’t trained like (Angela and Britt) have, I just went out and did it.”
When Conor found out that Reeve and Britt ran the 10K in Natchez, he decided the three should go to New Orleans and take a crack at the Crescent City Classic April 19.
Angela knew what to expect from her previous trip to New Orleans, but as the Gibson family started the race, Britt and Reeve realized she left some details out.
“There were bands at certain spots and people outside cheering us on and spraying us with water hoses,” Angela said. “I didn’t tell them about the water hoses, but you had a choice to run in it or not.”
Britt said there were a few key differences between running the 10K in Natchez and in New Orleans.
“The humidity is a little bit less (in Natchez) and it was easier to run here even though the land was flat (in New Orleans),” Britt said. “The weather did play a big role, and with so many people (running the 10K), there was a trip hazard.”
Reeve said he liked the comradery of having several people surrounding him at all times in the Crescent City Classic.
“It was 20,000 people that ran in New Orleans compared to (much less in Natchez),” Reeve said. “It’s so much more fun when you have people all around you. In Natchez, you get spread out and you’re pretty much by yourself.”
With a lack of communication, the Gibson sons all thought the others would stay on the same pace as Angela, but each finished the run before her.
“I thought Reed was going to hang with mom, and he thought I would, but mom finished,” Britt said.
Reeve said he was proud of his mother for pushing through the event and doing what most women her age can’t.
“I’m definitely impressed because she keeps up with us very well,” Reeve said. “I have friends with moms the same age, and they’re no where close to her.”
Angela said whether she finished or not, she just enjoyed spending time with her sons.
“I love running with my sons, I’m the proudest mom the world,” she said. “Words can’t even describe how great it is that I get to run with them and they want to run with me.”
Most of all, the Gibsons have seen thier hard work pay off. Reeve said he has lost 80 pounds since running, and Angela said she dropped 35 pounds.
The Gibsons said their new goal is to get ready for a half marathon race they plan to participate in next year. The half marathon is more than twice the distance of the 10K.
“I might actually have to start preparing for this one,” Reeves said.