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Red Dress Run 

click to enlarge PHOTO BY CURT MCCLAIN
  • Photo by Curt McClain

Red dresses are flying off the shelves at local thrift stores in preparation for Saturday's New Orleans Red Dress Run. The annual event is hosted by the New Orleans Hash House Harriers, a chapter of the international drinking/running club. "We are a beer-drinking club that runs," says Kendall Daigle, leader of NOHHH, which registered more than 5,000 participants in 2009. "Last year, we finished 116 kegs in the three-and-a-half hours before the run," Daigle says. The pre-race party kicks off at 9 a.m. in Washington Square with live music by the Blackened Blues Band and the Boogie Men, plus food and kegs of Abita Amber. The run begins at noon, and the participants follow a course into the French Quarter toward a designated stop at a cluster of bars on Bourbon Street. They eventually return to the park, where festivities continue until 7 p.m. "Historically, only half the pack comes back," Daigle says. "The key is to pace yourself so you can make it the whole day." The original red dress run was in San Diego 23 years ago, but there are Hash House running clubs around the world; the earliest one was formed in Kuala Lumpur in 1938. Daigle says participants should buy their dresses as soon as possible. "It's tough to find them right now," he says. "Especially for guys, because they've got to find a dress in a big enough size." Red dresses are mandatory. Proceeds go to local charities, and more than $90,000 was donated in 2009. Advance registration is $60; day-of registration is $70. — Sarah Eddington

Aug. 14

New Orleans Red Dress Run

9 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday

Washington Square, Royal Street at Elysian Fields Avenue; www.neworleanshashhouse.com

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