FULLABALOO: Annual Tequila Sunrise Marathon showcases the courage of Tulane students

As the sun rose on Feb. 12, the annual Tequila Sunrise Marathon at Tulane University began. Students all over campus struggled to stay awake for the sunrise 24 hours later to post a snapchat selfie with their friends captioned, “We made it!” It was the culmination of Mardi Gras weekend, the grand finale for those who would crash and sleep straight through Zulu and Rex on Tuesday – which, let’s be honest, was mostly everyone. But not all students chose to partake in the long journey toward sunrise.

“I didn’t do Tequila Sunrise because I don’t hate myself,” freshman Sarah Berrueco said. “I respect people that completed it because it is a difficult and daunting task. It just also happens to have no real purpose.”

Many decided to face the challenge nevertheless. With Four Lokos in hand, they took to the streets as early as 11 a.m., hopping from darty to darty. Some headed to Proteus and Orpheus for the evening festivities, but others chose to skip out on the later parades to better their chances of making it to sunrise.

“I had been going out and to parades since the Wednesday before Mardi Gras, so I was pretty tired by Lundi Gras and I wasn’t sure I would make it to Tequila Sunrise,” freshman Mandy Herradura said. “I decided to skip the parades on Monday to rest, and I took a nap during the day. I went out that night around 11, and I actually made it.”

Regardless of strategy, many students flocked to various fraternity events at night. For the first few hours, spirits were high. After a while, however, it was clear that many would not make it through the night. More than a few sparkly leggings were flung over couch arms, and bars were not so much serving stations but headrests for those who just couldn’t take it anymore. Crowds thinned out, but a dedicated number remained.

At 6 a.m., students began the last leg of the marathon to watch the sunrise from the Diboll Parking Garage. Unfortunately, Tulane University Police Department blocked off the parking garage. First came confusion, then anger, then determination. They had made it this far. They were going to finish. The marathon was rerouted to various balconies and rooftops around campus.

“At first I just wanted to go to bed,” sophomore Sophia Cuervo said. “But then I realized all I really wanted was to stay up and see the cloudy sky slowly get lighter from a janky fourth floor balcony of Phelps and mess with my circadian rhythm.”

At 6:43 a.m. on Feb. 13, the sun rose over Tulane University. The sunrise itself was underwhelming, but the willpower, persistence and courage of the Tequila Sunrise participants shone brightly enough to make make up for it.

After the obligatory snapchats were posted, students started to return to their beds — or in the case of some brave souls, began to venture out to Zulu. The marathon was over, but the memory would live long in the hearts and Instagram captions of its participants — at least until next year.

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