Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon
- story by Lisa Monti
The clever invitation to the inaugural Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon in December - Soak up the Run - is a hard one to turn down for runners looking for a venue with the promise of sun, sand and scenery.
With the 26-mile Pass Christian to Biloxi beachfront as its setting and a weekend full of fun activities, the marathon is having no trouble signing up participants.
“Registration is on the path to blowing away our goal of 3,000 participants,” said Danny Bourgeois, the marathon’s marketing director.
Such enthusiasm for the marathon and its Coastal Running Fest weekend shows that this is sure to become a standout annual event.
While the routes for the half and full marathon run from Pass Christian to Biloxi in Harrison County, two fun pre-events take place in Hancock County on Friday. The Poker Run in Bay St. Louis is an untimed event that starts and ends at 6:30pm on the corner of Beach and Main Street. The Beer Mile starts at 7:30pm at the same location.
All three races end at MGM Park in Biloxi where runners will be welcomed by cheering crowds to a celebration complete with great Gulf seafood, delicious barbecue, cold beer and live music.
The Coast’s shore-hugging route is in some exclusive company when it comes to the scenery, Bourgeois said. “There are lots of runs along the coast but only Big Sur, Calif., and ours have so many miles of beach views.”
The Baton Rouge marathon has raised more than $500,000 for nonprofits, and its economic impact on the area is impressive. The out-of-town participants have had a $17 million impact over the five years the race has been run, Bourgeois said. “That’s not counting the locals, just those who travel to the race. We’re hoping to go down that same path,” he said of the upcoming marathon.
And speaking of paths, Bourgeois sketched out what the runners will experience during the Gulf Coast Marathon: “The wind at their back, sun in their face, on the right are rolling waves and ahead are miles of flat, fast and festive running.”
For information about the Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon, click here.