Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon
Organizers of a new marathon event anticipate attracting runners from across the country. While the marathon route runs through Harrison County, two fun pre-events will take place on December 9th in Bay St. Louis.
- story by Lisa Monti
The marathon weekend kicks off Fri., Dec. 9, with a daylong health and fitness expo at the Mississippi Coast Convention Center in Biloxi.
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.
On Saturday, Dec. 10, there’s a 5K and a kid’s 1.2-mile fun run and on Sunday, Dec. 11, it’s the full marathon and half marathon.
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.”
Bourgeois said that besides the appeal of the beach race path, the new marathon is coming together so well because it’s modeled after the five-year-old marathon in Baton Rouge, which is expected to break the 9,000-participant mark this year.
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.