Mississippi Blues Marathon
The 2010 Mississippi Blues Marathon will have some new scenery this year for runners making the trek through the more than 26-mile course. The marathon, hosted by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi, has decided to take on a new course that will help accelerate the race by minimizing the number of hills found along the course; it will also reduce repetition of scenery with less back-tracking.
The new marathon route will begin at the historic Old Capitol in downtown Jackson at the request of the museum staff. This location is also ideal in reducing the number of hills located toward the end of the course which often slows an already tired runner’s pace. This venue will offer exceptional photo opportunities and incorporates more historical and cultural aspects into the race.
The new course will run west on Capitol Street, take in the Metro Parkway out to Jackson State University, and come back through downtown on Pascagoula Street before picking up the original course and winding through Belhaven. The stretch along Lakeland Drive has been shortened, and runners will also enjoy a less crowded course through the Eastover area. The final miles will run south along Old Canton Road from Briarwood Drive, crossing over Interstate 55 and continuing south to State Street before finishing downtown.
The inspiration for the marathon came from a long-standing tradition started in the Capital City back in 1976 by the Mississippi Track Club. A similar marathon was held in the Jackson and the Jackson-Metro region that lasted until 1999 when the venue was changed to the Historic Natchez Trace, just outside of Jackson. This tradition ended shortly thereafter in 2006, leaving a void in the Capitol City that BCBS and the Blue Commission were glad to fill.
The Mississippi Blues Marathon & Half Marathon made its inaugural run in early 2008, attracting more than 1,400 runners from throughout the United States and a host of onlookers cheering all the way to the finish line. The event offers a full marathon for experienced runners, a half marathon, marathon relay, as well as a kids’ marathon for children ages 6-13. The marathon emphasizes the history of Mississippi, most notably the blues culture, in an environment that promotes a healthy lifestyle with an emphasis on physical activity.
The 2010 race is already off to a great start, attracting more than 350 runners from 31 states and the District of Columbia according to a press release from BCBS released September 30.
The 2010 Mississippi Blues Marathon is scheduled for January 9, 2010. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Mississippi Blues Commission. For more information or to register, please visit the marathon website at www.msbluesmarathon.com.