Monday, November 26, 2012

Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon: The 2012 Recap

 For the fourth year in a row I participated in the Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon that happens annually on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The event is a rural race that takes place on the grounds of Stennis Space Center.

The double loop course (1 loop for half marathoners, 2 loops for full) takes twist and turns that pass barracks, offices, and trees. Many, many trees. On-course hydration support is consistently good from year to year, although spectators are non-existent. The full marathoners receive a custom finisher’s medallion which had a design improvement this year, and every participant receives a cotton long-sleeved t-shirt. Over my years running this race, I’ve placed in my age division 3 of the 4 years, this year having a foot race with a competitor over the last two miles to compete for the 2nd and 3rd place slots.  I came in 3rd, and received a nice plaque to add to my collection.

The course for this race is not for the faint of heart, and certainly taxes runners mentally and physically. I wouldn’t recommend it for a first-time marathoner, but makes for a great low-key race for runners who aren’t into the spectacle of larger races. And at a time when races are breaking the bank, the $35 registration fee is a welcome change. I’ll be paying that price again in 2014 simply to make myself feel better about all the turkey I plan on eating two days prior.

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