Annual ‘Halfway to Geaux’ celebration
Tonight runners slipped on their running shoes in celebration of the halfway point to the Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon and half marathon.
Glory Bound in Ocean Springs was filled with runners eager to enjoy a 5K run followed by good music and drinks as they celebrated the halfway point to the Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon. Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon Finish Fest and Retail Director Pat Fellows said, “We keep trying to build the numbers and bring more people to the Coast for the event. It’s a beautiful coast and being able to run along the water is pretty unique for people.”
Last year, over 3,300 people participated in the marathon, half marathon, and 5K combined. This year, Fellows says registrations are up by eight percent which is great news for the Mississippi Gulf Coast economy. “The estimates are that we are putting two to three million dollars a year into the economy because you bring 3,000 people, they stay multiple days, and they spend money at restaurants.”
Fellows says people come from far and near to enjoy the exhilaration of the races. Marathon racer Alisha Ford said, “It was amazing. I didn’t think I could do it the beginning, but then I stuck to my training and it all paid off.”
Runners who attended the ‘Halfway to Geaux’ event were given a chance to preview the 2018 finishers medal before the design hit social media.
Ford says that although the medals are nice, there is a bigger reason to why runners take part in these long races. “It’s the challenge and the feeling of accomplishment at the end that you did it. You ran that long.”
Fellows says that feeling of accomplishment that Ford experienced is exactly why he is so dedicated to his work. “Being able to give the gift of an opportunity to run or an opportunity to get a little bit healthier, whatever it is, making that first step is super rewarding.”