Regional Event Preview: Mississippi Blues Marathon and Half-Marathon Announced for January 3, 2009
August 4, 2008 from press release (JACKSON, MS) Plans for the running of the 2nd Annual Mississippi Blues Marathon and Half-Marathon were announced today, with the race to take place on Saturday, January 3, 2009. Approximately 1,400 competitors from 41 states, the District of Columbia and three foreign countries came to Jackson for the inaugural race, which took place on January 5, 2008. Organizers are planning for 3,000 competitors at the 2009 race. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi is continuing its role as title sponsor for the race.
"We want to build on the energy and excitement of the inaugural event, and make the 2009 race bigger and better," said John Sewell, Director of Corporate Communications for Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi. "In only its second year, this race is getting a reputation for its challenging course, great entertainment and warm Southern hospitality."
The inaugural race drew an elite field of runners from across the country. The race was won by Alene Reta of New York, New York, in a time of 2:25:01. The women's winner was Janet Cherobon of Lawrenceville, GA, who completed the course in a time of 2:48:37. Runners will again compete for a portion of the total prize money purse of $30,000.
Both the marathon and half-marathon courses are certified by USA Track and Field. The course for the 2009 race will remain the same as the inaugural course, beginning and ending in the historic Fondren district, and working its way through downtown Jackson, Belhaven, Flowood and north Jackson. The course is certified as a qualifier for the Boston Marathon, and 56 of the competitors in the 2008 race qualified for Boston.
"We're confident that we'll have another strong field of elite runners in 2009, and we certainly hope that we'll see more people from Mississippi come out and be a part of the race -- whether competing, volunteering, or cheering," Sewell said. "This is a really positive event for the entire community, in terms of tourism, culture and economic development."
Registration for the race is available online through the event website at www.msbluesmarathon.com. The 2009 race will be limited to 3,000 competitors.
As in 2008, the 2009 race will also be open to relay teams. And, children 13 and under will have the chance to compete in the Kid's "Marathon," a
one-mile course through Fondren that finishes under the main clock.
To support its focus on the blues, event organizers will again donating a portion of the proceeds to the Mississippi Blues Commission. A gift of $10,000 was made to the Commission following the 2008 race.
Additional details regarding the 2009 Mississippi Blues Marathon and
Half-Marathon will be made available at www.msbluesmarathon.com.