27-30 January 2018
After a LONG twelve hour drive from West Virginia, I arrived at the Marriott in Jackson, Mississippi just in time to get my packet for the Mississippi Blues Half Marathon. I arrived late so I virtually went to sleep in the hotel and woke up to start running. Unfortunately it was raining so all the runners lingered over breakfast trying to avoid getting wet. Before long we couldn't wait any longer and moved to the start for the playing of the National Anthem by an electric guitar.
The run was pretty nondescript with a lot of potholes in the roads requiring vigilance to not turn an ankle. One segment did go through a neighborhood with some antebellum houses that were worth looking at. By the finish everyone was soaked so there was not much lingering at the finish. I hit the food tent for a piece of pizza and a cup of rice and beans before leaving. Not only did I want a hot shower but also I needed to get on the road to Gulf Shores, Alabama. Gulf Shores was holding the Big Beach Half Marathon the following day.
I arrived in time to get my packet from the hangout, check in to the Best Western and make it to Papa Rocco's for a meet up dinner with the 50 States Half Marathon Group. Approximately 20 runners got together to have pasta and swap running stories. It was great to be around like minded people. Many were doing the back to back challenge.
The next morning looked like rain but it managed to stay dry for the duration. The last run in Gulf Shores was along the coast but this one ran on a paved trail through the park which got a bit boring. it did apparently have some hazards we needed to watch out for.
The final portion was along a boardwalk and a bit more scenic.
Finish line festivities were at the Hangout and I got to spend some more time with Nicki from South Dakota I met on the route and Pam who I met at dinner the previous night. After a beer and snack I was ready to get back to the hotel for a nap and some time by the ocean.
i had the Hangout for dinner as not much was open on a Sunday in Gulf Shores during the off season. I did some major shopping at the outlets on Monday and took a recommendation from someone to have dinner at Sea and Suds. i enjoyed some gumbo and steamed shrimp to round out the visit.