1. When will the marathon take place?
The 7th annual Mississippi Blues Marathon and Half-Marathon will take place on Saturday, January 11, 2014, in Jackson, Mississippi. The race start times are as follows: physically challenged start at 6:50 a.m., marathon and half-Marathon start at 7:00 a.m., and the Kids' Marathon at 8:00 a.m. Both the marathon and half-marathon will be open to walkers and disabled competitors as well. There is a separate wheelchair category for both the marathon and the half-marathon.
2. Who will benefit from the Mississippi Blues Marathon?
A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Mississippi Blues Commission. Additionally, the race brings attention to the state and its rich blues heritage. The positive economic impact of this event will be experienced by restaurants and hotels patronized by competitors and visitors. Since the inaugural race in 2008, the Mississippi Blues Marathon has donated $60,000 to the Blues Commission. For the past two years, donations have supported the Blues Musicians Benevolent Fund which helps blues musicians in time of need.
3. Is it a challenging course?
Yes! Get ready for a scenic tour of the Capitol city as the course takes you through historic neighborhoods, over rolling hills and revitalized urban districts. You'll have too much to see to be distracted by any challenges you may face.
4. Will prize money be available to the winners?
Prize money is paid in the marathon only. We offer a total prize money purse of $30,000. The overall male and female winners receive $4,000 each, and can earn an extra $1,000 if they break the course record. The current course record by a male runner is 2:16:48, set by Craig Leon in 2013. The course record for a female runner is 2:36:30, set by Truphena Tarus in 2013.
Prize money will be paid out according to the following schedule:Overall
Tri-County/Metro Jackson Winner
The Mississippi Blues Marathon and Half-Marathon has been certified by USATF since the inaugural 2008 race.
6. Will the race have chip timing?
Yes. The marathon and half-marathon will all use bib chip timing. Relay runners will share one chip electronic "chip" to wear on their shoes or around their ankles. This chip is activated as each participant crosses the start line, at any interim checkpoints on the course, and again at the finish line. This ensures each participant has an accurate finish time and results are immediately available to race organizers.
7. Is there a time limit?
There is a seven hour time limit for both the marathon and half-marathon.
8. Is the event walker-friendly?
You can walk, run – or a combination of both! We encourage anyone to participate, but you are still required to finish within the designated time period for the portion of the race you are participating. Marathon walkers must maintain at least a 15:00/mile pace in order to finish the course within the seven hour time limit. The course closes after seven hours.
9. How many aid stations will there be on the course? What race drinks and supplements will be provided?
Aid stations will be placed about every 1.6 miles on the course. Some stations also will have Gu energy gel and Gatorade.
10. Will there be gear-check stations?
Yes. We will provide you with more information related to gear-check locations prior to the race. It will be in close proximity to the starting line and will be clearly identified in the starting area.
11. Is there online registration?
Yes. Online registration will be available for all races (marathon, half-marathon, relay and Kids' Marathon) and we encourage you to register online once registration is open to the public. You can request a hard copy application, if necessary. We encourage all participants to register as soon as possible since the race sold out early last year.
12. Will there be medals for every finisher?
Yes. In addition to medals for all finishers of the marathon and half-marathon, age-group awards will be three deep in the standard five-year age categories. Age-group awards will be sent to the winners after the race date. Click here to see the 2013 finisher medals.
13. Is there a designated hotel with set rates and a block of rooms?
Check on our Preferred Hotels page for hotel information. When making your room reservation, please let hotel staff know you are participating in the Mississippi Blues Marathon and Half-Marathon, and request late check-out.
14. Are there hotel shuttles to/from race?
It is up to each hotel to determine if they will provide shuttle service to and from the race and the airport. We encourage you to call your hotel and ask if they are providing any shuttle service for race participants.
15. Will you have a pre-race dinner?
We will not host a pre-race dinner, but we hope you'll take the opportunity to experience the local flavor by dining at one of Jackson's many restaurants. Click here to view a list of local restaurant menus and cuisines.
16. Will there be a pre-race Expo? Do we have to pick up packets at the Expo? Is there race day pickup?
Our pre-race Expo will take place at the Jackson Convention Complex. We'll have vendors from around the country with running gear and accessories and you can connect (or reconnect) with other running enthusiasts! Runners should arrange to pick up race packets during the Expo. Limited race day packet pickup will begin at 6:00 a.m. for runners who cannot attend the Expo or send a proxy* in advance. *Proxy must present a signed and notarized waiver from the registered participant at time of pick up.
Please be sure to bring a photo ID for packet pickup! You will be required to sign a waiver at this time. If you plan to pick up a packet for a friend or family member, please bring a signed and notarized waiver.17. Can I pick up a friend's or family member's packet if they cannot make it to the Expo?
A signed waiver is required at the time of packet pick up for each participant. You may pick up a packet for a friend or family member, however, you must bring a signed and notarized waiver completed by the participant. Click here to download a printable waiver.
18. Will there be music entertainment as part of the event?
The Blues were born and raised in the great State of Mississippi, so it's especially fitting to showcase our heritage. Participants and spectators alike will enjoy a great mix of authentic blues music showcasing the rich history, heritage and culture of this time-honored genre of music. Musicians will be playing at the expo, at multiple locations along the course and at the start/finish area.
19. What’s the weather like in Jackson in January?
Average January temperatures range from 55 degrees Fahrenheit for the daily high to a low of 35 degrees. Average rainfall is less than six inches. We've experienced both extreme highs and lows when it comes to temperatures at starting time, so it's best to be prepared and check the forecast in the days leading up to the race.
20. How does the relay competition work?
You have the opportunity to participate in either corporate or open relay teams. Teams are limited to five competitors. The first four competitors will complete five miles, and pass their chip off at the 5, 10, 15 and 20 mile marks. The final competitor will complete a 10K (the final 6.2 miles of the course). You can register online for the relay event.
We do not provide transportation for Relay teams. We recommend that team members share a vehicle. The easiest way to complete the event is to drop off the initial runner at the starting line, then for the remaining team members to drive together to the first transfer point at the five-mile mark. When the first runner comes in, the next runner can start and all remaining team members can then drive to the next transfer point at the ten-mile mark, and so on through the course. Many Relay teams like to come back together about a half-mile or so from the finish, so they can cross the finish line together. This makes for a great photo op!
21. Is there an event for kids?
Yes! The Kids' Marathon (a 1-mile fun run) is open to all children between the ages of 6 and 13. Kids will start at the official starting line of the marathon, and parents are welcome to run along with kids and/or take photos as they come across the finish line. Parents can register their children online. Registration for the Kids' Marathon is only $15 ahead of time, and $20 at the Expo.
22. Can I wear headphones, use a cell phone or push a stroller in the race?
The safety of all participants is our primary concern, and devices such as headphones, cell phones, iPods and strollers can cause problems along the course. We ask that, if you do plan to use one of these devices, please do so with caution and be respectful of the other competitors.
Please note that if you are planning to compete for prize money, Rule 144(3)(b) of the 2011 USATF Competition Rules forbid the use of any type of "video, audio, or communications devices in the competition area."
23. When does the race start?
Physically challenged start: 6:50 am
Marathon & Half-Marathon start: 7:00 am
Kids' Marathon (1-mile fun run) start: 8:00 am