Gulfport dash and dine a hit with runners

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The just completed Chefs of the Coast weekend started with a twist.  Organizers created a dash and dine marathon.

Runners from throughout the country took the concept of eating and running to a whole new level. Starting with a 3k run around Downtown Gulfport, participants ended the night with an exclusive tasting of dishes from some of the best chefs in the area.

Paul Eoigt and his family traveled from Destin, Florida to take part in Gulfport's Dash and Dine.

"I found out on the internet that they were having a dash and dine and we thought we'd come over," Eoight said. "On October 2 in Destin, Florida, we're doing our first ever 5k run for the fishing rodeo. So we thought we'd come out and see what's going on."

Eoight said he loves participating in marathons like these to show others in the disabled community there are no limitations. With this being his first trip to Gulfport, he said he was pleasantly surprised.

"It's a beautiful day and people showed up. Looks like it's going to be a wonderful night and we've got a lot of smiling faces, and that's all we can ask for," Eoight said.

Organizers say one reason for those smiling faces is because this event was not a competition; It was just an opportunity for people to come together.

"This is more of a fun family oriented race. It's not like a lot of serious runners are going to come out and run; they're just going to come out and have a good time," said Dean Morrow of Run N Tri company.

Maranda Brewer said the because event was so unique, she was able to motivate her mother to join in the race.

"She has tried for a long time to run, so I was like, come on you can do it, just get out there and cross the finish line. That's all you have to do. So I'm proud of her," Brewer said.

Organizers said the event was such a hit that it just might have to become a tradition.  If it does, Paul Eoight plans to be there, but under one condition: "As long as we have good weather, and just like this guy right here the smiling face. Looks like a good group of people here."

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