GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - In less than a month, the stretch of Highway 90 from Pass Christian to MGM Park in downtown Biloxi will be packed with runners taking part in the first Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon.
"Twenty-six miles of views" is a slogan organizers of the marathon are using to recruit runners from across the nation. Beth Martin has traveled all over competing in distance runs, now she won't have to go very far. Martin is planning to take part in the half marathon and she's hoping her familiar view will help produce one of her best times.
"It helps you relax and makes you think about what you have to be thankful for," Martin said.
Beth won't be alone for the run on December 11, as all of her coworkers at McCormick Family Dentistry in Gulfport have also signed up.
"We've run many races together and we do it as an office to keep ourselves healthy, plus it brings us together," said Martin. "We spend a lot of time with each other, as much with each other as we spend with our own families."
Around 2,400 participants from 44 states are already pre-registered to take part. Organizers hope coming to South Mississippi becomes an annual tradition for those runners.
"We think once they come they're going to fall in love with it and it's going to become part of what they do every year," said Renee Areng, who is the Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast Executive Director.
The marathon will take place on the south side of Highway 90 causing those lanes to be closed during the competition.
"Since it's a point to point marathon and not a returning, we will have a rolling closure on Highway 90. Only the south bound lanes will be closed," said Areng. "It's early, 7:00 on a Sunday morning. Everybody should be at MGM Park by noon, so not much disruption we hope."
Along with competing, participants like Beth Martin are ready to roll out the red carpet.
"We want to promote our home and this is our home," said Martin. "I think it will be good for the Coast."
Along with the marathon and half marathon on Sunday, December 11, there's also a kids' run and 5K planned on Saturday, December 10. You can find out how to take part and more information at MississippiGulfCoastMarathon.com