BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Baton Rouge resident Pat Fellows has spent years with his crew to organize the inaugural Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon set to take place this weekend.
After helping start the Louisiana Marathon six years ago, he's trying to mirror the event on the coast.
"It's cool to showcase the coast," said Fellows, whose parents live in Gulfport. "It's not that you forget where you're from, but it's almost like when you're driving around the coast, it's almost like you took it for granted. Seeing it from the eyes of what we want to present to the runners has been like, 'Man, the coast has come so far.' It's a big sense of pride to present something really cool."
Many runners made their way to the Health & Wellness Expo on Friday to either get signed up for a race this weekend or make some last-minute gear additions. Athletes from 42 different states as well as Canada are expected to take part in the marathon this year.
"It's not just southern charm, it's coastal warmness I'd say," said Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon Marketing Director Danny Bourgeois. "No matter what time of the year it is, even if it is a little chilly right now, you just pick up good people."
The 5K race begins Saturday at 8 a.m., while the kids race is at 9:30. The following day is when the half- and full-marathon are scheduled.