BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Fresh off last weekend's St. Jude Marathon in Memphis, John and Amanda Long are still recovering, but ready to give the Gulf Coast marathon a shot.
"It was the first year for it, and it's because it's down on the beach, of course. It's got a good course, PR [personal record] rate will be high, so trying to qualify for Boston," said John long of Louisville, Miss.
John, who is competing in the wheelchair division of the race is trying to finish the 26 mile course in 2 hours and 45 minutes to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Long says his wheelchair is the result of a spinal cord injury.
"The first time I did it, I couldn't go a mile," said John. "And then I just progressed and progressed," said Long.
While John is on his 30th race, not everyone has that type of experience. Delaine Lott of Hattiesburg is running her first half marathon.
"I'm really excited. I've been training since October. So I've had the jitters all this week. Not a nervous feeling of I can't do it, just I'm really excited. I'm ready to get out there," said Lott.
She will have plenty of support. Her and her girlfriends are in a running club and plan to finish the race together.
"We're super excited. We're going to eat tonight and get plenty of rest, and we'll be ready for our run in the morning," said Kelly Wagner.
The group trains together throughout the week, and sign up for races well in advance to keep them motivated. They don't plan to stop training anytime soon because they have a big goal to reach.
"I plan on doing many more, and we have plans to do a full in two years, the year that we turn 40," said Lott.
According to www.mississippigulfcoastmarathon.com, the top two finishers in the 5K and the top three finishers for the Marathon and Half Marathon will receive awards in the following categories:
• Overall Male and Female
• Masters (40+) male and female
• Grand Masters (50+) male and female
• Age groups, male and female: