BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Sunday was busy day on Highway 90, as thousands of runners ran from one end of the Coast to the other in a brand new event.
The inaugural Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon spanned just more than 26 miles from Pass Christian to Biloxi.
"I'm racing because it's exciting. I love to run these marathons, and was always looking to run the Gulf Coast. Once they came up with this idea of running from Pass Christian to Biloxi, I was all in," said Brian Hendley.
However, one group of runners was there for a different reason.
"We are representing Avery's Army, which is trying to reach a cure for Retts syndrome for a little girl that we run the race for. We do all the races over multiple states and try to raise awareness for Rhett's syndrome," said Stephen Campbell.
Although the race is a locally organized event, it brings in people from a variety of places. Hendley and his friends ran to end the year off with a bang.
"We're from the Jackson area; Madison, Miss. We have a big running club up there and a lot of folks just decided to run this race as their last marathon of the year," said Hendley.
Both the half and full marathon ended at MGM park where competitors crossed the finish line as spectators cheered. Most runners hope to continue the tradition by running in the marathon next year.
"I think it's great. The whole running community is growing like crazy, so it's a good idea for the economy and local cities," said Hendley.
A beer run and poker run also took place at the event.