BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - For this year’s Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon, course directors would not repeat mistakes of the past.
Last year the runner’s shockingly and disappointingly found out they did not run a full marathon.
This year, the course directors started from scratch and double checked their measurements to make sure everything was exact.
“[The other race director] and I went up on the interstate two times this week re-checking and re-verifying the turnaround spots,” said Jonathan Dziuba, 2018 race director. “This morning, we were both up there on the interstate for the bulk of the runners coming through to make sure they were in the right spot.”
One runner was definitely in the right spot. Coming in first place for the men's full marathon was Ben Schneider from Minnesota. This is the third marathon he's run this year, and overall he is happy to close it out on a good note.
"This is the most fastest time I've run in the last four years so it felt good," Schneider said.
Schneider's wife Candice placed first place in the women's half-marathon. She also set a personal record today.
“This was my fastest half marathon time. It was like a two minute personal record, I think,” Candice said.
Of all of the runners in MGM park Sunday, the Schneiders were concerned about one in particular, Boston Marathon winner and two-time Olympian Des Linden.
“Yeah, she’s one of our favorite runners,” Schneider said.
“I haven’t seen her, I’d like to meet her. So I was really excited about that,” Candice said.
Many of the runners were hoping to qualify for the Boston Marathon, and Linden was checking out some potential Gulf Coast competition.
“For me, I haven’t determined where I’m running next, but if I’m in Boston, I expect some fast company, especially with the results being posted today for sure," she said.
Linden also said it was nice to be on the sidelines of a race for a change.
“To be able to kind of celebrate it from this side and just cheer people on and honestly just be inspired by their efforts is always fun. It’s different,” Linden said.
The race’s co-founders said there is plenty more to look out for in the marathon’s future. More than a thousand runners registered this year for the 5k, half marathon, and full marathon.
This year the Beau Rivage, Margaritaville, and Chevron sponsored the weekend’s events.