Mississippi Gulf Coast Half Marathon Race Recap
This is my race recap of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Half Marathon Race Recap with a little weekend fun thrown in.
Mississippi Gulf Coast Half Marathon Race Recap
December 10th and the 11th was the setting for the inaugural race. Many months ago when the directors of the Louisianna Marathon announced they were doing a race in Mississippi I knew I wanted in! I signed up for the “Double Down” challenge where I ran in both the 5k on Saturday and the Half on Sunday. I even signed up Mr. Sippi to do the 5k.
What’s not to like about running along the mostly unobstructed beach views. While I’ve not attended the Louisiana marathon post-race party it supersedes itself!
Just before 5 PM I left work, raced home where I found my husband behind the wheel of the RV and ready to pull out. I hopped in and Mississippi Gulf Coast we were bound. Since we were doing the 5k the next morning and were not going to arrive before the expo closed, I had a friend pick up our packets.
We met him for dinner at Longhorns in Gulf Port before arriving at the Majestic Oaks RV Park where we’d later meet more friends for the weekend. After 11 PM we were finally settled in and ready for an early start, how early? Way too early, keep reading.
Saturday – 5k Race
I got up early, started my race day routine and shortly after 6 AM we were already in an Uber car headed to the start…..Now, here comes the funny (not so funny at the time) part. The 5k didn’t start until 8:00 AM unlike the 7:00 AM start for the half tomorrow. Timewise, everything went exceptionally well. In record time Uber was there. You always allow some time in case they are not any close. Then you allow time at the race start too. So I did not realize we were almost 2 hours early! Poor hubs tried to tell me we had plenty of time but like any good man, he went along with it.
Thankfully, the Palace Casino is next to the start and we hung out in there instead of standing in the below-freezing temps outside. Yes, you hear me right, below-freezing temps at the beach this is not a normal! We stayed in the warmth until the very last minute and at the start my Garmin registered 30 degrees with 6 mph winds.
I stayed with the hubs the entire race. He’s been dealing with PF and neither of us knew if he would be able to run. I’m happy to report we crossed the finish line hand in hand and pain-free! We each got a medal for our efforts too.
While it was cold the after party was pretty sweet! In true Louisiana style, we had shrimp and okra gumbo. Not something I’d normally eat before 9 AM but it was hot and oh so good! They even had a tuna dip I did not try, various fruits and then I quit looking once I saw they had COFFEE!
We then headed back to our campground where we showered and relaxed. We wanted to go to the expo and we met up with Jodi and Ricky! Although I’ve been IG friends for awhile, Jodi I met last weekend at the Panama City Beach race and Ricky just today. Literally, there was no meeting period at all. It was like we’ve always known each other. They are such a fun couple and we laughed and picked on each other the entire time!!
We went to eat lunch with them and got them checked into their hotel at the Beau Rivage. We did a little slot playing, checked out the pool and saw the sunset!
We hung out all afternoon long until time to go back to the campground to meet up with Valorie and her family for dinner. I met her through Holly at the Montgomery race and since then we’ve interacted mostly about races and camping, they camp a lot too. When she found out I was doing MSGC and staying in our RV we started making plans to stay together. She was so gracious the week before to invite us all to her camper for dinner on Saturday.
Her husband grilled chicken and she had all the fixings for fajita’s and pasta as well. We brought guacamole dip and cheesecake and visited with other friends over our firepit. It would have been very cold without it!
After a long day we turned in early, get this I was in bed and asleep before 10 PM! This never happens!
Sunday Half Marathon Race Day
Again my alarm went off at 5 AM, I got ready and Valerie was kind enough to let me catch a ride with them to the start. It was still cold, 39 degrees according to my watch and with it expecting to warm up fast I wore fewer clothes than yesterday. We had a good 40 minutes before the start but half of that was spent in the porta potty line. We then found Jodi and Ricky took obligatory pre-race photos and at 7 AM sharp we were off!
With a very fresh PR from last week I knew I was just running for fun today. Early on I lost Jodi and Ricky at a stop and I knew they would catch up to me so I continued.
I’ve run several training runs down here so the course was very familiar to me. The water was nice and smooth early and I just knew I’d see a dolphin since they like to play early. I didn’t but it kept me entertained looking After the second mile I bobbled around with paces of 10:07, 10:46, 10:28 and so on. There was no steadiness. I did look at my watch but I mostly went on feel and just ran. I did end up taking 3 GU’s, walked through about 5 water stops and took 2 salt caps which kept me from cramping up.
My last mile was very warm and also my 2nd fastest. I felt like I was flying coming into the stadium for the finish on the ballfield.
Check out this picture I can’t believe it looks like I’m striding out so! That is not the normal shuffle I’m usually sporting.
The hubs and Valorie’s husband and boys all went to eat breakfast and they all were there waiting for us to finish. Valorie was first and I just before Jodi and Ricky.
We all enjoyed great food and drink. Core Power was a sponsor too and I really enjoyed their new Elite drink right after my race! Protein is always good immediately afterward in my book.
This post race party was more like what you see in bigger races. those LA folk sure know how to throw a party too! In fact, I was so impressed with this race until I went ahead and signed up for the Louisiana Half in January. I’ll get a third medal the Beach to Bayou for completing both races! How sweet is that?
I loved this race in my own home state! The expo had a decent amount of vendors. It was really well organized, started on time with plenty of aid stations with both waters, poweraid and most with porta potties and some with Honey Stinger fuel. You just can’t beat the views of the ocean.
The finish is in the MGM Park on the baseball field. The after race activities were plentiful. Lots of food, drink, massages all make this race worth doing and FREE race pictures! That is always nice! The Mississippi Gulf coast is a thriving part of our State. There are lots of great places to eat along with casinos, even if you don’t gamble at all, entertainers from all genres perform here. Que the commercial, Come see what Mississippi is all about and stay the weekend with us.
If you need a Mississippi race, I hope you’ll consider this one.
Have you ever run a race in Mississippi? Which one or if you’ve done several which is your favorite?
Are my friends not the cutest in their antlers?
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Mississippi Gulf Coast Half Race Recap