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Beautiful weather, personal bests greet first Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon

Sissy Moreland and Marcos Rodrigues cross the finish line together at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016.
Sissy Moreland and Marcos Rodrigues cross the finish line together at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016. ttisbell@sunherald.com

Micah Mohler and Melissa Lilly were the top finishers in Sunday's inaugural Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon.

Mohler was the first person to finish the 26.2-mile course that began at Henderson Point in Pass Christian and ended inside MGM Park in Biloxi. He finished just under three hours at 2:54.46.

“It is not my personal best,” said Mohler, who lives near Seattle. “But I still ran a time that I am happy with.

“Perfect marathon weather,” added Mohler, who was making his first visit to Mississippi. “It was a little cold at the start, but as soon as the sun came up it was great.

“The volunteers on the course, the expo, communications before the race — everything has been really great. But for me, flat, flat courses are really harder.”

Lilly ran her personal best — 3:13.37 — in just her fifth marathon Sunday.

Runners #soakuptherun at the inaugural Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016.

“It was a beautiful day,” said the New Orleans native. “It was a little cool this morning but perfect temperature for running. It was windy, a little bit of a head wind, but besides that it was a great course, really fun, great support.

“It was really good for me,” Lilly said of the flat, scenic course. “It was beautiful watching the neat homes along the way. I really loved it.”

Lilly said that she looks forward to coming back next year, but in the meantime, she is planning to make the Houston Marathon in January her sixth race.

Charles Anderson of Baton Rouge participated in an event on all three days of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon. On Friday, he finished first in the Beer Mile Run in Bay St. Louis. On Saturday, he finished in third place in the 5K Run. On Sunday, he was the second man to complete the full marathon.

“You've got to be really good at drinking beer and being really fast,” said Anderson, who is nicknamed “Charlie Guacamole.”

Anderson ran his personal best in the marathon, shaving five minutes from his previous top time. Anderson said that he began running in 2013. Sunday was his fifth marathon.

“The weather is incredible,” said Danny Bourgeois Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon marketing director. “The weather is the story: a beautiful sunny day. A little windy, but not a super fast day, but looks like good normal festival times.”

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