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Everything you need to know about the Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon this weekend

The Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon will attract long-distance runners from across the nation this weekend with events taking place Saturday-Sunday.

The full marathon, which begins Sunday morning at Henderson Point in Pass Christian, will feature runners from 40 states and five countries.

Here’s a look at what this year’s event has to offer:

Margaritaville 5K: A race that everyone, from the most experienced runner to the novice, can appreciate. Post-Race festivities will include local cuisine and beer.

Chevron Mississippi Gulf Coast Kids Marathon: 1-mile race designed as a way to introduce kids to running.

Harrah’s Gulf Coast Beer Mile at The Blind Tiger: Combines speed drinking and running for a 1-mile race. The race is a four-loop course around The Blind Tiger on Harrah’s Great Lawn. Runners drink a 12-ounce beer before beginning each loop. There is a four-person relay wave at 3 p.m. and an individual wave at 4 p.m. Come run or watch.

Mississippi Gulf Coast Half Marathon: Involves 13.1 miles of unobstructed beach views.

Mississippi Gulf Coast Full Marathon: Features a fast and fast course from Pass Christian to Biloxi. The course is a USATF-certified Boston Qualifier.

Coors Light Finish Festival: After running the marathon and half marathon, runners can enjoy food from local partners and beer from Coors Light. Runners receive six free tastes of food or beer with their big/entry. Food includes dishes from Half Shell Oyster House, Murky Waters and Uncle Larry’s.

Registration fees: $135 for marathon, $125 for half marathon, $40 for 3.1 mile 5K, $100 for relay team of four for the Harrah’s Beer Mile at The Blind Tiger, $30 for individual registration for the Harrah’s Beer Mile at The Blind Tiger, $25 for the Chevron Kids Marathon, $175 for the full marathon + 5K, $165 for the half marathon + 5K. Go to mississippigulfcoastmarathon.com for registration, more info.

Celebrity runner: 2018 Boston Marathon winner Desiree Linden will take part in the Margaritaville 5K on Saturday. She will also be on hand to congratulate winners of the half marathon and marathon on Sunday. Linden became the first American to win the women’s category at the Boston Marathon in 33 years. There will be a Q&A session with Linden at Point Cadet Plaza at 8:45 a.m. on Saturday.

Sunday traffic impact: In Pass Christian, east and westbound lanes of U.S. 90 at Henderson Point will be closed to vehicle traffic from 6:45-7:15 a.m. At 7:15 a.m., eastbound traffic will be allowed to travel.

West and eastbound traffic will be held while runners cross U.S. 90 into the outside eastbound lane of traffic at E. Scenic Drive. Cars will be allowed to cross the path when safe to do so. The time of impact is expected to be between 7:20 a.m. and 8:10 a.m.

In Gulfport, both east and westbound lanes of U.S. 90 at Jones Park will be closed to vehicle traffic from 6:45-7:15 a.m. At 7:15 a.m., westbound traffic will be allowed to travel. Both lanes of eastbound traffic will be closed through Courthouse Road until 7:45 a.m. One lane of eastbound traffic will be opened from Jones Park starting at 7:45 a.m.

There will be one lane of east-bound traffic open from this point all the way from Interstate 110 on-ramp in Biloxi. Two lanes will open east of the on-ramp.

Both northbound I-110 entrance ramps in Biloxi will be closed from 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Vehicles may enter north-bound on I-110 on the Division Street on-ramps.

Event schedule

Friday

11 a.m.-7 p.m. — Runner village and packet pickup at MGM Park

Saturday

6-7:30 am — Race day packet pickup at Point Cadet Plaza

7 a.m. — Gear check opens at Point Cadet Plaza

7:50 a.m. — Announcements and national anthem at Point Cadet Plaza

8 am — Start of Margaritaville 5K at Point Cadet Plaza

8:30 a.m. — Food village & Let’s Go! Gulf Coast Kids Zone at Point Cadet Plaza

8:45 a.m. — Q&A with Boston Marathon Winner Des Linden

8:50 p.m. — Announcements for top finishers and Margaritaville 5K awards at Point Cadet Plaza

9:25 p.m. — Announcements and national anthem at Point Cadet Plaza

9:30 a.m. — Start of Chevron Mississippi Gulf Coast Kids Marathon at Point Cadet Plaza

10 a.m. — Runner village and packet pickup at MGM Park

1:30 p.m. — Harrah’s Gulf Coast Beer Mile at The Blind Tiger packet pickup

3 p.m. — Harrah’s Gulf Coast Beer Mile at The Blind Tiger Relay Waves

4 p.m. — Harrah’s Gulf Coast Beer Mile at The Blind Tiger Individual Waves

5 p.m. — Harrah’s Gulf Coast Beer Mile at The Blind Tiger Awards – at The Blind Tiger.

Sunday

4:30-5:30 a.m. — Race day packet pickup at MGM Park

4:30 a.m. — Shuttle depot opens at MGM Park

5:45 a.m. — Last shuttle departs for full marathon start line at MGM Park

6:10 a.m. — Last shuttle departs for half marathon start line at MGM Park

6:30 a.m. — Highway 90 traffic is stopped and corrals open for runners

6:50 a.m. — Announcements and national anthem for start lines for half and full marathons

6:55 a.m. — Ainsley’s Angels’ wave start

7 a.m. — Start for half and full marathons

8 a.m. — Finish Festival opens at MGM Park

11 a.m. — Announcements of top finishers and half marathon awards at MGM Park

1 p.m. — Announcements of top finishers and marathon awards at MGM Park

2 p.m. — Race concludes and finish festival closes.

Patrick Magee: 228-896-2333, @CoastCoverage.
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