Frequently Asked Questions
When will the marathon take place?
The 11th annual Mississippi Blues Marathon and Half Marathon will take place on Saturday, January 27, 2018, in Jackson, Mississippi. The race start times are as follows: physically challenged start at 6:50 a.m., Marathon, Half-Marathon, Relay and Quarter Note start at 7:00 a.m. The course will close to all participants at 2:00 p.m
Where is the start/finish line located?
The Mississippi Blues Marathon start/finish and festivities will take place at the Art Garden at the Mississippi Museum of Art located at 380 South Lamar Street in Jackson. The Mississippi Museum of Art will be open all day on race day, serving breakfast and lunch in their cafe and offering art activities for children and tours for adults.
Who will benefit from the Mississippi Blues Marathon?
A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Mississippi
Blues Commission’s Musicians Benevolent Fund. Additionally, the race brings attention to the state and its rich blues heritage. The positive economic impact of this event will be experienced by restaurants and hotels patronized by competitors and visitors. Since the inaugural race in 2008, the Mississippi Blues Marathon has donated $60,000 to the Blues Commission.
Is it a challenging course?
Get ready for a rolling course with approximately 400 feet of cumulative elevation gain in the marathon.
Will prize money be available to the winners?
In the past we have offered a substantial prize purse for our top finishers. Beginning with the 2014 event, we have decided to use that money to bring in more music and develop other features that more of our runners will enjoy.
Is this a certified course?
The Mississippi Blues Marathon has been certified by USATF since the inaugural 2008 race.
Will the race have chip timing?
Yes. All of the events use ChronoTrack bib chip timing with splits being taken at several points on the marathon and half marathon courses. The relay division will have a single chip that team members will wear and hand off at the relay locations. This ensures each participant has an accurate finish time and results are immediately available.
Is there a time limit for the marathon? half-marathon?
There is a seven-hour time limit for both the marathon and half marathon. The course will close at 2:00 p.m. Participants who are still on the course at that time will be allowed to finish, but will do so at their own risk without law enforcement or volunteer support.
Is the event walker-friendly?
Walkers are welcome in either the marathon or half-marathon. Walkers must maintain a 15:00/mile pace to complete the marathon within the seven-hour time limit.
How many aid stations will there be on the course? What race drinks and supplements will be provided?
Aid stations will be placed approximately every 1.5 miles on the courses and every mile for the last five miles. Aid stations will supply both water and Gatorade Endurance. Clif Shot Gel will be available at miles 8, 15 and 20 of the marathon and mile 7 of the half-marathon. Medical support will be available at the 5, 10, 15 and 20 mile markers. Portable restrooms will be in close proximity to all aid stations.
Will there be gear-check stations?
Bag check will be available at the start/finish area. Look for signs indicating the location.
How do I register?
Online registration is available for all races (marathon, half marathon, relay, quarter note by clicking here.
Will there be medals for every finisher?
Yes. Our award-winning medals will be presented to all marathon, half marathon and quarter note finishers. A special relay finisher’s medal will be presented to all relay team members, so we encourage relay teams to cross the finish line together to receive the medals.
Is there a designated hotel with set rates and a block of rooms?
Check our Preferred Hotels page for hotel information. When making your room reservation, please let hotel staff know you are participating in the Mississippi Blues Marathon and Half-Marathon. Our Preferred Hotels are offering early breakfast and late check-out for runners, but plan to stay until Sunday so you can enjoy the Blues Crawl on Saturday night!
Are there hotel shuttles to/from race?
Shuttle service availability is is dependent on each particular hotel, but most of our Preferred Hotels are within a few blocks of the start/finish.
Will you have a pre-race dinner?
We do not offer a pre-race dinner so that you can enjoy some of the pre-race dinner specials created by Jackson restaurants, many of which are walking distance of our hotels. Dinner specials will be listed in the race information included in your packet. Click here to view a list of local restaurant menus and cuisines.
Will there be a pre-race Expo? Do we have to pick up packets at the Expo? Is there race day pickup?
Our pre-race Expo will take place at the Jackson Marriott from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday and 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Friday. Vendors from around the country will have running gear and accessories and several local vendors will have Blues music-related items. Expo packet pickup is strongly encouraged. Limited race day packet pickup will begin at 6:00 a.m., in the Mississippi Museum of Art lobby, for runners whose travel plans prevent them from attending the Expo. Advance arrangements are required for race day pickup. Runners may send a proxy* for Expo packet pickup. *Proxy must present a signed and notarized waiver from the registered participant at time of pick up.
Please be sure to bring a photo ID for packet pickup! You will be required to sign a waiver at this time. If you plan to pick up a packet for a friend or family member, please bring a signed and notarized waiver.
Expo hours are:
Thursday, January 25 – 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Friday, January 26 – 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Extended packet pickup hours: Friday, January 26, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Can I pick up a friend or family member’s packet if they cannot make it to the Expo?
A signed and notarized copy of our waiver of liability, along with a copy of your driver’s license, is required in order to have someone pick up your packet for you. You may pick up a packet for a friend or family member, however, you must bring a signed and notarized waiver completed by the participant. Click here to download a printable waiver.
Will there be music entertainment as part of the event?
The Blues were born and raised in the great State of Mississippi, so it’s especially fitting to showcase our heritage. Participants and spectators alike will enjoy a great mix of authentic blues music showcasing the rich history, heritage and culture of this time-honored genre of music. Musicians will be playing at the Expo, at multiple locations along the course and at the start/finish area. On Saturday after the race, the famous “Blues Crawl” will take runners to a number of music venues in the area to enjoy more live Blues.
What’s the weather like in Jackson in January?
Average January temperatures range from 55 degrees for the daily high to a low of 35 degrees. Race day temperatures have ranged from 17 degrees to 70 degrees over the last seven years, so it’s best to be prepared and check the forecast in the days leading up to the race.
How does the relay competition work?
You have the opportunity to participate in either corporate or open relay teams. Teams are limited to five competitors. The first four competitors will complete five miles and pass their chip off at the 5, 10, 15 and 20 mile marks. The final competitor will complete a 10K (the final 6.2 miles of the course). Teams are encouraged to re-unite in the final 1/4 mile to finish together, receive their finisher medals and take finish line photos. You can register online for the relay event.
Maps will be available showing the relay hand-off locations around the course. We do not provide transportation for relay teams. We recommend that team members share a vehicle. The easiest way to complete the event is to drop off the initial runner at the starting line, then for the remaining team members to drive together to the first transfer point at the five-mile mark. When the first runner comes in, the next runner can start and all remaining team members can then drive to the next transfer point at the ten-mile mark, and so on through the course.
Can I wear headphones or use a cell phone in the race?
The safety of all participants is our primary concern, and devices such as headphones, cell phones, and iPods can cause problems along the course. We ask that, if you do plan to use an electronic device, please do so with caution and be respectful of the other competitors.
When does the race start?
Physically challenged start: 6:50 am
Marathon & Half-Marathon start: 7:00 am