MS Blues Marathon Set to Go Saturday

February 24, 2023

Bill Burke with Toni Wilson
Burke and Wilson

The Mississippi Blues Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K and 5K is ready to run in downtown Jackson. This Saturday, February 25, 1,800 runners from every state, representing 7 countries (and the world) will run through the streets in the City With Soul for this annual event.

The race's numbers this year are bolstered by the addition of some 700 National Black Marathoners Association members who have gathered here in Jackson.

β€œIn deciding where to invite our group to go, we look at a lot of different factors, said Toni Wilson, a board member of the National Black Marathoners Association. "One of the things that really attracted us here is that there is such a rich history of African American history and the Civil Rights Museum. And given that it is Black History Month, we just thought it would be a good opportunity to expose our members to this race and to have an opportunity for them to learn about the history of Jackson and about the civil rights movement as it played out here.”

The marathon and half marathon will start and finish at 7:30 am at the intersection of George and Congress, just north of the Mississippi State Capitol Building.

Aid stations will be located throughout the course at miles 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12, offering water, restrooms and live music, one of only a few races in the country to provide entertainment along the race route.

Race owner Bill Burke continues to be thankful for the Jackson support from local officials, sponsors and residents. "I was out taping the race course last night, and people were stopping in their cars, [saying] 'This must be for the Blues Marathon,'" Burke said. "After 15 years, this race has become synonymous with [this date], and [the people] have all embraced this event."

After participants cross the finish line, volunteers will greet them with complimentary food and drink, including jambalaya, fruit and a Budweiser beer, and live music.

Burke also noted no streets will be closed during the race, except for Geroge Street downtown. He asked drivers to give runners the right of way, and exercise caution and patience from JSU to Fondren.

"We've been hearing a lot of great feedback [from our members] about just how friendly the city has been and how accommodating people have been," Wilson added. "I think this says a lot about the soul of the city. We're very excited to run it in the Blues Marathon and Half Marathon.”