Race organizers trying not to make another marathon mistake
BILOXI, Miss. (AP) — Organizers of the second Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon say they’re taking steps to make they don’t repeat last year’s mistake — a memory lapse that left the course three-tenths of a mile (half a kilometer) short of a marathon.
Race director and founder Jonathan “Juba” Dziuba said a 26.2-mile (42.2-kilometer) route was correctly measured and certified, but while setting up, he gave an operations team member the wrong turnaround point.
That meant the race between Pass Christian and Biloxi couldn’t qualify runners for the Boston Marathon.
“I was going by memory and made a mistake,” Dziuba said in an email to the Biloxi Sun Herald . He said organizers now always check the certification maps for that marathon and for two in Baton Rouge, the Louisiana Marathon and the Mardi Gras Mambo.
Registration opened this week for the Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon and associated races Dec. 8-9.
To make up for their mistake, organizers offered discounted registration for the 2018 Louisiana Marathon, this year’s Mississippi event and the 2019 Louisiana Marathon if the offer was not used in 2018.
Organizers have scheduled a Health & Wellness Expo on Friday, Dec. 7, at the Mississippi Coast Convention Center in Biloxi. The Saturday schedule includes a 5K (3.1-mile) race and a “kids marathon,” a 1.2-mile (1.9-kilometer) fun run at Point Cadet Plaza in Biloxi.
On Sunday, Dec. 9, the marathon starts in Pass Christian and a half-marathon race begins in Gulfport. Both finish at the Biloxi Shuckers’ baseball park.