Hit the Road (Race), Delta-Style!
By Tracy D. DeStazio
Over these past few years, as our kids have grown older, we’ve had the pleasure of participating in several road races. Many are fundraisers for local schools, churches or charities. Some family members run the 5K portion. Others walk the 1-mile portion. We always sign up together, though, and do it as a family.
Getting out and exercising as a family team is one of the best ways to enjoy fresh air and sunshine, and to enjoy one another’s company side-by-side.
Beth Stevens, race director for the 300 Oaks Road Race 2018, held in Greenwood, said in a promo that “the family who walks or runs together, stays together.”
As an incentive for group participation, Stevens said the 300 Oaks organizers offer a special discount rate for family registrations.
“Many families take advantage of this option every year,” she said. “We have moms, dads, siblings, grandparents, and other family members who join together each year and participate.”
She said it “encourages even the youngest of children to make fitness a part of their everyday routine.”
Over these next seven months, numerous races will take place in the Delta. For those who are not huge fans of long road races, there are several short treks. For those with more ambitious legs, however, there are several half- and full-marathons. With some of the longer races taking place in early spring, you’ll have plenty time to start training and getting physically (and mentally) prepared.
So, grab your hubby, your son, your grandma, or your aunt…and hit the road!
Upcoming Races in the Delta Region:
300 Oaks Road Races: 10k Run, 5k Run, 5k Walk, & 1-Mile Fun Run
Greenwood — September 15, 2018
This 38th annual event is one of Mississippi’s oldest races and features a flat, fast course along a tree-lined route through the historic streets of Greenwood. This year’s race includes 10k team entries, as well as a color run (Color Me Greenwood!) for the 1-Mile Fun Run. A post-race party happens on the Yazoo River in downtown Greenwood and will include live entertainment, free food and drinks. Contact: Beth Stevens, Race Director (662) 453-4152. Register at: 300oaks.racesonline.com/register
Hog Run 5k (Supports Military Heroes)
Cleveland — September 22, 2018
This race happens along the historic downtown trailways of Cleveland and is part of the annual Pig Pickin’ Festivities at Delta State University. Proceeds will benefit the Kappa Sigma Military Heroes Campaign, which finds new ways to help military veterans and their families. Contact: Austin Klebba, Kappa Sigma Fraternity (228) 223-4317. To register: racesonline.com/events/hog-run/registration
Spooky Sprint 5k & 1-Mile Fun Run
Vicksburg — October 27, 2018
This race is put on by Vicksburg Catholic School and includes awards for each age division, plus a carnival. Contact: Kristi Smith (601) 630-9762. To register: vicksburgcatholic.org
Treyon Haynes 5k Run/Walk for Cancer
Greenville — November 3, 2018
The goal is to promote healthy living in the Mississippi Delta and raise money for cancer research and awareness. All proceeds are donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Contact: Thomas Haynes (662) 390-7270. To register: racesonline.com/events/treyon-haynes-5k-run-walk-for-cancer/registration
Gateway to the Delta 10 Miler & 5k
Batesville — November 10, 2018
The Batesville Rotary Club presents this sixth annual race with a picturesque route taking participants through rolling farmland and past cheering local volunteers. Contact: email@example.com. To register: gatewaytothedelta.racesonline.com/register
Yazoo Delta Half Marathon & 5k
Yazoo City — November 2018, specific date TBD
This fundraising event for Preservation Yazoo includes a mostly flat course weaving through many of the historic sites in Yazoo City. Post-race festivities include food, drinks and live music. Contact: Daniel (901) 274-2202. To register: yazoodeltahalfmarathon.racesonline.com
Mississippi River Half & Full Marathon, plus Delta Double Half
Greenville — February 9, 2019
This point-to-point race runs through Arkansas and Mississippi and over the Mississippi River bridge, finishing in Greenville. The Delta Double Half was created for those who want to run two half marathons in two different states on the same day. The only full marathon in the Delta, this race raises funds to promote children’s education. Contact: John Conner, Race Director firstname.lastname@example.org or (501) 650-3400. To register: msrivermarathon.racesonline.com/register
Viking Half Marathon & 5k
Greenwood — late March 2019
These races begin and end in the historic Cotton Row district of Greenwood. The course passes by many site locations used in the movie, “The Help,” filmed in Greenwood in 2010. Contact: Greenwood-Leflore Chamber of Commerce (662) 453-4152. To register: vikinghalfmarathon.racesonline.com/register
Juke Joint Festival 5k & 8k
Clarksdale — April 13, 2019
These two races are part of the 16th annual Juke Joint Festival in Clarksdale, a 4-day affair with blues music, fair festivities, street vendors and more. Contact: jukejointfestival.com or (662) 624-5992. To register: runsignup.com/Register
Tracy D. DeStazio is a freelance writer and editor living in Biloxi. She has been married to her high school sweetheart for 23 years and they have three children. Some of her best mother-daughter moments occurred with her teenage daughter on the running trails near their house.