Mississippi's soulful sound is taking center stage this weekend during the 6th annual Mississippi Blues Marathon and Half-Marathon.
Runners picked up their race packets Friday afternoon during the race expo.
"We plan the next year what are some of the races that we plan to do. We like to go to different places that we haven't been," said competitor Maria Shircel.
Many blues runners are in Jackson for the first time. They live outside the state and compete in several races each year. Going from city to city across the country can get expensive.
"If you travel with somebody it kind of cuts those costs in half, and we also try to find races where we have someone, friends that stay where we don't have to pay for the hotel room. It helps to be reward customers like at the Marriott," explained Jackson State University alum and Alabama resident Freida Dale.
The competitive marathoners also find a way to lace up and save.
"One thing I decided to do was save a dollar for every mile that I run in training, as like kind of an incentive to run more but also start a savings fund," said Blues runner and Columbia, South Carolina resident Danielle Hastings.
Many participants register early and look for coupons to upcoming events to race for a discount. Despite those cost saving measures, athletes still spend extra cash.
Many of the 3,000 runners, who are from 47 states and 11 countries, are staying in Jackson area hotels and eating at restaurants.
After the race, the city of Jackson will be doing anything but singing the blues.
The marathon is expected to have more than a $1 million economic impact on the city.
The race is more than a competition or health and wellness challenge. Many see it as part of the state's creative economy, showcasing its best sound.
"When you have runners coming from Iceland, from Switzerland, from England to Canada, they may not be coming to run here because it's the greatest course in the world; they're coming here because the Blues are huge. This is the birthplace of America's music," said Director of Corporate Communications for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi John Sewell.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi is the main sponsor for the marathon.
A $30,000 purse prize awaits the winners of the race. Proceeds will benefit the Mississippi Blues Foundation's Musicians Benevolence Fund.
Marathoning has seen an explosion in popularity, giving runners a chance to lace up and explore new cities, but the race becomes more of an experience.
"I don't usually get a good time but I always have a good time," Hastings said when asked about her expectations.
Tuesday, June 18 2013 7:31 PM EDT2013-06-18 23:31:40 GMT
Ridgeland police officers and Madison County sheriff's deputies have surrounded a house on Bryceland Drive in Ridgeland. Lt. John Neil with the Ridgeland Police Department says a resident called policeMore >>
Ridgeland Chief of Police Jimmy Houston said the standoff in Ridgeland is resolved.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 1:13 PM EDT2013-06-18 17:13:45 GMT
Jackson Police Chief Rebecca Coleman has turned in her resignation to Mayor Harvey Johnson and will retire from the police force in a matter of days. Chief Coleman, who has served with the Jackson PoliceMore >>
Jackson Police Chief Rebecca Coleman has turned in her resignation to Mayor Harvey Johnson and will retire from the police force in a matter of days.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 5:00 PM EDT2013-06-18 21:00:46 GMT
There is no such thing as sacred ground for some thieves. Two men rob at least four people at a Jackson church. Officer Colendula Green tells us around 6:22 Monday evening the group was standing outsideMore >>
There is no such thing as sacred ground for some thieves. Two men robbed at least four people at a Jackson church Monday night.More >>
Monday, June 17 2013 9:37 PM EDT2013-06-18 01:37:58 GMT
An accident that occurred around 3 p.m. Saturday on I-20 W. resulted in at least one fatality. The accident happened between Bovina and Flowers. A bystander told WLBT/WDBD the multi-vehicle accidentMore >>
A second person has died from a multiple-vehicle crash on Interstate 20 in Warren County Saturday.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 1:11 AM EDT2013-06-18 05:11:50 GMT
A two-vehicle accident at the Highway 18 and Springridge Road intersection Saturday, resulted in at least one death. A one-and-a-half year-old died in the accident, according to Hinds County Coroner SharonMore >>
A two-vehicle accident at the Highway 18 and Springridge Road intersection Saturday evening resulted in the death of a toddler. Officials have made an arrest in the death.More >>
Monday, June 17 2013 3:26 PM EDT2013-06-17 19:26:53 GMT
Jackson police are investigating what they believe to be a murder-suicide in south Jackson Monday morning. Few details are being released at this time, but Officer Colendula Green confirms one maleMore >>
Jackson police are investigating what they believe to be a murder-suicide in south Jackson and have identified both victims. More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 9:23 AM EDT2013-06-18 13:23:30 GMT
A 5-year-old girl set up a lemonade stand across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church compound, and now the group is targeting her. Jayden Sink raised nearly $200 on Friday while she sold lemonadeMore >>
A 5-year-old girl set up a lemonade stand across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church compound, and now the group is targeting her.More >>
Monday, June 17 2013 9:59 PM EDT2013-06-18 01:59:19 GMT
LYNCHBURG, VA (RNN) – Kimberly Burke is used to capturing emotion. As a wedding photographer, she has an eye for tender moments, like the photo she snapped of a Marine and his bride praying that has goneMore >>
A quiet moment captured before a couple wed has brought collective "awws" by millions on the internet.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 8:49 AM EDT2013-06-18 12:49:53 GMT
Simpson County Sheriff's deputies are looking for two inmates who walked off a work detail crew early Monday morning. According to Simpson County Sheriff Kenneth Lewis, Simpson County Adult Detention CenterMore >>
Two Simpson County inmates who walked off a work detail site Monday morning have been recaptured.More >>
WLBT 3 - Fox 40
715 South Jefferson Street
Jackson, Mississippi 39201