Overall Rating
Overall Rating (45 Reviews)
3.2
(45 Ratings)  (45 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.2
SCENERY
2.8
PRODUCTION
2.8
SWAG
2.9
The MS Blues Marathon is a Blues Musical Tour through the communities of Jackson, MS. The Mississippi Blues Marathon will take place in downtown Jackson, Mississippi’s capital city. Starting and finishing at the Mississippi State Capitol, the marathon course takes runners on a scenic tour of the capitol city, passing … MORE
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Recent reviews

    bramms24 FIRST-TIMER '22

    Overall this is a pretty good race. lots of hills the 2nd half of the race. not a ton of runners but there was a lot more people along the … MORE

    Overall this is a pretty good race. lots of hills the 2nd half of the race. not a ton of runners but there was a lot more people along the course than I thought there would be. lots of old buildings and houses along the course as well. no expo, just a packet pick up. after party was decent, beer and music can’t ever be wrong. would recommend if you need mississippi

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    venu.vegesana FIRST-TIMER '22

    Good small race with 2 loops for full marathon Great Support from local police and Volunteers Rolling hills with 2 loops Race day packet pickup and easy bag drop Less … MORE

    Good small race with 2 loops for full marathon
    Great Support from local police and Volunteers
    Rolling hills with 2 loops
    Race day packet pickup and easy bag drop
    Less hotels to start line, Long wait times for Uber/Lyft and not many restaurants around in downtown and need to travel to city.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    pablopelos REPEAT RUNNER '22

    So it was my third time running this race in the past 4 years, but my first time pacing the 2:30 half. Kind of a thin crowd, had a few … MORE

    So it was my third time running this race in the past 4 years, but my first time pacing the 2:30 half. Kind of a thin crowd, had a few runners that were running just behind me on the course. They changed the course again and went up a longish hill near an observatory, plus the measurement on the course was off by about 1/4 of a mile. All things considered, nice weather, nice refreshments, and a friendly crowd. Nailed my pacing by a few seconds.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    tsltan FIRST-TIMER '22

    Whether you’re chasing 50 marathons in 50 States or not, you might want to check out the Mississippi Blues Marathon which is held in Jackson. This city sparked so many … MORE

    Whether you’re chasing 50 marathons in 50 States or not, you might want to check out the Mississippi Blues Marathon which is held in Jackson. This city sparked so many historic moments which have arguably changed the trajectory of the United States. Spend the weekend in Jackson to learn about the important civil rights history that took place in this city, the roots of the blues, and soak in the famous Southern hospitality.

    The Mississippi Blues Marathon course is a 13.1-mile loop so marathon runners run the course twice. There are some small elevations but nothing too hilly. The race was well organized. The bling was nice and there were plenty of Jambalaya and beers at the Finish. Although not a big event, I enjoyed running through the downtown area and neighborhoods. There weren’t many spectators on the course but I still had a good time.

    Check out my YouTube video below.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3
    My Media

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    CJoy FIRST-TIMER '22

    This was my first time in MS, and the people were so wonderful. The race production team was great as well. My only concern, and this is because I'm heavily … MORE

    This was my first time in MS, and the people were so wonderful. The race production team was great as well. My only concern, and this is because I’m heavily addicted, was that there was no coffee at the start. Seriously, I might die without it lol. The live music on the course was fantastic! The reason the race didn’t score higher, and they don’t have much control over this is that portions of the race were in pretty rough areas and the road conditions were really poor in spots. Like easy to wipe out onto your face poor, if you weren’t staring at the ground. The aid stations and cheer stations were AMAZING! All of the people in the city and related to the race were fantastic. Unfortunately, due to scheduling conflicts, there was no actual festival of blues at the completion of the race.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    4

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    hseitz FIRST-TIMER '22

    The packet pickup is adjacent to the capitol, but "Capitol Green" might not show up on Google Maps and the capitol security guards don't really know either. (Pro tip: follow … MORE

    The packet pickup is adjacent to the capitol, but “Capitol Green” might not show up on Google Maps and the capitol security guards don’t really know either. (Pro tip: follow the music). The marathon course is a double loop around the town. The first two miles are in downtown, then we head out past Jackson State University. We run north, mostly on 40 mph hilly roads, and through one neighborhood, before coming back to the capitol. Roads are in phenomenal shape, and the police did a decent job of directing traffic. Previous reviewers complained about mile markers being off and unclear directions, but this year there were separate mile markers for loop 1 and loop 2. They fixed this issue. And I never was confused on the direction. Just follow the orange and/or yellow cones and you’ll be fine. I would advise you to drink at every aid station, because they are only every two miles, even in the home stretch.

    Big ghost-town vibes in Jackson. Virtually nobody out downtown on Friday night or race day. This means almost no fans or supporters besides water stations. There were 2-3 blues musicians, but not quite the Beale Street-like blues atmosphere I hoped for. No loudspeaker music on the course except the start/finish line. I only saw one homemade sign (“May the course be with you”). A fire-and-brimstone preacher yelled at me that I would someday stand before God in judgment, coupled with signs of photoshopped abortion images too horrible to repeat. Really nauseating to see that 10 miles in, and AGAIN at 23 miles.

    Rolling hills, comparable to Tulsa but slightly easier. Post-race food was small cups of beans and rice which was tasty. Some guy postrace said his watch only registered 25.84 miles, and I see another review that agrees the actual distance is sus. This marathon is still a BQ, but if that really bothers you, go somewhere else in Mississippi. I like running in big cities, and Jackson is by far the biggest in this state, but good grief it was lonely without the support. That’s my main reason for 3 stars.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    2

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    johnaaronhowell REPEAT RUNNER '22

    This year featured a new course that went through the Belhaven and Fondren neighborhoods in Jackson! This new course meant that runners had to run up/down numerous hills in those … MORE

    This year featured a new course that went through the Belhaven and Fondren neighborhoods in Jackson! This new course meant that runners had to run up/down numerous hills in those neighborhoods, but they weren’t too bad if you just pushed through!

    Packet pick up wasn’t very organized. There really wasn’t any signage for where runners should go, and I was very confused. Also, the post-race food options were very limited.

    Lastly, when I finished my watch recorded 12.8 miles instead of 13.1. I kept running around the Capitol grounds to finish the mileage on my watch, but I hope it was a technical issue with my watch and not an issue with the course.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    1

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    Tailhook007 FIRST-TIMER '22

    This was 15th running of the Mississippi Blues race series. I’ve been following them for a long time and they always have great production, swag, volunteer support! Thanks to Jackson … MORE

    This was 15th running of the Mississippi Blues race series. I’ve been following them for a long time and they always have great production, swag, volunteer support! Thanks to Jackson State U and the local and Capital police for all the road closure support!

    … so on Thursday it was 77 and 28 this morning at race time… then it warmed up to the high 40s. Layer, layer, layer your clothes. This is a small town race and the course full and half weave you around town. There are a ton of up and down micro hills and more than a handful of long climbs over this course. +600 overall elevation change. The Blues bands along the course are worth stopping for… but then there goes your PR. Thankfully, they are expanding the post race show to 5pm so highlight the fabulous blues bands from this home of the Blues!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5
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    pablopelos REPEAT RUNNER '21

    Race route was changed this year to basically stick to the downtown area, streets are little broken up, weather was a little cold, but no rain at least MORE

    Race route was changed this year to basically stick to the downtown area, streets are little broken up, weather was a little cold, but no rain at least

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    usamhall FIRST-TIMER '21

    Okay this is probably what you don't want to hear! The expo was a bib pickup at the start line not where it was said to be. One of my … MORE

    Okay this is probably what you don’t want to hear! The expo was a bib pickup at the start line not where it was said to be. One of my friends turned his ankle at the bib pickup. The race had the turns marked on the ground however for the first few miles we had 5k, 10k, half, and full on the same course and of course the signage was hidden under racers feet not to mention that the start was somewhat chaos with slow runners in front of faster runners. There was a turn less than 50 yards from the start. So we first saw the industrial side of Jackson before heading out several miles on a boulevard to turn around for our fourth out and back. The race had lots of turns so on the second lap when we only had 220 on the course it was easy to see the turns. There is a section of out and back close to the capitol that is hilly this was probably my favorite section because with the hills and houses it was quite pretty. I confirm what others have said there are holes to turn your ankles in and holes that might break your leg if your shoe gets caught. It was advertised as having pacers and there were none. It was advertised as having lots of music; on the second lap there was none. Lots of promises but not much substance. I told the assistant race director about the signage problem. No no no I am not going back so many other races I can do.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    2

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    tonyafaylean13 FIRST-TIMER '21

    The scenery was beautiful loved the capital. It was advertised there would be Blues music through out the course. We did the 5K and there was no music..really bummed about … MORE

    The scenery was beautiful loved the capital. It was advertised there would be Blues music through out the course. We did the 5K and there was no music..really bummed about that. The course was not well marked and some of the volunteers were trying but weren’t sure which way to go either. We drove 6 hrs. We made memories but wish it would have been marked better and definitely needed MUSIC through the whole course.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    1
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    johnaaronhowell FIRST-TIMER '21

    This was my first half marathon, and I was very excited to run it in Jackson! Overall, I thought the race was good, but there are definitely areas for improvement. … MORE

    This was my first half marathon, and I was very excited to run it in Jackson! Overall, I thought the race was good, but there are definitely areas for improvement. Lots of the route was down and back, with many U-turns along the way. Also, the 5K and 10K runners turned off at different points, and signage wasn’t always large enough/clear about who should turn where. At one point, a large group of runners came onto the route from a side street and asked me where to go for the half/full. They’d obviously missed a turn and gone off course. There were some long hills, but they weren’t too steep. Altogether, I’m glad I did this race, and I’ll definitely check it out again in the future.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    2
    My Media

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    vaidilingam REPEAT RUNNER '20

    Decent race... Expect a few hills along the way. Because it's a double loop you need to really make sure that you have a strong will for the 2nd go-around. MORE

    Decent race… Expect a few hills along the way. Because it’s a double loop you need to really make sure that you have a strong will for the 2nd go-around.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    Evwatkins REPEAT RUNNER '20

    I've run this race 9 times. All but once as a pacer. (Read my review from the 2019 race for detailed references) The 2020 race had its improvements from 2019 … MORE

    I’ve run this race 9 times. All but once as a pacer.
    (Read my review from the 2019 race for detailed references)

    The 2020 race had its improvements from 2019 fiasco, but overall, it still needs some attention.
    *In my humble opinion- I do not believe this race will EVER return to it’s former glory. Like I said in my 2019 review, If you held this race on your bucket list, you missed the bucket!
    For the 2020 event:
    PACKET PICKUP
    -Packet pickup/expo was in a different location (basically next door) than in years past. The website was not updated reflecting this change. PEM did send out an Athlete Guide with the correct location (BUT The address # was wrong. It was 380, not 308. This was not detrimental as it was at the Museum of Art and there was nothing at 380.) The race officials said “we sent it out in an email.” That’s great but having conflicting information your official site with 2020 on every page is not something you should overlook.
    -There were considerably less vendors (which doesn’t really matter to me).

    SHIRT:
    -The shirt was a long sleeve yellow pullover (for marathoners) with the logo on the front. It was 99% IDENTICAL to the 2019 shirt. The difference? 2019 instead of 2020 in the logo. The color (I thought it was hideous) is apparently the corporate color of Continental, the title sponsor.

    RACE:
    -All races started together (5k, 10k, 1/2, full) The start line was really crowded and while there were corral signs marking min/miles, they weren’t enforced. The shorter races should have started after the half/full.
    -The area were the 5K was to turn off was not marked well. There was one volunteer there with a small megaphone saying turn left. It was so crowded you could not see the one small sign located on a light pole above parked cars. We didn’t notice it until our second loop. I’m sure lots of 5Kers went too far.
    -The new course wasn’t terrible (I won’t mention the continuing issue with Jackson’s massive road deterioration problem – lots of potholes and uneven pavement. Not the races’ fault.) It was a double loop course. The volunteers that were out were friendly and helpful. The best Cheer group was in the Belhaven neighborhood. They had fresh tater tots and lots of fruit and candy as well as alcohol. The JSU band was out on our first loop, but not our second. There were about 5-6 other roadside musicians playing. The police covered major intersections well. However, there were 2 busy intersections near the old capital that were not covered and I literally had to stop for traffic on both loops.
    -Very sporadic directional signage. During our second loop we were able to see the 1 (ONE) arrow on the ground at most intersections directing us where to go. Other than the few arrows on the ground, there were no directional signs other than the 5K turn sign and where the races split near the finish line.
    -Aid stations were well stocked and spaced appropriately ( This is a dramatic improvement from last year).
    -The mile markers for each loop were placed together. (Miles 1 & 14 were together, etc.) This made the mile markers for the second loop .10 off, which made pacing very difficult. I finished earlier than I typically do while pacing for fear of being late in. All full pacers had this problem. One of the pacers told our pace group that after she finished and was waiting on a friend, she spoke to the RD. She told him about the mile markers being in the wrong place. She said he didn’t care. (Not sure exactly what he said, but she said he basically dismissed her comment).
    -POST RACE:
    -The medal was nice (sorta shaped like a tire), but had one major thing missing. NO DATE. not even 2020. Nothing. Completely generic other than the race name. (I wonder if we’ll get the same one next year?)
    -I was the 5:10 pacer. When I finished there was only water, bananas and a few granola bars left. They claimed to have had other hot food items, but there was nothing left and no evidence of anything either.

    Bottom Line: Better than last year, but like I said before, this race will never regain it’s former reputation. And this makes me sad. It had major potential.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    1
    SWAG
    2

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    LHausner FIRST-TIMER '20

    Come to Jackson to learn about the important civil rights history that took place here, hear their pride in the musical roots, drink in the warm southern hospitality...but make that … MORE

    Come to Jackson to learn about the important civil rights history that took place here, hear their pride in the musical roots, drink in the warm southern hospitality…but make that the purpose for visiting and not just for the race. This race was harder than I anticipated, with numerous hills and quite a lot of broken asphalt needing repair, so you had to watch your footing. Although, having the route go past so many fascinating historical sites and markers (take photos of the signs and read them afterwards) was awesome, there were very, very few spectators. Those that were there…friendly police officers, cheerleaders & marching band from Jackson State University, group of folks giving out shots of Fireball by their home, one lady giving out Girl Scout cookies…did represent fine southern hospitality. There were only about 5 “bands” other than the marching band in the 1/2 marathon and sometimes that was a guy in a chair with a harmonica & a guitar, just to set your expectations. Stay at the Westin hotel – close to the race & super friendly, helpful staff everyday! If you can, I recommend to watch the movie “Ghosts of Mississippi” before you come for the race so you start to get a feel for the important role Jackson has played in Civil Rights history of this nation. Make sure to plan for at least 3hrs to walk through the interactive Civil Rights Museum, which was so impactful to me and my friends to tour the afternoon before the race. Plan for 40 min to take an Uber out to visit the Medger Evers home, read the Info outside his home, pay your respects, and come back to downtown. Speaking of Uber, you will get a wide variety of Uber drivers & vehicles here – May be worth it to go Premium if you’re not adventurous. Good southern cooking & good seafood is strong in Jackson! Bread pudding @ Estelle’s, Oysters & Po’Boys @ Dragos, musical ambiance, blues museum & appetizers @ The Iron Horse are all great dining choices. Walking into the history of Jackson was powerful, so if you go, make time to learn about the strength of the courageous pioneers that walked the streets of Jackson, and the musical roots that started here.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    1
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    1
    My Media

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    Doogster FIRST-TIMER '20

    A race is supposed to highlight a city's best points. So why was i running past trash and garbage? I mean, how hard is it to get a street sweeper … MORE

    A race is supposed to highlight a city’s best points. So why was i running past trash and garbage? I mean, how hard is it to get a street sweeper or a bunch of volunteers to pick up the garbage along the route?

    Not a good way to sell Jackson.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    1
    SWAG
    2

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    ChuckWalker REPEAT RUNNER '20

    Liked the new course, constant hills but less elevation than last year. Ran out of Gatorade on second loop. No swag and Expo was a joke. Bad course management, poor … MORE

    Liked the new course, constant hills but less elevation than last year. Ran out of Gatorade on second loop. No swag and Expo was a joke. Bad course management, poor signage, two marshals on the entire course, streets with no cops. Bananas and granola bars at the end, had to look to find the jambalaya.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    1
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    2

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    shilpa FIRST-TIMER '20

    I was glad that I was running the half marathon, since the full is 2 loops of the half (they even made the full marathoners run through the finish line)! … MORE

    I was glad that I was running the half marathon, since the full is 2 loops of the half (they even made the full marathoners run through the finish line)! That would have been awful. The course was nice because it highlighted historical points of civil rights and blues music. Road conditions were not so good, lots of potholes. Water and Gatorade every 2 miles. I didn’t count, but I don’t think there were as many bands as advertised. I liked the shirt. Volunteers and police officers were very nice and friendly.
    Where to stay – the Westin downtown -literally ½ block from start & finish line. The friendliest hotel staff I have ever seen. They do an outstanding job and they don’t gouge you on the prices. The restaurant in the hotel, Estelle, has yummy bread pudding.
    Food – Estelle at the Westin (chocolate chip bread pudding), Cultivation hall (15 min outside of the city – an upscale food court, it was ok), Drago’s (15 min outside of the city) – YUMMY!!!!!!! Iron horse Grill (a couple of blocks from the Westin) – live music and a blues history museum with decent food.
    What to do – the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum – very well done, we spent over 3 hours there. Walk around the museum area to see the amazing War memorial and the Merci Train box car (WWII gift from France to the US – 49 box cars filled with gifts from the people of France, which was then distributed to each state). Walk around the city to see the beautiful city/state buildings (courthouse, Governor’s mansion, etc.) and the trail markers for the historical civil rights and blues spots. Drive out to Medgar Evers home (15min drive) and visit this historical site. Follow it up with a viewing of the movie “Ghosts of Mississippi”.

    Fun Fact – Jackson, MS sits on top of a volcano and there is a marker along the race route that talks about it!

    Highlight of the trip – Civil Rights Museum & Medgar Evers Home & bread pudding!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
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    3

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    Supasaiyan93 FIRST-TIMER '20

    TLDR: Fun 2 loop course with some challenging hills, lack of variation in race swag and medals, and insufficient traffic control. Will not run again. Positives: nice course, friendly volunteers, … MORE

    TLDR: Fun 2 loop course with some challenging hills, lack of variation in race swag and medals, and insufficient traffic control. Will not run again.
    Positives: nice course, friendly volunteers, easy packet pickup
    Negatives: Generic medal with no engraving indicating race year, generic long sleeve with small race logo, not nearly enough volunteers at stops, not nearly enough security to keep traffic from nearly hitting runners at several major intersections, most music acts were not set up by the time I ran by them and by the time I returned on the 2nd loop most entertainment was gone., medal strap broke 3 hrs after receiving it. Didnt feel very “MS Blues” other than one or two music acts and the generic medal logo.

    Post race the race director has had some back and forth with former runners and online trolls using the official Facebook page that show that he does not take well and his posts seem petty, had I read what he wrote before hand I would not have signed up. The poor reputation of the race unfortunately seems well earned hopefully in the future he puts more effort into giving the race something unique.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    1
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    1

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    troll2069 FIRST-TIMER '20

    Overall I thought it was descent and would do it again. It was running through the mostly the downtown and some outer areas, and yes there were potholes in the … MORE

    Overall I thought it was descent and would do it again. It was running through the mostly the downtown and some outer areas, and yes there were potholes in the street. Nothing really different than any other big town. Running through campus was nice and I did hear the band playing as I approached, but by the time I got to campus they were gone. It would have been nice to see them as we ran by. I enjoyed the Tots & Shots aid station. That gave me a little added boost at that point in the run. As some other reviwers said there were only a couple of bands playing along the course. For me the packet pickup wasn’t bad, once I found the right building. I went into the convention center instead of the planetarium. Once I knew where to go pickup was very easy. I don’t typically stay long at expos anyway – just in to grab the shirt and number, then back out. But I did purchase some stingers and compression socks – which I really liked and they were cheap, but I already managed to lose them after the run. Parking was easy, as the start and finish were the same place and I was able to park just across the street. The medal I also liked. The blue guitar-shaped medal has been a trademark of the run in the past. This year it was a little different, and I really liked it. I would have liked to see the date on the ribbon since it was leap day. There is the museum of art right there and there are so many blues legends and I think having a local artist design a medal each year with a different blues performer would be awesome. They could have artist playing the guitar and make it blue to keep connection to the prior style. There isn’t much the race can do with the course. A large portion of it will be through the city streets and there will always be potholes, especially in older towns. Overall I think it was good. Just a few minor tweaks and it will be a go-to race once again.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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  1. Races
  2. Mississippi Blues Marathon & Half Marathon