More than 1,000 runners from 38 states have registered for the February 9 Mississippi River Marathon from Lake Village to Greenville, Miss. The marathon benefits Teach for America, a non-profit organization that trains and recruits teachers to the Delta area.
Billed as one of the flattest courses in North America, the marathon begins in Lake Village, crosses the new “Greenville Bridge” across the Mississippi River and ends in downtown Greenville, Miss.
With a starting line in Arkansas and finish line in Mississippi, runners will pass several significant historic landmarks: Lake Chicot, the largest oxbow lake in North America; the location of the first ever recorded night flight by Charles Lindbergh; the Mississippi River’s new 82 Bridge; the Mississippi River; and the Cemetery where Holt Collier is buried (Collier was the guide of Teddy Roosevelt’s famous bear hunt).
The first full marathon in the Delta, the Mississippi River Marathon’s purpose is to motivate community members to take control of their health through proper exercise and diet.
“Were hoping to motivate community members to take control of their life by setting a goal that is just within their reach, while at the same time provide funding to a social movement we are passionate about,” said Chris Marsh, one of the race directors.
Marsh and race director Bretton Wall were both Teach For America corps members teaching at Lakeside High School in Lake Village when they came up with the marathon idea.
“This will be an unforgettable race day experience that we’re sure you’ll want to come back to year after year,” Wall said. “Not only will beginning runners get the chance to run for a great cause, but experienced runners can qualify for the Boston Marathon because our course will be USATF (United States of America Track and Field) certified.”