Wellness tourism—traveling for the purpose of promoting health and well-being—is on the rise, especially in 2020 as people are becoming more health-conscious. Whether it’s a canoe race or an organized marathon, visitors are seeking out fitness-related activities to plan their vacations around. Vicksburg, Mississippi, has several race and fitness opportunities throughout the year. Plan your trip around one of these events and feel good about your vacation. Even though these events might look a little different in 2020, it’s always exciting to stretch your legs in a different locale.
Over the River Run (October)
This annual five-mile run is held in October. True to its name, it starts at the Old Mississippi River Bridge, crosses the bridge over the Mississippi River, and ends back at Vicksburg. It benefits the Southern Cultural Heritage Foundation, which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the diverse cultural heritage of Vicksburg, Mississippi, the Mississippi Delta, and the American South. This exciting event is the very convergence of fitness and culture!
Bricks and Spokes (September/October)
See the highlights of Vicksburg on this 10-, 30-, or 62-mile ride throughout the city. You’ll start in historic downtown Vicksburg, ride across the Old Mississippi River Bridge into Louisiana, and then head back to Mississippi and cruise through Vicksburg National Military Park. Riders of all ages and abilities are welcome. Choose your adventure and enjoy the scenery.
Reindeer Run 5K (December)
Bring your pet to participate in this festive race for humans and their fur friends. It happens annually in December, which means holiday costumes are encouraged. The Reindeer Run 5K benefits Paws Rescue, a non-profit, no-kill animal rescue. 2019 was the inaugural event for this 5K race, and future years promise to bring even more merry-and-bright to the friendly competition.
Chill in the Hills (January)
It might be chilly in January, but you’ll warm up fast during this 10K run, 5K walk, or 1-mile fun run through downtown Vicksburg. The event is a fundraiser to support the Grace Christian Counseling Center, a non-profit service providing professional counseling services to anyone, with fees adjusted according to the resources of the client.
Run Thru History (March)
Participate in the 42nd annual Run Thru History, planned for March 6, 2021. One of Mississippi’s largest road races, this 10K run or 5K walk is held in Vicksburg National Military Park. The challenging race course features steep inclines and rolling hills that wind through the scenic battlefield taking you past cannons, fortifications, and trenches that have remained from the war. This one’s a can’t-miss for the thrill of traversing through significant Vicksburg sites.
BluzCruz Canoe and Kayak Race (April)
Hit the water in this 22-mile canoe/kayak race on the Mississippi River. Even though it’s called a canoe and kayak race, you can use any human-powered craft, including paddle boards or pedal-type hobie craft boats. The race benefits Service Over Self (SOS), a non-denominational Christian-based youth service organization serving the Vicksburg/Warren County area.
Mad Scientist 5K (September)
This fun-filled 5K features a flat and fast course through the US Army Corps of Engineers, Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), Waterways Experiment Station (WES), and Vicksburg campus. The race starts and finishes at the ERDC headquarters building and the course runs right through the ERDC campus, past many of the buildings where “mad” scientists and engineers work. The event also features a 1-mile fun run perfect for those who are just beginning to discover the endorphin rush of running.
There’s nothing like experiencing a challenging feat of physical endurance amidst the great outdoors, and now more than ever, it’s important to get creative in staying active while staying six feet apart. Be sure to document all the friendly competition by posting your favorite moments to Insta and using the hashtag #VisitVicksburg and #VisitMSResponsibly.