(MOBILE, Ala.) - The streets of Old Mobile will come alive Saturday morning as racers await the starting gun in the 36th Annual Azalea Trail Run.
At least 6,000 runners will race down oak-shaded streets lined with beautiful old homes, pink blooms of azaleas teaming with the fragrance of purple wisteria.
"We have seven different countries represented, as of today," Race Director Peggy Olive said Friday, "We have 29 different states represented. People get to see Mobile, and they see some of the best parts of Mobile; the old houses, they get to see the Oakleigh District if they do the 5k route, they get to run Dauphin Street."
The route was changed slightly for this years 10k run. The race will begin at 8 a.m. on Claiborne and Canal Streets, and end on Government Street in front of the Mobile Mardi Gras Museum. The bulk of the race this year will be run on Government Street where runners will be shaded by the canopy of oak tries covering the road.
The Azalea Trail Run will be Dothan-Native Winston Howell's 1,400 race.
"I started running December 7th, 1959," Howell said, "It's tough. I had my knees scoped four times, I fell about two or three months ago and hurt my shoulder and arm, but I try to keep it going."
The Evans Family will be running the race together Saturday. Running is a ritual of sorts for the family of three.
To view the run's route click here.
"You can't cram for a test so you do the same thing for running," Keith Evans said, "It's something that we have in common, and you can't ever break that bond, you know. We enjoy doing it together. You just practice throughout the year and hope for good weather."
The weather might be an issue for organizers Saturday with the chance of thunderstorms for the area. Organizers said they will run in rain, but the race will be delayed if there is lightning. The Azalea Trail Run has never been canceled.