Saturday, June 16, 2018 • Leland, MS • Course Map
Just shy of 200 runners crossed the finish line at last year’s Hotter Than Hades Half Marathon, an aptly named race that takes place at the start of summer here in this small town in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, where temperatures can easily climb into the 90s this time of year and have even been known to reach 100 degrees.
The race begins several miles south of Leland, a small town of about 4,800 people that, despite its size, has been home to some of the brightest creative and musical minds in recent decades. Muppets creator Jim Henson was born in nearby Greenville and was raised here, as was blues musician Johnny Winter and James “Son” Thomas, a folk artist and bluesman.
The town is also home to a stretch of the legendary Highway 61, mentioned in countless blues and rock songs through the years, perhaps most notably in Bob Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited” from 1965. So runners will have all that to soak up and visit while they’re in town for the race, which begins bright and early at 6:00 AM.
But you’ll need to be at the finish line area even earlier — at 5:00 AM — to board the shuttle bus that will take you to the starting line along Highway 438, just east of the tiny community of Arcola. Once runners leave the start, there’s really only a handful of turns between there and the finish line back at Mitchell Distributing, just south of Highway 82.
Along the way, the course is nearly all flat throughout. After they make the first turn from 438 onto Tribbett Road, runners will spend about the next 10 miles or so along the same stretch of road, making their way past rows and rows of wide-open farm fields. The course has a few changes in elevation here and there, but really no major hills to speak of throughout the race.
Organizers say there are water stops every 2 miles along the course — at miles 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 — and several places along the course will be stocked with Gu gel packets, cold towels and misting fans.
Race Weather & Climate
Located in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, about eight miles east of Greenville and roughly 100 miles northwest of the state capital Jackson, Leland typically sees June temperatures between 70ºF and 90ºF, but has seen records fall as low as 47ºF (in 1966) and as high as 105ºF (in 1936).
On race day (June 16), the average low is 70ºF and the average high is 91ºF.
- 2017 Hotter Than Hades Half Marathon Results
- 2016 Hotter Than Hades Half Marathon Results
- 2015 Hotter Than Hades Half Marathon Results
- 2014 Hotter Than Hades Half Marathon Results
- 2013 Hotter Than Hades Half Marathon Results
- 2012 Hotter Than Hades Half Marathon Results
- $50 – $75
To reserve your spot in the early summer 2018 running of Leland’s Hotter Than Hades Half Marathon, register online at the event website here.
Official Race Website
Ever run in the Hotter Than Hades Half? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments box below.