Continental Tire is rolling to the rescue of the Mississippi Blues Marathon.

The future of the race, which draws runners from around the world, was in doubt after its previous sponsor, BlueCross & BlueShield of Mississippi, pulled out earlier this year. This year’s race, scheduled for January, was cancelled because of bad weather.

John Noblin, the Blues Marathon race director, said Continental’s sponsorship demonstrates the company, which is building a manufacturing facility in western Hinds County, is serious about “being a respected corporate and community citizen in both Mississippi and the Jackson area.”

“The reputation of the Continental Tire brand worldwide will be great for the continued growth of the Blues Marathon,” Noblin said through a media release.

Continental broke ground on the $1.45 billion tire plant in November 2016. The company has promised the state it would hire 2,500 workers, earning an average of $40,000 per year at the 5.2 million square-foot industrial facility between Bolton and Clinton.

“As a company, we believe that mobility is paramount to the human experience, and what better way to showcase that than by supporting this premier running event,” said Paul Williams, executive vice president of Continental’s Commercial Vehicle Tires division for the Americas, in a statement.

is proving to be a good corporate partner to the state, before even opening its doors,”   tweeted.

Now its 11th year, the marathon is scheduled to take place on Jan. 27, 2018. Registration for the event opens on September 20 at 10 a.m. online.


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Ryan L. Nave, a native of University City, Mo., served as Mississippi Today's editor-in-chief from May 2018 until April 2020. Ryan began his career with Mississippi Today February 2016 as an original member of the editorial team. He became news editor August 2016. Ryan has a bachelor’s in political science from the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked for Illinois Times and served as news editor for the Jackson Free Press.