Ocean Springs kicked off their Discovery Weekend with first annual 5K run, and a landing re-enactment is set for Sunday. The events are all part of the weekend in honor of explorer Pierre LeMoyne Sieur d’Iberville’s discovery, landing and colonizing of the defendable bluff now known as Ocean Springs, Mississippi.
Background of Weekend of Discovery
Each year, since 1971, the 1699 Historical Society has presented a re-enactment of the events on the day of the landing of d’Iberville’s shore party. These re-enactments have only been interrupted by the recovery efforts in the years following Hurricane Katrina.
The re-enactments have been a point of interest for many politicians over the years. State governors, Apollo 14 astronaut Colonel Stuart A. Roosa, U.S. Representative Trent Lott and others have all had their turn playing the lead role of d’Iberville in the event. This year Mississippi Lieutenant Governor Phil Bryant will take the wig during this weekend’s re-enactment.
5K run a success for local runners
This year marks the first time that a 5K run was used to kick off the festivities, but turnout was thought to have been hampered by a spate of bad weather that made its way through the area the night before. One of the organizers, and Parliamentarian of the 1699 Historical Society, Christopher “Stopher” Haug, said that the event was a success, despite the weather.
Lauren Thurman, another volunteer at the event on behalf of the Historical Society, said “I think we got about 150 people out here.” Adding that they had received some help from the Gulf Coast Running Club, but she was impressed with how things worked out.
Lieutenant Governor makes an appearance
Wearing jeans and a black shirt, Lieutenant Governor Phil Bryant showed for the awards presentation and to meet some of the runners and organizers. During a conversation, he stated, “I wish I could have made it out here to run with you guys, but it just didn’t work out that way.” While it may appear that he was just saying what politicians say, it did appear that Lt. Gov. Bryant was wearing a running style shirt under his button down shirt.
It was also refreshing to hear that the Lt. Gov. is a rather avid runner. After the awards presentation, the Lt. Gov. Bryant mentioned his own running habits, “I like to get out four times a week and run about four miles each time. It will be much easier now that the [Mississippi State] Legislative Session has ended.” In a state that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, leads the nation in obesity, it is wonderful to see a leader in politics who is trying to lead by example.
Information pulled from site on April 24, 2010: http://1699landing.org
Personal interview on April 24, 2010 with Lieutenant Governor Phil Bryant, Lauren Thurman and Christopher Haug