Photo | Gulf Shores | Orange Beach Sports & Events
The 2020 Coastal Half Marathon was honored as a 2020-21 Champion of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism by Sports Destination Management.
The 2020 Coastal Half Marathon has been honored as a 2020-21 Champion of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism. The Baldwin County event was recognized by Sports Destination Management, a publication with the largest circulation of sports event planners and tournament directors in the sports tourism market.
The Coastal Half Marathon and 5K race is owned and operated by Gulf Shores/Orange Beach Sports & Events (GSOBSE) and produced by Team Magic at the Orange Beach Sportsplex. The event was honored in the special new category of “Sports Tourism Heroes.”
The races took place just two months after Hurricane Sally devastated the Alabama Gulf Coast. The special category was added to honor those whose events overcame challenges beyond the pandemic.
“This recognition is more than just ‘another award’ — it means so much more,” Michelle Russ, vice president of sales, sports and events for GSOBSE, told Lagniappe. “The Coastal Half Marathon is one of our signature owned events, and it’s a high honor to be recognized for safely pulling off a successful event during the pandemic while in recovery mode from Hurricane Sally. It was a silver lining to host the event and bring some normalcy to participants amid a challenging year.”
In 2020, GSOBSE and Team Magic mitigated the spread of COVID-19 by eliminating the normally included 1-mile fun run and post-race party, implementing drive-up packet pick-up, staggering race starts, conducting drive-up temperature checks and providing contactless awards pick-up.
The magazine issue honors events presented in 2020 (often against incredible odds and in the face of tremendous opposition from authorities), as well as those taking place in 2021. The economic impact to the communities represents a much-needed influx, which was reflected in spectator fees, hotel room usage, restaurant business and shopping in local stores. According to the group, this year’s winners were responsible for contributing more than $400 million to the national economy over the past year.
All winners of awards have been recognized in a special feature published in the November/December 2021 issue of Sports Destination Management. The entire article with full details on the winners can also be found at sportsdestinations.com.
The 2021 Coastal Half Marathon took place the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The top male finisher was Brant Basting of Indianapolis in 1:18:36. The first female to finish, who was sixth overall, was Donnelly Howard of Mobile in 1:28:03. Gulf Shores’ Jim Kinder won the Masters Division in 1:26:20, which was good for fourth overall. In the 5K race, Xander McLaughlin of Orange Beach had the best time of 17:38.
Busy sports weekend
The Mobile Sports Authority (MSA) is a nonprofit sports commission formed in 2008 by the Mobile County Commission. The mission is to create a positive economic and public relations impact through supporting sporting events that attract visitors to the area.
The staff has made sure the schedule is full this month. Here is a list of upcoming events:
- The North-South All-Star Football Game is Friday at Hancock-Whitney Stadium on the University of South Alabama campus. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
This Alabama High School Athletic Association-sanctioned contest features the top 74 rising senior players in the state. It was first played in 1948 as part of the coaches’ convention conducted at the University of Alabama each year. Tickets are $10 general admission and must be purchased at https://gofan.co/app/events/440587?schoolId=AHSAA.
- The second annual Port City Volley Jolley Christmas Volleyball Tournament is set for the Mobile Convention Center on Saturday and Sunday. This is an early-season invitational holiday event for the Gulf Coast Region of USA Volleyball.
Teams participating in this event will be traveling from Snead, Fla., to Hattiesburg, Miss., and many cities in between. The groups range from 12 to 18 years of age. For more information, visit gulfcoastvolleyball.org.
- Wrapping up the year will be the Gulf Coast Holiday High School Basketball Classic starting Dec. 27. Sixteen teams from Alabama and Florida will compete in this three-day holiday classic at the University of Mobile.
This tournament has become one of the most anticipated of the season with many teams featuring NCAA Division I prospects. Admission is $10 daily, while those 10 and under are admitted for free.
For more information, visit gulfcoastholidayclassic.com or call 251-554-4546 or 251-401-1760.
SHC soccer honors
- Spring Hill College’s (SHC) Matthew Moreno has been named to the Division II Conference Commissioners Association (D2CCA) Men’s Soccer All-South Region second-team.
The senior midfielder led the Badgers with eight goals this season and contributed four assists. He scored four game-winning goals in 1,221 minutes played of 17 appearances with 16 starts. He was also a 2021 Gulf South Conference (GSC) All-Conference first-team member.
In the SHC career record book, Moreno finished his career standing in fifth place in both points (51) and goals (17) as well as third in assists (17). He has appeared in 65 games in his four seasons with the Badgers for the seventh-most games played in SHC history.
- Following the GSC championship, named to its all-tournament roster were Moreno and Alessandro Erdelyi. The goalkeeper allowed just 18 goals in 19 starts with 53 saves versus 185 shots, an 11-8 season record, three complete-game shutouts and three shared shutouts.
- SHC defender Robin Stoffels has been named to the Academic All-District 5 team in the NCAA Division II classification for the second consecutive year. A senior team captain, Stoffels started 13 matches for the Badgers in 2021 and led his defense to six shutouts on the campaign.
The financial economics major now moves into consideration for the 2021 Academic All-America Award.
This page is available to our subscribers. Join us right now to get the latest local news from local reporters for local readers.
The best deal is found by clicking here. Click here right now to find out more. Check it out.
Already a member of the Lagniappe family? Sign in by clicking here