MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Mobile’s biggest annual race draws thousands downtown. The 45th Annual Azalea Trail Run started just as the skies cleared Saturday morning.

A cannon blast gets things started near the foot of Government street downtown. For some, it’s their first time in a crowd of thousands making their way through Mobile.

“We like to run,” said Kelsey Deschamps from Gulfport. “We’re part of the gulf coast running club in Mississippi, and we like to check out other races in the area. This is one, we hadn’t done yet so we’re really excited to check it out.”

Others have been coming to this race for decades.

“I just know I like it and I’m from Mobile and I was born here but I live in Mississippi,” said Tommy Payne from Biloxi. “I like the run, I like the people and I like that it’s been going on for 40-something years.”

The run started on time this morning, even with a lingering weather threat close to the cannon blast time.

“I’m so glad the weather parted and the blue skies came out,” said Azalea Trail Race Director Peggy Olive. “We came out at 5 and some of the streets were still flooded and they showed me their phones and said, it’s fine it’s moving out.”