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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – Columbus residents and competitors are getting in gear for the third annual Possum Town Triathalon. Participants spent Friday picking up their packets and registering at the Wilkins Wise Road race site.

This year’s race will welcome a familiar face to last year’s participants. Paraplegic John Long is paralyzed from the waist down, but that isn’t stopping him from working for first prize.

The triathlon pits competitors against one another in a 600-yard swimming challenge, 17-mile bike ride and 3.3-mile run.Race Director Brad Atkins is hoping for a big crowd.

“We love to have as many peoples want to come out and cheer the other racers on. I mean, just get out there and really — we got peoples coming from all over the southeast: Memphis, Birmingham, Tupelo, Meridian — even some peoples down in Louisiana.”

The race kicks off 7 a.m. sharp Saturday morning .

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