Are you a passionate runner? If you're staying at a vacation condo or beach house in the Gulf Shores area during the spring, you have the chance to not only participate in a friendly and competitive race, but also immerse yourself in the scent of the new season. During the annual Azalea Trail Run in Mobile, you'll be racing alongside residents and visitors - including world-famous athletes from Kenya, Ethiopia and Mexico - who frequent the area just for the chance to compete in this 10K race.

The run

Take a run amidst the flowers during Mobile's Azalea Trail RunThe streets of Mobile are filled with thousands of runners during the annual race, and nearly as many non-runners can be found on the sidelines cheering on friends, family and strangers as they make their way through the city. You may want to keep your camera poised and ready to capture competitors as they whip past historic homes that recall a charming past that still pervades through the port city to this day.

If you have a loved one participating, you may want to snag a space on the sidewalk early in the day so you can see them run past. Luckily for you, you can wake up early at your beach vacation rental property and make breakfast there or stop at any of the many restaurants on your way to Mobile.

The flowers

Azaleas of all shapes, sizes and colors will be in full bloom come time for the trail run, along with dogwood blossoms and myriad other flowers. While you are in town, take the time to capture photos of these beautiful buds as they emerge from their winter hibernation.