What You Need To Know About The Memphis St. Jude Marathon (2016 edition)

Posted by Holly Whitfield | November 29th 2016 4813 0

This Saturday (December 3, 2016), 20,000+ runners from all over the world will descend upon our fair city for the annual Memphis St. Jude Marathon, half marathon, 10K, and more.

If you plan to run on Saturday, you’re not just helping St. Jude in their mission of medical research and treatment of sick kids, but you’re also a kick-ass athlete. Go you.


Here’s what you need to know.

– The 5K and 10K start at 7 a.m. and the Marathon and Half Marathon at 8:30 a.m. All begin at Fourth and Beale.

– The race route meanders through midtown and downtown. The finish line is at AutoZone Park. If you live or work in Memphis west of East Parkway, you will have traffic delays and road blockages. Below is the full St. Jude Memphis marathon course map.

Click here for maps of all four routes.


Click for a bigger PDF version.

– St. Jude says talk to the MPD if you need specific info about road closures.

– But listen: it will be hard to get around all morning and afternoon in the Midtown/Downtown area. Prepare yourself accordingly. We all know this is happening well in advance.


– This year, I Love Memphis will go all out again to support the Memphis St. Jude Marathon on December 3. We will post up at Mile 22 (MLK Dr. at Vance and Somerville, that part where it curves around) from 10:15 a.m. until around 2 p.m. and cheer our faces off.

PLEASE join me. Even if you can only stay for an hour. Mile 22 is such an important point in the race and the runners need our support. Go here and here for more details, plus testimonials from runners who are counting on YOU to cheer them on specifically at Mile 22.


– Parking downtown will be tough. If you’re headed downtown to race or go to work, give yourself a ton of extra time. You can see a parking and hotel map here.

– The Memphis St. Jude Marathon is more than just the 26.2 mile race. There’s also a marathon relay, a half-marathon, a wheelchair marathon, a 10K, a 5K, and a family race.

– Some of the people running in Saturday’s races are St. Jude Heroes. These are people who have raised money for St. Jude during their training through donations. In 2012, 4,200 Heroes raised $3 million for the hospital.

– As of Tuesday, November 29, the weather is looking a bit rainy with a high of 50. Wear a poncho, grab a coat, get a bear onesie (see above), and get out there to cheer with me. Trust me, it’s way better than 2 years ago when everyone froze to death, or several years back when they had to cancel the marathon because of ice.


– It’s too late to register for the races, but I highly recommend getting up early and parking yourself along the race route to cheer on the runners. Take a look at the race route, or if you can, join me at Mile 22.

Finally, read my post from last year with 13 Places To Carb Load for the St. Jude Marathon (or Anytime). Check it out if you’re running one of the races, or if you’re just a normal human person who likes carbs.


Author: Holly Whitfield

I write about what’s going on with Memphis music, food, arts, events, sports, people, and culture. Memphians love Elvis and barbeque with a passion that must be seen to be believed, but there is so much more to this place.

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  1. David Lowes says:

    The Brass Door at 152 Madison will be open from 6:30am for a pre-race bag drop and free coffee for runners. Good luck everyone!

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