What You Need to Know About The 2013 St. Jude Marathon

Posted by Holly Whitfield | December 4th 2013 4107 0

On Saturday, 20,000 runners from all over the world will descend upon our fair city for the annual St. Jude Marathon and half marathon.

If you're running the race, it means that you're not only helping further St. Jude's medical research and treatment of sick children, but you're also a much better athlete than most of us will ever be. 

If you're not running, here's what you need to know:

– Both the marathon and the half marathon start at Fourth and Beale at 8 a.m. Runners make their way through Midtown and Downtown on their way to the finish line at AutoZone Park. If you live or work west of East Parkway, you're going to have some traffic delays. Here's the race map (click to enlarge):

There's also a complete list of when and where to expect traffic delays during the race.

– Parking downtown is going to 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 St. Jude Marathon is more than just the 26.2 mile race. There's also a half-marathon, a wheelchair marathon, 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. Last year, 4,200 Heroes raised $3 million for the hospital. 

– It is going to be super duper cold, so St. Jude has put together some tips to help runners deal with the weather. Some of those tips will be good for the cheering section as well.

– 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. Bring a boom box, make some posters, dress up all crazy*. It's going to be insanely chilly, but it will be totally worth it to see the smiles from people who probably can't feel their legs anymore.

* If you really want to do something crazy to support the runners, you can join the 50 Cheering Elvi who will be dressed in Elvis jumpsuits at the start and finish lines of the race. St. Jude is providing the costumes for the first 50 people to sign up, which you can do here.

Finally, I've updated last year's 13 Places to Carb Load for the St. Jude Marathon post, so check it out if you're running one of the races, or if you're just a normal human person who likes carbs.

Show Comments


  1. Susan says:

    Question? I am visiting from out of town and I'm leaving for the airport around noon…from willett and popular to go down east parkway….so will I not be able to get out of my street at all?? 

    • Holly Whitfield says:

      If it were me, I’d find another way to go just to be safe, because it looks like access to that stretch of East Parkway is going to be pretty dicey. Here’s another document that might shed some light: http://www.stjudemarathon.org/SJFile/sjmmw-traffic-delays-2013.pdf 

  2. Brock says:


    If you're South of Poplar, go to Union Ave. and take 240 to the airport. If you're North of Poplar, you're in the worst possible place to be. You might want to relocate your car to south of Poplar the night before, because it will be easier to cross poplar on foot than in a car. Or just plan to leave for the airport at 7:00 am.

  3. Renee says:

    FYI – MRTC (Memphis Runners Track Club) has been given this information on the St. Jude Memphis Marathon weekend events:

    Please communicate to everyone that a decision to cancel or go forward will be made at 5 am Saturday and will be available on all social and conventional media.

  4. Manuel says:

    Hi Susan! I hope you enjoy your stay in Memphis! 🙂

    IMO, you can drive South to Union Ave., then head West on Union. You'll drive a few blocks, and will pass an Exxon on Union and Cleveland. At that point, stay on the right lane. Take the exit to I-240 South, you'll drive for several miles. Follow the signs toward Nashville at the I-55 fork (the ramp is on the left). Then you'll pass the Millbranch exit and the next exit is to the airport. Follow signs and you'll be set. Here's a Google Maps link too if it helps 🙂 Have fun and enjoy Memphis! http://goo.gl/0zDvAa


  5. Linz Fred says:

    To add to the list of where to get your carbs….the beauty shop restaurant (966 south cooper)serves a daily pasta that is delicious. It’s usually a four cheese ravioli with sauteed veggies of some sort in a zaatar brown butter or basil cream sauce. Come see us! And good luck to all the runners!

  6. mary keegan says:

    I am a hero, this is my 7th year and I am coming from St. Louis. The weather looks really bad and it does not look good for a change. Has anyone heard about cancellation?  I think we will need to cancel for saftey reasons . I do not think it is safe to travel by car in these conditions. What do you all think? Plus how can we run on ice. No precipitation predicted for Saturday but yes for Friday and the temp is 0 so it will be icey on Saturday and then more rain and ice on Sunday when we leave. Thanks

  7. Manuel says:


    This page shows how to receive updates from St. Jude: http://stjudefriends.org/stjudemarathonblog/uncategorized/race-weekend-weather-update/

    Stay safe!

  8. Holly Whitfield says:

    As of right now, the race is scheduled to go on. You can visit the St. Jude Marathon website at http://bit.ly/ILbzGQ or text RACE to 785833 to get updates on your phone. I know they'll be updating their Twitter and Facebook as well. As far as driving from STL goes, I'd look for information and advisories on your local and Memphis news stations to make a decision about road conditions. Be safe!

  9. Holly Whitfield says:

    Thanks Manuel, didn't see your comment before I added mine.

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