What You Need To Know About The Memphis St. Jude Marathon (2014 edition)
This Saturday (December 6 2014), 20,000 runners from all over the world will descend upon our fair city for the annual Memphis St. Jude Marathon and half marathon.
If you're running the race on December 6, 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 on Saturday, December 6 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 go to a big PDF version):
St. Jude is directing people to talk to the MPD if they need specific info about road closures, so just not that it will be hard to get around all day. Here's the list from last year, which is not the official guide for this year, just something that might be helpful since the route is similar.
– Big news: This year, I'm going all out to support the Memphis St. Jude Marathon on December 6. I'll be at Mile 22 (near North Parkway and McLean, you can see it on the top right-ish on the map above) with a full-on I Love Memphis Cheering Section from 9:30 a.m. until the afternoon. Free coffee and donuts while they last. Please join me! Check out all the details in this post and please RSVP to the Faceboook events.
– 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 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 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, December 2, the weather looks like it will be warmer than in years past (and way warmer than last year, when the marathon was cancelled due to ice) with a projected high for December 6 in the low 50s. Right now there's a small chance of rain early, but things change in Memphis very fast. I'm hoping for a mildly chilly, clear day. That would be great for the runners, and with a good jacket and hat, the cheerers will be comfortable, too.
– 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 (see this post for details).
Finally, read my post 11 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.