What You Need To Know About The Memphis St. Jude Marathon (2017 edition)

Posted by Holly Whitfield | December 1st 2017 8537 0

This Saturday (December 2, 2017), 25,000+ runners from all over the world will descend upon our fair city for the annual Memphis St. Jude Marathon, half marathon, 10K, and more.

This guide has basic info on routes, traffic delays, times, weather, cheering section and general info. I’d suggest you also read the following posts, all updated for 2017.

13 Places To Carb Load In Memphis
Attention Runners: St. Jude Marathoner Discounts & Deals
You’re Invited! 2017 ILM Blog Cheering Section
5 Things To Do In Memphis This Weekend: December 1-3

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 10K starts at 7:15, the Marathon and Half-Marathon start at 8 a.m. and the 5K start at 8:50 am. They all start at 2nd and Monroe. There’s also a Kids’ Marathon at 1:30 p.m. at Beale and 3rd/B.B. King. Read more.

– 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 a larger version. Click here for the half marathon route.

– St. Jude usually says talk to the MPD if you need specific info about road closures, but I also found this enormous list, which isn’t even all of them. More information if you scroll down to this page.

– 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. They even have the race dates set three years in advance.


– This year, I Love Memphis will go all out again to support the Memphis St. Jude Marathon on December 1. We will post up at Mile 24 (near Sunrise Memphis at 670 Jefferson) from 10:30 a.m. until around 2:30 p.m. and cheer our faces off.

PLEASE join me. Even if you can only stay for a half-hour. Mile 24 is such an important point in the race and the runners need our support. Plus, this year is going to be the best Cheer Section yet. Why?

– We are using the new breakfast restaurant Sunrise Memphis as a home base, which means you can buy breakfast foods and BLOODY MARYS AND MIMOSAS YASSS and use the restrooms (YES!) during the marathon.

– Stax Museum is bringing us music and staff members to help with the “Soul Train” theme. Dress up if you want. It’s going to be lit.

– I will be there for at least 3.5 hours, but you don’t have to! You can come and go, traffic willing to fit your schedule. Go here and here for more details.

Here are a few comments from actual runners regarding the cheer section:

“I’m coming to Memphis for the first time ever. I’ll be running for St Jude in the marathon. These posters will be fun to see! Thanks for doing this!”
– Patrick O.

“Thanks so much for the support! … and perfect location – there’s not a lot of support near there and those last miles are when you need it most.”
– Keshia W.
“Please high five me if you see me. Mile 24 sounds a lot like death right now. Might need one to keep going.”
– Raquel H.


– 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.

– 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 today, Friday, December 1, the weather is looking pretty dang great. Great a jacket and hat just in case and come cheer with me (or any one of the awesome cheering sections). Trust me, it’s way better than three years ago when everyone froze nearly 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 24.

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.

Show Comments


  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!

Leave a Comment