Guide To The 2019 Memphis St. Jude Marathon

Posted by Holly Whitfield | November 29th 2019 17537 0

This Saturday (December 7, 2019), 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 5K.

Before I get to the info, let me personally invite you to the I Love Memphis Cheer Section at Mile 10. 

I Love Memphis Cheer Section – MILE 10

  • come downtown to Danny Thomas and Vance Ave.
  • park anywhere east of Danny Thomas
  • 8 a.m. to noon (come and go!)
  • free shirts for the early birds
  • we’ll have snacks + posters, or bring your own
  • just bring yourself and enthusiasm for the runners
  • RSVP here

This guide has basic info on routes, traffic delays, times, weather, cheering section and general info, updated for 2019. St. Jude has an entire section on their website dedicated to marathon information. Check it out.

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.

– At 7 a.m., the 5K and 10K start at AutoZone Park.

– At 8 a.m., the half and full marathons start at FedExForum.

– The race route meanders through downtown and northern parts of midtown. The finish line is at AutoZone Park. If you live or work downtown, or the north of Poplar in midtown, you will have traffic delays and road blockages. That may overflow into other areas. It’s OK. You’ll wait a few minutes and it’s all for a great, great cause.

Below is the full St. Jude Memphis marathon course map. See the other maps here. The marathon no longer goes through Central Gardens or Cooper Young, which is probably a good thing since the AAC Championship football game is on the same day in the afternoon.

bigger version: 2019-st-jude-memphis-full-marathon-course-map-route

– If you’re getting downtown for the race start, St. Jude says get there before 6:15 a.m. to avoid road closures. Parking map here. Leaving afterwards (especially before 10 a.m.) will be difficult. Find the Road Closure map here.

– Download the Waze app. It will have real time info on traffic and road closures. Last year, there were multiple changes to the start time and traffic because of weather, and Waze kept up updated through it all.

– You can access a map marked with parking locations here.

– 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. Get comfortable and cheer, relax, and take it all in.


– This year, I Love Memphis will go all out again to support the Memphis St. Jude Marathon on December 7. We will post up near Mile 10 (Vance Ave. and Danny Thomas Blvd) from 8 a.m. until noon. Get a t-shirt while supplies last.

PLEASE join me. Even if you can only stay for a half-hour. The runners need our support.

– 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.


– 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, Tuesday December 3, 2009 it looks like Saturday will be mostly sunny with a high of 56.

– 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 10.

Finally, read the 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.


Show Comments


  1. Karen Manning says:

    I have been to your beautiful city and enjoyed my stay. While there we visited Graceland . That was a weekend trip. Love Elvis Presley’s music !!!! I saw him in concert in Knoxville, Tn. And it was one of thebest concerts .

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