Runners get their chance to run through the home of the blues and American roots music of every stripe in the St. Jude Memphis Marathon & Half Marathon, which tests the hardiness and dedication of more than 2,000 full marathoners and 5,000 half marathoners each December. From the starting line at the corner of 4th and Beale Streets, in the heart of the city’s biggest tourist draw, both the half marathon and the full marathon head out on what is roughly a clockwise loop route through Memphis, taking runners past many of the city’s most famous sights, including Beale Street, Sun Studio, the National Civil Rights Museum, the Gibson Guitar Factory and more. Those running the half and the full share the same course for nearly all of the first 13 miles of the race; the full marathoners will split off from the half marathoners just before the latter group turns to head toward AutoZone Park for their finish. Mostly flat and fast (it’s run through the Memphis city streets), the race also provides ample views of the waterfront by the Mississippi River, and finishes at majestic AutoZone Park, home of the AAA-level Memphis Redbirds minor league baseball team. Walkers are welcome, as long as they can keep a pace of 20 minutes per mile or better.
Registration opens on June 1 @ 10 am