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St. Jude Memphis Marathon turns 20 as 17,000 runners return to the Bluff City

For Keri Nunley, participating in the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend started as a way to honor her father, who died two decades ago after a battle with cancer. After his death, Nunley found out her father had long been donating to the children’s hospital and wanted his memorial fund to go to St. Jude. 

A friend of hers was going to participate in the marathon weekend that year, the first iteration of the annual event in 2002, and invited Nunley to join. While she had never been a runner, she signed up and walked. And the McMinnville, Tennessee, resident has done it every year since. 

Each year, more friends and relatives joined her, and the weekend became a family reunion, with Nunley’s relatives coming from as far as Pennsylvania, California, Florida and Texas. And while it remains a way to honor her father, Nunley also participates for another reason.

“I'm very passionate about the kids,” she said. “They need our help.” 

Her favorite part of the half marathon was always passing by Target House, an apartment building provided for families of St. Jude patients who are on campus for more than three months. 

“You run a little faster as you go by there with a mother standing out there with a sign, ‘Thank you for running for my kids’... It just pushes you to do more. It is a community,” she said. “There's houses along the route in neighborhoods that all of those people have gotten involved, and they're out there every year… It's amazing how much it has grown over the years.”

Over the years Nunley's team has raised about $300,000 for the hospital. 

Saturday marks the 20th St. Jude Memphis Marathon, and Nunley is one of only a few people who have participated every year, according to the organization. But over the past two decades, the event has grown from a small, local fundraiser to an international event drawing thousands and raising millions. 

Over the life of the race, it has raised more than $100 million for St. Jude. It is the largest single-day fundraiser the organization has. The goal for the 20th-anniversary race was to raise $9 million. According to ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, the race is on track to raise more than $12 million this year. 

There will be more than 20,000 people participating in the marathon weekend in 2021. About 17,000 will be running or walking in person, while the rest are participating virtually. Those runners come from all 50 states and 71 different countries. 

Last year's all-virtual event raised $7.5 million. About 15,000 people participated.

The race is also more than a fundraiser for St. Jude, it's a community event, drawing area residents to the course to cheer for the runners and walkers and filling up Memphis hotels, restaurants, cafes and bars. 

Annually — with the exception of 2020, when the races were all virtual — the race has a multi-million economic impact on the city and the wider region. According to Memphis Tourism, the 2021 race is expected to fill almost 4,000 hotel rooms.

(12/03/2021) Views: 482 ⚡AMP
by Corinne S Kennedy
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St Jude Memphis Marathon

St Jude Memphis Marathon

The St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend is more than just a race. It's an action-packed weekend of fun, food and entertainment! Start and finish lines two blocks apart and near a dozen Downtown hotels, lots of restaurants, and Beale Street, the Memphis entertainment district. Dynamic finish in AAA baseball stadium, with use of locker rooms and shower facilities. Wave start,...

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St. Jude Memphis Marathon is back for 2021

After being virtual for 2020, the St. Jude Memphis Marathon is back for 2021.

Saturday, December 4th, participants will have two options on how they want to join in: in-person and virtual. There are different distance options to choose from:

Complete a marathon, half marathon, 10K, or 5K on race day

2-Race Distance Challenge: complete two distances (marathon, half marathon, 10K, or 5K) in the months leading up to and on race day 

4-Race Distance Challenge: complete every distance (marathon, half marathon, 10K, and 5K) in the months leading up to and on race day. 

These COVID-19 safety protocols will be in place for all participants, guests, volunteers, and partners:

Be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered between Wednesday, Dec. 1- Friday, Dec. 3

Wear a mask during the following:

Health & Fitness Expo

Platinum Premier Welcome Party

VIP Reception

St. Jude Heroes Pasta Party

St. Jude Heroes Hospitality

Other event weekend activities as required by event officials

Be free of COVID-19 symptoms within 10 days of attending St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend

St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend is the hospital's biggest single-day fundraising event. Last year, the all-virtual event raised $7.5 million. The goal for this year's event's historic 20th anniversary was set at $9 million, but St. Jude Heroes and generous donors have rallied together and are already on pace to surpass that goal and reach $12 million, nearly $5 million growth year over year.

(11/29/2021) Views: 494 ⚡AMP
by Hannah Cain
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St Jude Memphis Marathon

St Jude Memphis Marathon

The St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend is more than just a race. It's an action-packed weekend of fun, food and entertainment! Start and finish lines two blocks apart and near a dozen Downtown hotels, lots of restaurants, and Beale Street, the Memphis entertainment district. Dynamic finish in AAA baseball stadium, with use of locker rooms and shower facilities. Wave start,...

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St. Jude Heroes reach $100 million milestone for St. Jude Memphis Marathon

What does it take to keep St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® running? If you’re a St. Jude Hero, that means running for a purpose for events like the St. Jude Memphis Marathon® Weekend presented by Juice Plus+®.

For years, tens of thousands of steadfast supporters pushed through every step, mile and intense hour of training and recently achieved an incredible cumulative milestone: $100 million raised in two decades through this event. Their support helps fuel the St. Jude $11.5 billion, six-year strategic plan, which includes tripling its global investment to impact the more than 400,000 kids with cancer around the world each year.

“It’s inspiring to see the difference every one of us can make for the children of today and future generations when we commit to a purpose and work together for good by raising $100 million in 20 years – one dollar, one runner at a time,” said Richard C. Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “Childhood cancer is a multi-trillion-dollar, multi-year problem and fundraising through annual events like the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend is crucial for St. Jude to continue its groundbreaking research and treatment and execute on its $11.5 billion expansion and growth plans.”

St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend is the largest single-day fundraising event for St. Jude. The all-virtual event raised $7.5 million in 2020. The goal for the event’s historic 20th anniversary on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021 was set at $9 million, but St. Jude Heroes and generous donors have rallied in true hero fashion and are already on pace to surpass that goal and reach $12 million, nearly $5 million growth year over year. Because of fundraising events like this, families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.

St. Jude Heroes have access to online training programs and race-day extras – from a singlet to hotel accommodations, depending on the fundraising commitment – and possibly entry into the most exclusive races in the world. Runners can also earn additional prizes based on how much is raised for St. Jude kids.

Since its inception in 2002 with fewer than 3,000 participants, St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend has become a marquee event that not only brings families, friends, neighborhood associations, and businesses together for a purpose, but also creates global awareness around the important work that happens every day at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The event has attracted up to 26,500 participants annually from Memphis and around the world. This growth is due to the continued support of local, national and worldwide supporters who share a passion for the St. Jude mission: Finding cures. Saving children.®  

To ensure a safe environment for all, participants can view St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend health and safety protocols here. Event organizers are following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health officials.

Achieving the $100 million milestone is cause for celebration. St. Jude Heroes and all supporters are encouraged to use the hashtags #StJudeSpirit and #StJudeHeroes on social media and post images and videos related to their St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend participation over the past two decades. To learn more, visit stjude.org/marathonspirit. To volunteer on race weekend, visit stjude.org/marathonvolunteer.

St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend marks its 20th anniversary, and the stories of five runners who have participated every year since the start are featured on St. Jude Inspire.

Raj Betapudi

As a young boy in Akavidu, India, Raj Betapudi would often run with his dad around the high school track. He moved to the U.S. in the 1990s, and when he heard about the St. Jude marathon from a colleague, he felt compelled to try, realizing that through the process of training, he was weaving his past with his present. Building up for the half marathon meant overcoming what Raj calls “a mental block” of self-doubt. His breakthrough came on a treadmill at work when he ran farther than he ever had. He thought of that little boy in India running with his dad. Back then, he’d had no worries, only dreams. Raj ran his first St. Jude half marathon in 2002 and has accomplished many more since. He’s proud to have been part of the St. Jude marathon since the very beginning. “My dad had three kids. A girl, boy, and a girl, and I have the same sequence of kids, and they run. I guess this is the joy of passing (traditions) on. I think it’s just a great joy to be outside and enjoy the nature, and also challenging your body to do more than what you thought you were capable of doing and pushing the limits.”

Miriam Dillard 

On a December night in 2002, Miriam Dillard downed some burritos and margaritas with a friend at a Tex-Mex restaurant in Memphis. The next morning on a lark and without training, the 21-year-old biology major at Rhodes College ran her first half marathon during St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend. And one year later Miriam Dillard – now Miriam Dillard Stroud – became a researcher at St. Jude and embarked on the rest of her life. “Seeing it go from a tiny number of people to a huge number of people, I think it just gets more and more special,” said Miriam, who runs every year. Miriam, who as a Platinum St. Jude Hero for Team Rhodes and commits to raising at least $5,000 for St. Jude each year, has kept all her St. Jude medals, “and I don’t really hold onto race medals.” She remembers that first race in 2002 and how she strapped a portable CD player to her chest so she could listen to her mix CD as she ran. All the runners wore cotton. And no one had digital cameras yet. Her cotton shirt from 2002 “has holes in it, and I’ve had to have it sewn up multiple times because I’m like, ‘I’m not letting go of that.’”

Rich VanMeter

Rich VanMeter’s muscles were aching, tired from the exertion of his 2007 St. Jude marathon, but when the St. Jude Hero looked over and saw his girlfriend Nicole Tice and her son William right where they said they would be along the route, talk about a runner’s high. Rich and Nicole had been dating several months and Nicole wasn’t a morning person, but she and William came out anyway, holding a sign William had scrawled in his little kid handwriting that said, “Go Rich!” The thought occurred to Rich: He’d never been happier. In 2002, Rich had been running with a group of guys where he worked at the Navy base in Millington, Tennessee, who wanted to be in peak shape. One of them brought up the idea of running in the new St. Jude marathon event. How could he have known it would set him on a path to the rest of his life? Rich’s running in the St. Jude marathon led to volunteering at St. Jude, which led to meeting fellow volunteer Nicole. “If I hadn’t started running the marathon that first year, then I wouldn’t have gotten into volunteering for it. …You know it all trickles down. I met Nicole, got engaged, got married, got a son, Adam – two sons, counting William, too. It’s touched every part of my life.” Rich proposed to Nicole in the lobby of Tri Delta House in 2009 on the St. Jude campus, the place they’d met as volunteers.

Keri Nunley

Keri Nunley wanted to do the St. Jude marathon for her dad. “A friend of mine was going to do it, and she said, ‘Hey, do it with me.’ And I was like, ‘Oh Lordy, I can’t run, girl.’ I was like, ‘I’ll walk.’ So I really trained. I trained and trained and trained.” It started as a way for her to wrest meaning from an incomprehensible loss. Her father died in 2001 from colon cancer. She later learned he’d been a devoted giver to St. Jude for years and directed his memorial funds there. She felt the impressions of his handwriting on the checkbook ledger as though they were inscriptions on her heart: Page after page said St. Jude. “We just never knew he donated like he did, and this is just my way to keep his donation going.” Alone as the sole member of Team Hertwig that first year — “Lord, I was so slow. I was out there all by myself.” She walked 13.1 miles, her feet aching but her spirits high. It took 3 hours and 40 minutes, but she did it. Keri walked alone that year but it was the only time she’d ever have to. After that, her family joined her, flying in from as far away as Pennsylvania, Texas, Florida and California to gather in Memphis for a family reunion of sorts, in running shoes. Today Team Hertwig boasts 35 members and raises about $30,000 each year.

Donnie Badlock

What do you say about the energetic jokester Donnie Baldock, who, when the pandemic caused the St. Jude Memphis Marathon to go virtual last year, made sure a 14-year-old St. Jude leukemia survivor was able to achieve his dream of running his first half marathon? Donnie secured the permit for the young man to run with a police escort through his hometown and joined him to set the pace. Who when St. Jude needed platelets, not only rolled up his sleeve, but brought 18 healthy, fit runner friends to do the same? Who finished his half marathon, only to run to volunteer at the full marathon finish line? His wife is a 25-year cancer survivor. He’s kept his bib from the very first race. When he runs, he pins a photo of a St. Jude patient to his shirt. When he talks about St. Jude, he chokes up. Who runs as part of the St. Jude Breakaway Running for a Cause team that trains anywhere from 150-300 runners per year to participate in the marathon weekend for St. Jude? The team has raised well over $1 million. His wife is a 25-year cancer survivor. He’s kept his bib from the very first race. When he runs, he pins a photo of a St. Jude patient to his shirt. When he talks about St. Jude, he chokes up.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Its purpose is clear: Finding cures. Saving children.® It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to more than 80% since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude won’t stop until no child dies from cancer. St. Jude freely shares the discoveries it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. Visit St. Jude Inspire to discover powerful St. Jude stories of hope, strength, love and kindness. Join the St. Jude mission by visiting stjude.org, liking St. Jude on Facebook, following St. Jude on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok, and subscribing to its YouTube channel.

(11/02/2021) Views: 445 ⚡AMP
by Running USA
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St Jude Memphis Marathon

St Jude Memphis Marathon

The St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend is more than just a race. It's an action-packed weekend of fun, food and entertainment! Start and finish lines two blocks apart and near a dozen Downtown hotels, lots of restaurants, and Beale Street, the Memphis entertainment district. Dynamic finish in AAA baseball stadium, with use of locker rooms and shower facilities. Wave start,...

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St. Jude Memphis Marathon will go virtually due to the pandemic

St. Jude Children’s Hospital has made a big announcement concerning the upcoming marathon.

According to the news release, St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend will transition to a virtual experience. The marathon will take place over a four-month period, beginning in August, and end with a virtual race day on Saturday, December 5.

Participants will choose between three options for the virtual experience:

-Race Challenge: complete a 5K, 10K, half or marathon on race day;

-Race Challenge: complete two distances (5K, 10K, half marathon, marathon) in the months leading up to and on race day; or

-Race Challenge: complete every distance (5K, 10K, half marathon and marathon) in the months leading up to and on race day.

After registering, participants will get a commemorative race number, distance-specific finisher medal, premium long-sleeved tech shirt and access to a community of athletes with a shared love of St. Jude and running.

St. Jude said more than $90 million has been raised throughout the history of the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend.

(07/30/2020) Views: 748 ⚡AMP
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St Jude Memphis Marathon

St Jude Memphis Marathon

The St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend is more than just a race. It's an action-packed weekend of fun, food and entertainment! Start and finish lines two blocks apart and near a dozen Downtown hotels, lots of restaurants, and Beale Street, the Memphis entertainment district. Dynamic finish in AAA baseball stadium, with use of locker rooms and shower facilities. Wave start,...

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$12 million raised to battle childhood cancer, other life-threatening diseases at St. Jude Memphis Marathon

This year, 26,000 participants from all 50 states and 17 foreign countries  gathered in the Bluff City alongside 40,000 spectators for the 18th annual St. Jude Memphis Marathon® Weekend presented by Juice Plus+®. Among this year’s participants were more than 7,200 St. Jude Heroes who raised $12 million to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®.

One such St. Jude Hero, Adam Higham, became the 2019 top marathoner. The Collierville, Tennessee resident finished first this year with a time of 2:29:17. Since running his first marathon here in 2012, Higham has steadily worked his way to the top – having earned seventh place in 2015, then working up to second place in both 2016 and 2017.

“In the 18 years of St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend, more than 250,000 runners have come from across the country and around the world to embrace our great city and provide hope for our patient families in what can be the darkest time of their lives. Watching these tens of thousands of dedicated athletes running for a reason and raising more than $90 million in since the event’s inception reminds us of the power of people of every background to unite together to change the lives of those most vulnerable: our sick children from across the globe,” said Richard Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“We offer our most heartfelt gratitude to Adam and to all of the devoted St. Jude Heroes, volunteers, partners, safety officials and supporters who helped make this year’s race weekend the best yet.”

Tia Stone of Searcy, Arkansas was the first female to cross the marathon finish line with a time of 2:58:20. Pius Nyatika of Memphis, Tennessee was the top male half marathoner, and set a new half marathon course record with a time of 1:04:20. Rebecca Robinson of Windermere, Cumbria, England was this year’s first female half marathoner with a time of 1:16:17.

The first to cross the 10K finish line was Dylan Hassett (female) of Alpharetta, Georgia with a time of 34:29. Shortly after, Owen, a St. Jude patient from Jonesboro, Arkansas finished with a time of 40:27. Tyler Pasley of Shelbyville, Illinois – 2018’s top 10K finisher – lead this year’s 5K with a time of 16:04, while Amber Douglas of Camden, Tennessee crossed as this year’s top female 5K finisher with a time of 21:13.

Since its inception in 2002, St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend has helped raise more than $90 million to support the lifesaving mission of St. Jude: Finding cures. Saving children.® Events like this help ensure no family at St. Jude receives a bill for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.

The 2019 event weekend was made possible with the support of 4,000 volunteers; more than 20 sponsors, including Juice Plus+, Landers Auto Group, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee, AutoZone, Lancôme, Shaw Floors, American Airlines, Campbell Clinic, FedEx, Kroger, Mitsubishi Electric, My Salon Suite, My Town Movers, Prairie Farms and more; partners Breakaway Running, Downtown Memphis Commission, the City of Memphis, Memphis Runners Track Club and National Black Marathoners Association; as well as national St. Jude Heroes coach Kevin Leathers.

(12/16/2019) Views: 1,051 ⚡AMP
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St Jude Memphis Marathon

St Jude Memphis Marathon

The St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend is more than just a race. It's an action-packed weekend of fun, food and entertainment! Start and finish lines two blocks apart and near a dozen Downtown hotels, lots of restaurants, and Beale Street, the Memphis entertainment district. Dynamic finish in AAA baseball stadium, with use of locker rooms and shower facilities. Wave start,...

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Dedicated fundraiser Sue Kessler, receives St. Jude Hero Among Us award during 18th annual St. Jude Memphis Marathon

To help kick off the 18th annual St. Jude Memphis Marathon® Weekend, Sue Kessler was recognized as the recipient of this year's St. Jude Hero Among Us award.

St. Jude Heroes are a nationwide alliance of supporters who help raise funds and awareness for the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital® through fitness events. Since the award was established in 2013, it has been presented annually during the event weekend to a special St. Jude Hero for going the extra mile to support children battling cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

Kessler is no stranger to running or supporting St. Jude. The end of 2019 will signify Kessler running at least one mile every day for the last 20 years, as well as her 100th marathon upon completion of this year's St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend.

She began running as a St. Jude Hero in 2016 and has since raised more than $73,000 for the kids of St. Jude. Kessler's energy and passion for the mission led to further involvement as an ambassador, in which she volunteers her time to help raise awareness for the hospital, recruit new St. Jude Heroes, encourage her fellow fundraisers and more.

After sharing her fitness journey and St. Jude story during an event weekend press conference, ALSAC President and CEO Richard Shadyac Jr. surprised her with the recognition of this year's St. Jude Hero Among Us award. 

"Sue embodies the true spirit of what it means to be a St. Jude Hero Among Us, taking her incredible passion for running and intentionally finding greater purpose by choosing to run, fundraise and be a champion for the patients of St. Jude for years," said Richard Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. "She is an inspiration – not only to those of us in awe of her athletic capability – but also to the kids of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital who are in the fight of their lives."

Kessler shared that she picks up a pebble at the finish line of each marathon. With this in mind, Shadyac also presented her with a pyramid – representing the great city of Memphis – made of 100 pebbles from along the marathon course.

Since its inception in 2002, St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend has been Memphis' premier marathon. 

(12/07/2019) Views: 1,072 ⚡AMP
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St Jude Memphis Marathon

St Jude Memphis Marathon

The St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend is more than just a race. It's an action-packed weekend of fun, food and entertainment! Start and finish lines two blocks apart and near a dozen Downtown hotels, lots of restaurants, and Beale Street, the Memphis entertainment district. Dynamic finish in AAA baseball stadium, with use of locker rooms and shower facilities. Wave start,...

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Ashley McTyre is a Cancer survivor, who emphasizes the importance of the St. Jude mission ahead of marathon weekend

In less than two weeks, thousands of runners will hit the streets for the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend. The money raised goes to support children and families who turn to the hospital for help fighting catastrophic childhood diseases.

"I wouldn't be here without St. Jude. They saved my life," said Ashley McTyre.

McTyre was just 10 years old when her life turned upside down in 2002.

"It's terrifying to sit in a room with your family and to be told that you have cancer," said McTyre.

The diagnosis was Osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer.

McTyre underwent chemotherapy, surgery and rehab. All done with the help of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis. McTyre says the doctors and nursing staff at St. Jude made all the difference for her.

"I was here for holidays, sometimes and I was here for birthdays. They made little every day moments, big moments and it was in those moments that I knew that I wanted to be able to make that kind of difference in a patient's life one day," said McTyre.

McTyre is making a difference. She still walks the halls of St. Jude today. Now as a nurse. She joined the St. Jude team five and a half years ago.

"Having made the intentional decision to give back to this mission, it speaks volumes about her character," said ALSAC President and CEO Richard Shadyac Jr.

This upcoming St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend, McTyre along with St. Jude staff want to remind people why raising money for this cause is so important.

"Because of events like this no family will ever receive a bill from St. Jude. Not for the cost of treatment, travel, housing or food," said Shadyac.

Organizers say more than 25,000 participants are expected. They're hoping to raise $12 million.

"The fact that I'm able to walk these halls and take care of patients is because of the care that I received and I'm forever grateful for this hospital and all that they're able to do," said McTyre.

The 2019 St. Jude Memphis Marathon is set for Saturday, Dec. 7. There are still spaces available for the full marathon and the kids marathon.

(11/29/2019) Views: 1,007 ⚡AMP
by Allie Herrera
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St Jude Memphis Marathon

St Jude Memphis Marathon

The St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend is more than just a race. It's an action-packed weekend of fun, food and entertainment! Start and finish lines two blocks apart and near a dozen Downtown hotels, lots of restaurants, and Beale Street, the Memphis entertainment district. Dynamic finish in AAA baseball stadium, with use of locker rooms and shower facilities. Wave start,...

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St. Jude Heroes celebrate 20 years of raising funds and awareness for St. Jude Children´s Hospital

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital® proudly celebrates the 20th anniversary of the St. Jude Heroes® program, a nationwide alliance of supporters who help raise funds and awareness for the hospital through fitness events.

The St. Jude Heroes program began in fall of 1999 with a group of dedicated fundraisers at the Marine Corps Marathon. In just two decades, 280,000 have participated as St. Jude Heroes in thousands of events across the country and the world. These individuals, coming from all 50 states, have raised more than $140 million to support the lifesaving mission of St. Jude: Finding cures. Saving children.®

Since its inception, the St. Jude Heroes program has grown to be one of the top 30 U.S. peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns, according to an annual survey by the Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum. Thanks to the dedication and funds raised by St. Jude Heroes and generous donors, families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.

"I'm astounded by everything our St. Jude Heroes have accomplished – from the program's inception in 1999, to being named one of the top fundraising peer-inspired campaigns in our country just two decades later," said Richard Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. "Although we have come so far since St. Jude opened more than 50 years ago our work is far from over, and I know our St. Jude Heroes won't stop until the dreams of every child worldwide become reality."

One such St. Jude Hero is Sue Kessler. Although she has been a runner most of her life, Kessler was reluctant to talk about her running until she became a St. Jude Hero and realized the impact she could make by doing something bigger than herself. In just seven marathons as a St. Jude Hero, Kessler has raised more than $63,000 for the kids of St. Jude. This December, she will run her 100th marathon in the 18th annual St. Jude Memphis Marathon® Weekend, where she plans to raise an additional $10,000.

"For me, it's not about how fast you can run, it's about using your talents to make a difference in the lives of children everywhere," said Kessler. "St. Jude is doing everything in its power to increase the odds for kids in their toughest times, and I'm proud to do what I can to help."

St. Jude is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. St. Jude freely shares its groundbreaking discoveries, so that every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists can use that knowledge to save thousands more around the world.

While the St. Jude Heroes program began with a focus on running, it has since expanded to include biking, indoor cycling, swimming and more. Today, St. Jude Heroes of all backgrounds can find a fundraising event to match their athletic abilities and interests, with events ranging from spinning, 10Ks, triathlons, some of the world's most prestigious races and more.

Participating as a St. Jude Hero means receiving access to online training programs, race-day extras – from a St. Jude Hero singlet to hotel accommodations, depending on the event and fundraising commitment — and entries into some of the most exclusive races in the world.

(11/27/2019) Views: 986 ⚡AMP
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St Jude Memphis Marathon

St Jude Memphis Marathon

The St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend is more than just a race. It's an action-packed weekend of fun, food and entertainment! Start and finish lines two blocks apart and near a dozen Downtown hotels, lots of restaurants, and Beale Street, the Memphis entertainment district. Dynamic finish in AAA baseball stadium, with use of locker rooms and shower facilities. Wave start,...

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Jaxon Hindman is training for his next marathon, he’s a survivor, who was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2014

“The doctor called my mom back and when she came out again like 15 minutes later, she was just bawling,” recounted Hindman. “I didn’t really understand at the time. Her exact words at the time were ‘there’s something in your head that doesn’t need to be there.’”  

He underwent 30 radiation treatments and four chemo treatments before becoming cancer-free 6 months later.

That same year, Team Jaxon 2 was created, where his family ran the St. Jude race in his honor. From that point on, Jaxon wanted to run too.

With a 5K and two half-marathons under his belt, Jaxon got the okay from his doctor to finally run a marathon last year.

A smile comes to his face, when he’s asked how it felt to cross that finish line.

“Watching that, I started to tear up,” Hindman said. “It’s just so inspiring. I had my whole family beside the finish line holding my banner.”

Now the high school senior is a proud eagle scout and shoots competitive air rifle.

In December, he’s gearing up for St jude, another 26.2 miles.

“That’s been one of the biggest things for me to realize how much of an impact I have on other people being a patient and going out and running a full marathon.”

The motivation comes from patients like himself.  

“I’m running this race for them,” commented Hindman. “So I can’t quit now. They can’t quit either.”

Jaxon’s team has raised over $10,000 for St. Jude Hospital. 

However, he’s not stopping there. Jaxon has plans to study anesthesiology and return to St. Jude to help other patients in the future.

(11/12/2019) Views: 1,322 ⚡AMP
by Rebecca Butcher
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St Jude Memphis Marathon

St Jude Memphis Marathon

The St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend is more than just a race. It's an action-packed weekend of fun, food and entertainment! Start and finish lines two blocks apart and near a dozen Downtown hotels, lots of restaurants, and Beale Street, the Memphis entertainment district. Dynamic finish in AAA baseball stadium, with use of locker rooms and shower facilities. Wave start,...

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Some races are getting smaller but not the St. Jude Memphis Marathon

While many races around the country were fretting over declining registration numbers, the St. Jude Memphis Marathon was in the enviable position of seeing gains. The Dec. 2 event saw 25,000 participants, 8,000 of whom raised funds for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. That fundraising brought in $10.3 million this year. And perhaps more importantly, 30 percent of runners returned after running the race the year before. The life-saving care is surely a factor of success (02/08/2018) Views: 1,640 ⚡AMP
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St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend is upon us

If you’re not taking part in one of Saturday’s races, you can support the runners by cheering them on along the route. One place to do so: Crosstown Arts, which is hosting the “Cancer is a Drag” St. Jude Marathon spirit station from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the parking lot in front of the Cleveland Street Flea Market at 438 N. Cleveland. Bring your noisemakers and posters to cheer on the runners, and enjoy drag performances, vegan pancakes, bloody marys and more. (11/29/2017) Views: 1,325 ⚡AMP
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