RACE DAY GUIDE: Thousands prepare for St. Jude Memphis Marathon - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

RACE DAY GUIDE: Thousands prepare for St. Jude Memphis Marathon

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More than 20,000 people signed up for the 26.2-mile race course, which kicks off its 12th year Saturday, December 7. More than 20,000 people signed up for the 26.2-mile race course, which kicks off its 12th year Saturday, December 7.
Last year, St. Jude Heroes—a special group of race participants who raise funds by obtaining pledges from friends and family—generated a record $6 million from the nationally-recognized marathon. Last year, St. Jude Heroes—a special group of race participants who raise funds by obtaining pledges from friends and family—generated a record $6 million from the nationally-recognized marathon.
Runner's World magazine praised St. Jude half-marathon's scenic tour. Runner's World magazine praised St. Jude half-marathon's scenic tour.
The image shows a detailed map of the course. The image shows a detailed map of the course.

Race officials announced the St. Jude Marathon 2013 will be canceled due to weather conditions. Click here for an official statement.

(WMC-TV) - Thousands of runners will gather downtown this weekend to fill the streets with hope for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

More than 20,000 people signed up for the 26.2-mile race course, which kicks off its 12th year Saturday, December 7.

Last year, St. Jude Heroes—a special group of race participants who raise funds by obtaining pledges from friends and family—generated a record $6 million from the nationally-recognized marathon. It costs St. Jude $1.8 million per day to offer free research and care to children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing, and food.

"The biggest thing is the money that goes to St. Jude. That's the biggest reason we run ... [It] is to support those kids," said marathon participant Jerry Jones after the last year's race. "We've come down here for the last seven years to do this."

Runner's World magazine praised St. Jude half-marathon's scenic tour as one of the best half-marathons in the country in February. The course includes landmarks such as Sun Studios, the National Civil Rights Museum, AutoZone Park, Beale Street, and the St. Jude campus.

Staying warm and safe

As of Thursday, organizers say the St. Jude Marathon is still on despite a threat of wintry weather. Organizers have not changed the time of the race.

ALSAC/St. Jude CEO Richard Shadyac Jr. released the following statement in regards to questions about a contingency plan:

"Safety is our foremost concern. With this in mind, we are closely monitoring the weekend forecast and are in direct communication with the more than 20,000 registered participants about possible weather conditions and tips for staying warm. At this time we do not expect the conditions to temper the enthusiasm of participants, volunteers or the thousands of spectators who come out each year to support this great event. For updates, visit stjude.org."

Shadyac is not planning on canceling the race, but says his team will do what is best for safety. The team ordered additional heaters, heating stations, blankets, hand warmers, and other supplies to deal with cold weather.

Temperatures are expected to fall into the 20s Friday night. Read more about weather here.

A supply of sand will be available to put on slick roads if necessary. Crews will watch the roads overnight this weekend to determine if it is needed along paths of the race. If conditions are deemed unsafe, participants will be notified no later than 5 a.m. Saturday. Click here for more.

You can sign up for text alerts from St. Jude Marathon organizers by texting RACE to 785833.

The Memphis Police Department along with other local, state and federal law enforcement agencies will conduct operations during all marathon weekend events in an effort to provide an enhanced level of safety and security to athletes, spectators, staff and volunteers.


To learn more about tracking participants and packet pick up, click here. For race weekend details, click here.

Spectators, family, friends and supporters who want to cheer on runners and offer that extra motivation for participants can click here for a map. Click here for a detailed map of parking lots.


Preparing for marathon traffic 

Most of the streets in downtown Memphis will be closed at some point Saturday morning. Drivers in and out of the race area should expect delays and detours.

• Fourth Street between Beale Street and Madison Ave. will be closed from 12 a.m. until 3 p.m. Saturday.

• Union Ave. between Third Street and Danny Thomas Blvd. will be closed starting at 7 a.m. Saturday. This closure will extend eastward to East Street starting at 8 a.m.

• Other temporary closures will be made as necessary to accommodate the volume of runners.

The University of Memphis Tigers men's basketball team will host the Northwestern State Demons at noon at FedExForum, which is four hours following the start of the marathon. The Memphis Grizzlies then will tip-off a home tilt with the Golden State Warriors at 7 p.m.

The Toyota Parking Garage at FedExForum and FedExForum surface lots will be available only to those with passes for the University of Memphis game at noon and later for those with passes for the Memphis Grizzlies game at 7 p.m., according to officials.

Officials advise drivers to take alternate routes if they must travel the following high-traffic areas below between 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

                     Times  

                       High-traffic Areas 

              6:00 a.m. – 7:45 a.m.

   Third St. from ML King Ave. to Beale St.

              6:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

   Fourth St. from Union Ave. to ML King Ave.

              7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.

   Third St. from Beale St. to Jackson Ave.

              7:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

   Fourth St. from Union Ave. to north of Monroe Ave.

              7:15 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.

   Union Ave. from Danny Thomas to Third St.

              7:15 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.

   Danny Thomas from North Parkway to Monroe Av

              7:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 

   Monroe Ave. from Marshall to 4th St.

              7:45 a.m. – 8:35 a.m.

   ML King Ave. from Fourth St. to Second St.

              8:00 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.

   Second St. from ML King Ave. to G. E. Patterson

              8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

   G. E. Patterson from Second St. to Front St.

              8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

   Front St. from G.E. Patterson to Georgia Ave.

              8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

   Georgia Ave. from Front St. to Riverside Dr.

              8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

   North bound lanes of Riverside Dr. to Beale St.

              8:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

   Beale St. from Riverside Dr. to Third St.

              8:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

   Poplar Ave. from Third St. to Front St.

              8:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

   Third Street from Beale St. to Poplar Ave.

              8:20 a.m. – 10:40 a.m.

   Front St. from Poplar Ave. to A.W. Willis Ave.

              8:25 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

   N. Parkway (east bound) to Overton Park

              8:20 a.m. – 10:40 a.m.

   A.W. Willis Ave. from Front St. to Second St.

              8:20 a.m. – 10:40 a.m.

   Second St. from A.W. Willis Ave. to Shadyac Ave.

              8:20 a.m. – 10:40 a.m.

   Shadyac Ave. from Second St. to Third St.

              8:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

   Poplar (east bound) from Tucker St. to Dunlap St.

              9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

   Manassas from Poplar Ave. to Union Ave.

              9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

   Union Ave. from Manassas to Third St.

              9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

   Beale St. from Lauderdale Ave. to Main St.

              9:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

   Main St. from Beale St. to ML King Ave.

              9:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

   ML King Ave. from Main St. to Peabody

              9:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

   Peabody from Somerville St. to Cooper Ave.

              9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

   Cooper Ave from Peabody to Young Ave.

              9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

   Young Ave. from Cooper Ave. to E. Parkway

              9:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

   E. Parkway (south bound) from Young Ave. to N. Parkway

              9:45 a.m.– 2:00 p.m.

   N. Parkway (west bound) to Third St.

            10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

   Union Ave. from Danny Thomas to Fourth St.

            1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

   Third St. from Monroe Ave to Court St.

            1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.

   Monroe Ave. from Danny Thomas to Fourth St.

            1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

   Court St. from Third St. to Danny Thomas


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