Overall Rating
Overall Rating (43 Reviews)
4.5
(43 Ratings)  (43 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.9
SCENERY
3.8
PRODUCTION
4.6
SWAG
4.3
Beale Street district. The Mississippi Riverfront. Historic neighborhoods. Outstanding spectator support. Plus, each of the newly designed courses takes runners through the heart of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital campus. Whether you choose the Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K or 5K, make this the year for St. Jude Memphis Marathon … MORE
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Recent reviews

    Tortoise83 REPEAT RUNNER '23

    This was my 7th time running St. Jude, having done 1 marathon and now 6 halfs. This race is always well organized with a great Expo, lots of swag. The … MORE

    This was my 7th time running St. Jude, having done 1 marathon and now 6 halfs. This race is always well organized with a great Expo, lots of swag. The atmosphere is great, with a rocking staged start and then support throughout the course. Lots of groups along the course providing encouragement and entertainment. The highlight is always running through the St. Jude campus and seeing all the patients who come out to cheer you on (weather permitting). It is December in the Mid-South, so you never know what the weather is going to be. I’ve run sleeveless in sunshine and 70 degree weather and I’ve run in four layers and a raincoat in 40 degree weather. You just never know!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    seagroves87 FIRST-TIMER '23

    This race is a big fundraiser for St. Jude's Children's Hospital. As a pediatrician, this was the race I wanted to do for Tennessee to raise money for such a … MORE

    This race is a big fundraiser for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. As a pediatrician, this was the race I wanted to do for Tennessee to raise money for such a great cause. It’s also on my birthday weekend and when I like to take vacation. For this trip I took off the Friday before the race and I also took the whole week off after to explore the South and will be running in Mississippi next weekend. I arrived in Memphis Friday morning. There is only packet pick up Thursday or Friday before the race. But Friday packet pickup is open until 8pm so if you are driving from a couple hours away you can still make it after work. Packet pickup was at a convention center and it was a nice expo. Not as big as a huge race like the LA marathon but bigger than most expos. Lots of St. Jude gear too. I thought it was smart how they did the bib pick up. You are pre assigned a bib and they scan your QR code and tell you where to go. It was very efficient as you didn’t need to fumble around finding your bib number and also less likely to have an error than assigning a bib on the spot. After bib pick up you get your shirt which is a long sleeved tech shirt. It is okay. Not the best quality but wearable. There were also a few booths with samples along with merch and the typical booths. For the race I stayed at the Comfort Inn which was very close to the expo and about 1/2 from the start/finish line. There are closer hotels right at the start/finish but this hotel was about $100 cheaper per night. I walked to the start. The start is well organized and you are assigned a corral. It does take awhile for all the corrals to go through. I was in the third from the last corral and it took a bit over 20 minutes for me to cross the start so it may take close to 30 minutes for the last participant to cross. This didn’t bother me as I liked having the course less congested since it is such a big race. Just take this into account when planning your day. I’m glad I did and ended up checking out of my hotel before the race as I did not get back before noon. I was sick with a cold last week and recovering so I knew this would be a slow race and paced myself to finish around 3:30. However this is a very fun and very back of the pack friendly race so it is a great race to enjoy yourself and take it easy. Scenery on the course is pretty hit or miss. There are some interesting parts downtown and the best part is running past the hospital with many children and families cheering you on at mile 10. However there are also some less scenic parts with views of construction sites. Oh well it’s hard to get a continuous, scenic 13.1 miles. The lack of scenery in some areas is more than made up for by cheer stations. There is a cheer station about every 1/2 mile. There were also aid startions every 1 to 2 miles along with lots of spectators and unofficial aid stations. They also had mile markers and signs including a very moving area with pictures of cancer survivors during and after treatment. The course isn’t too tough. There are some rolling hills. Nothing crazy. I’d consider it average difficult. It’s not a course designed for a PR but you could PR or BQ if you strategized right. I was only slow because I was sick last week. At the finish you get your medal and a bag of snacks. The medal is really nice and glittery. It has the St. Jude logo and the image of a bridge in Memphis. It is a nice and classy medal. The bag of snacks was pretty typical. There is also a post race party at the baseball stadium. This is my only complaint about the race but the post race food was not vegetarian friendly and I wish I skipped it since it was crowded and took awhile to weave around everyone. They advertised soup and pizza. The first section had chocolate milk and orange juice. I did like the orange juice option as I don’t like chocolate milk. The next section had soup. I asked if the soup was vegetarian and the volunteers had no idea. Not blaming the volunteers but the majority of races I have done (even some tiny local ones) label the soup as vegetarian, vegan and/or gluten free. Someone said they thought the broccoli cheddar was vegetarian so I took some but I’m pretty sure it had chicken broth. This could be bad if someone has an allergy. Even worse was when I went to get pizza it was only pepperoni. I’ve said this before but I don’t understand only ordering pepperoni. Lots of people don’t eat pork for religious, health or ethical reasons. Just get cheese it’s cheaper and more people can eat it. I did like that they had coke products along with beer but that line was not worth a bottle of coke and soup that probably wasn’t vegetarian. I was hoping the post race food could be lunch since I wanted to get to my next destination Nashville by 3:30. Luckily they also had food trucks where you could purchase food and one had a veggie burger. If I did this race again I would skip the post festival unless they confirmed they had vegetarian options. Kind of put a damper on an otherwise great race. I almost dropped my rating a sneaker. Other than not having a vegetarian friendly post race festival, this was an excellent race and a very moving experience. I would definitely recommend it for Tennessee.

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    5
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    ilia.ayz FIRST-TIMER '23

    Loved the new course. The looping around downtown allowed for a great atmosphere for the first five miles. Emotional segment through the St Jude campus. The rest of the course … MORE

    Loved the new course. The looping around downtown allowed for a great atmosphere for the first five miles. Emotional segment through the St Jude campus. The rest of the course was standard city vibes. Aid stations were great although I only saw Gu gels once (maybe I missed the other one?). Great setup for the finish area celebration. Overall highly recommended.

    DIFFICULTY
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    5
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    4
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    5

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    RunBillie FIRST-TIMER '23

    Inspite the rolling hills. I really liked this half. St Jude's Memphis Half really was a great race. This will not be a one and done for me. The crowd … MORE

    Inspite the rolling hills. I really liked this half. St Jude’s Memphis Half really was a great race. This will not be a one and done for me. The crowd support was amazing. Kudos to the Race Director for the organization, communications, huge expo, plenty of water/ aid stations, potties, and wonderful volunteers. Going through the St Jude’s campus, seeing the kids, parents and security was motivating. At mile 11, the street was banner lined with photos of children cancer survivors. Some of them I recognized from tv commercials.
    My con was the roads we ran on are in need of repair.
    Definately, a repeat race for me.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
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    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    kgladfelter FIRST-TIMER '23

    wasn't expecting 16 seperate start corals and wondered why downtown parking warned you to be parked 1:45 pre-race. Traffic and construction was terrible. The race however was opperated very good … MORE

    wasn’t expecting 16 seperate start corals and wondered why downtown parking warned you to be parked 1:45 pre-race. Traffic and construction was terrible. The race however was opperated very good as was expo. Relatively flat caurse with good spectator support throughout. The layout through Memphis was nice as was the post race location in the ballpark.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
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    4
    SCENERY
    3
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    4

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    Seischens FIRST-TIMER '23

    Highly recommend this race. It is a great run for a great cause, childhood cancer. Well organized, great route with cool things to see throughout, spectators galore! Most especially the … MORE

    Highly recommend this race. It is a great run for a great cause, childhood cancer. Well organized, great route with cool things to see throughout, spectators galore! Most especially the route through the St. Jude campus was the most memorable part! Some hills followed by downs to recover.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    kimmie90 FIRST-TIMER '22

    I did this race virtually. Overall, this was for a great race for a great cause. Hopefully, I can travel to Tennessee and do one in person. Overall, great race!! MORE

    I did this race virtually. Overall, this was for a great race for a great cause. Hopefully, I can travel to Tennessee and do one in person. Overall, great race!!

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    5
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    ArtDocRunner REPEAT RUNNER '22

    -Enthusiastic Crowd -Emotional at times but gives the run purpose -flat course -perfect weather -lots of aid stations and loved the neighbors out providing shots & beer MORE

    -Enthusiastic Crowd
    -Emotional at times but gives the run purpose
    -flat course
    -perfect weather
    -lots of aid stations and loved the neighbors out providing shots & beer

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    Hamsco FIRST-TIMER '22

    A very fun race. The course was easy, plenty of water station and spectators along the entire course. Live music and other music along the course kept it lively. The … MORE

    A very fun race. The course was easy, plenty of water station and spectators along the entire course. Live music and other music along the course kept it lively. The only negative was they start the 10k along with the half and full marathons. This makes it a bit congested for the first 6 miles.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
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    4
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    akingagain FIRST-TIMER '22

    This race has all the feels! I selected St. Jude as my one marathon to run. I participated as a bronze fundrasier. The route is beautiful. Running through the hospital … MORE

    This race has all the feels! I selected St. Jude as my one marathon to run. I participated as a bronze fundrasier. The route is beautiful. Running through the hospital campus is so emotional. There is a lot of crowd support throughout the whole race. Water/gatorade stops at every mile after mile 2. I ran with the 5 hour pacer and it worked perfectly. The medal is fantastic, but the shirt was sadly not well made. Thumb holes were backwards on the shirt and seams sewn bunched up. A trucker hat was also given for the marathon (not sure about the other distances). If you plan to run one marathon this is the one to run.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    btinervia12 FIRST-TIMER '22

    20,000 total participants across five races. 10K, half, and full held together. I'm a back-of-the-pack fairly slow walker these days. It took a half hour from the start of the … MORE

    20,000 total participants across five races. 10K, half, and full held together. I’m a back-of-the-pack fairly slow walker these days. It took a half hour from the start of the race for my corral to cross the starting line, but the atmosphere waiting was great.

    The expo, race and post-race are super organized with routing of people through well-organized by an army of volunteers. If I didn’t live six hours away, I would definitely make this an annual event.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    42kStraley FIRST-TIMER '22

    This marathon will spoil you with swag. The course was easy and well marked with pace teams and frequent drink stations. If you run the marathon don’t use the portapotties … MORE

    This marathon will spoil you with swag. The course was easy and well marked with pace teams and frequent drink stations. If you run the marathon don’t use the portapotties until after the half-marathon separates.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    todd17406 FIRST-TIMER '22

    For my 28th Sub-4 marathon state, I chose the St. Jude marathon in Memphis TN. For me, this experience can be broken down into two categories: 1. the St. Jude … MORE

    For my 28th Sub-4 marathon state, I chose the St. Jude marathon in Memphis TN. For me, this experience can be broken down into two categories: 1. the St. Jude Pediatrics Cancer fundraising and seeing the love and support of the Parents and Friends out on the course. 2. the running portion of it. So, on to #1: Powerful and emotional seeing the parents and friends screaming for us at mile 3! Seeing the emotion in their faces really hit home. In fact, the entire course was full of super appreciative locals cheering us on. #2: Outstanding communication throughout the entire process. The course itself is mostly scenic. Cool running through the downtown area and Overton Park and some really nice residential areas. I’d set the difficulty level as average. No giant climbs, but a bunch of smaller inclines. Felt like we were mostly going up or down, but nothing really bad. Tips: Graceland visit was really worthwhile. (pay for the guided tour). Stay at the host hotel or one close to it!!! They start closing the streets down at 6AM and driving into the City and finding parking is a mess! Really a worthwhile event to choose for TN, if you’re going after the 50 states.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
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    5
    SCENERY
    4
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    4

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    johnaaronhowell FIRST-TIMER '22

    This was my first marathon, and I really enjoyed it! The expo, start, and finish were all well organized. There were plenty of aid stations well equipped with Gatorade or … MORE

    This was my first marathon, and I really enjoyed it! The expo, start, and finish were all well organized. There were plenty of aid stations well equipped with Gatorade or water throughout the course. The first ~9 miles were run with the half marathon participants before we split off. Crowd support waned a bit after we split, but it was pretty strong overall. The toughest part for me was a 3mi double loop in Overton Park. It was more of a mental struggle than a physical struggle, but I would recommend that you be prepared for that.

    Overall, this was a great race for a great cause! Be prepared to get a bit teary eyed throughout the race.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
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    5
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    4
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    5
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    dqcvdtpda FIRST-TIMER '22

    The most inspiring 3rd mile in running — tracking through st Jude. Tons of aid throughout. No negatives other than a couple of miles on a severely crowned street which … MORE

    The most inspiring 3rd mile in running — tracking through st Jude. Tons of aid throughout. No negatives other than a couple of miles on a severely crowned street which isn’t fun in distance running.
    Porto potties throughout the course and at the start. A bit of a trudge to get through all of the free beer folk to get a slice of pizza, but the hot soup was great.
    A tremendous cause and very well run race.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
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    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    bramms24 FIRST-TIMER '22

    Loved this race. Expo was pretty large and packet pick up is simple. I’m a fan of bigger races and there was a lot of runners for this one. Tons … MORE

    Loved this race. Expo was pretty large and packet pick up is simple. I’m a fan of bigger races and there was a lot of runners for this one. Tons of crowd support with lots of water stops and lots of alcohol stops if that’s your thing. I would say the course was pretty flat for Tennessee. Running by the childrens hospital at around miles 2-3 was amazing. Such a great cause and I’m going to try to make this one a yearly run, especially since i did so bad this year. Was sick with the flu or covid last week and knew going in it wasn’t going to be a good one.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    abbey.road FIRST-TIMER '21

    This is a mostly flat course that has just enough elevation changes, at the right times, to allow your legs to change muscles. I was apprehensive about the weather (60s … MORE

    This is a mostly flat course that has just enough elevation changes, at the right times, to allow your legs to change muscles. I was apprehensive about the weather (60s with 90% humidity) but it ended up being great. Cloudy until the sun peeked out about Mile 24 but quickly hid behind the clouds again.

    Overall the course is a loop with a double loop through Overton Park. Course marshals were visible and vocal in the key locations to direct runners. City scenery was nice as you ran through some of the older neighborhoods around Memphis.

    My biggest complaint about the course is the shared portions with the half marathon. The marathon runners merged with the half multiple times which meant mostly walkers for my finish time. Course marshals were not as evident at these points and could have done more to direct half marathoners to one side or the other. This would have allowed a lane for the marathon runners to pass without having to dodge the half marathoners.

    Post race area in the Redbirds stadium was very nice and open. They also displayed the finish line live feed on the jumbotron so you could watch others finish. Overall a smoothly run race.

    DIFFICULTY
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    5
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    runvirginia FIRST-TIMER '21

    Well, after doing many TINY races for over a year, it was a bit of an adjustment to participate in a large race (with some pandemic touches). The biggest source … MORE

    Well, after doing many TINY races for over a year, it was a bit of an adjustment to participate in a large race (with some pandemic touches).

    The biggest source of anxiety for me was that the web site wasn’t really updated with detailed information until two weeks before the race. I am a big planner, and this impacted my ability to plan ahead as well as my confidence about how the race was going to ‘go down.’ (WHY haven’t they posted the expo information yet? etc.)

    The other anxiety-inducing experience was the email of the corral information which I received Wed before the race. The email said that my start window was 9:16-9:26 (the official start time is 8:00). Combined with the fact that I truly had gotten faster (so my original expected finish time was not accurate) and that I had a 3:20 plane to catch, I was quite alarmed. (I wanted to be with the 4:50 pacer, not the 5:30 pacer)… No one from the race responded to my frantic emails. At the expo, I was not moved up in corrals.

    Race morning came–I have observed over my fifty-states journey that I really like to start running early! A lot of waiting (especially if I am running on West coast) makes me get more pre-race jitters. So, there was a lot of waiting–the web site said to park by 6:15, which I did, and I parked in a zone where they marked it green for quick getaway (that part worked like a charm)–I even prepaid parking online.

    Corrals went more smoothly than the emails predicted, I was running by 8:30. Made the 3:20 flight 🙂

    The race itself was worth all the fuss–large number of runners, many of whom had St. Jude connections (made me think, my problems are not significant). Nice city tour. Course had a 4 mile look repeated in the purgatory of miles 14-21, which I actually liked (the second loop was nice mentally). My garmin said there was 800 feet of elevation gain–some hills, but fewer than Tulsa! Spectator support was nice (especially at the end–mile 23 had a bugler that we went by twice on a little out-and-back), and at that point we were hooked back up with the extreme back of the pack halfers (again, puts my problems in perspective).

    Lovely medal, great after-party! Great BBQ for my splurge meal! Great experience!

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    My Media

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    kbuck2 FIRST-TIMER '21

    I'll admit I didn't love the course for the full marathon - there was a lot of jutting back and forth through neighborhoods, plus a slightly confusing two-loop section around/through … MORE

    I’ll admit I didn’t love the course for the full marathon – there was a lot of jutting back and forth through neighborhoods, plus a slightly confusing two-loop section around/through a park from ~miles 14-21. Rolling hills were a little more challenging than I expected. But those things did nothing to dampen the spirit that comes with running this race.

    Outstanding crowd support throughout – many of whom were saying thank you to the runners, constant reminders that this race is for something much bigger than yourself. Hydration stations were very frequent and had both water and Nuun at all of them. The race shirts were comfortable long-sleeve tech shirts, medals were huge, and – best surprise – a special finisher’s hat only for marathoners.

    The logistics of the expo and starting line were a little chaotic with health protocols this year, but nothing too stressful.

    Definitely recommend running this race!

    DIFFICULTY
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    SCENERY
    1
    SWAG
    4
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    cfconwayiii FIRST-TIMER '21

    St. Jude half marathon is a great charity to support. I was blown away by the young lady who sung the National Anthem Packet pick up was more technical than … MORE

    St. Jude half marathon is a great charity to support.
    I was blown away by the young lady who sung the National Anthem
    Packet pick up was more technical than most but they let you know in advance
    Staff and volunteers were amazing
    Course was good with some hills with awesome support at aid stations
    Communication leading up to the race was awesome
    Post race was great
    Medal and shirt were high quality
    I definitely would recommend this race

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  2. St. Jude Memphis Marathon & Half Marathon