Overall Rating
Overall Rating (27 Reviews)
4.4
(27 Ratings)  (27 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.1
SCENERY
3.8
PRODUCTION
4.4
SWAG
4.3
St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend presented by Juice Plus+ is in person this year, and we’re excited to introduce our newly designed courses. Each distance will take you on an inspiring journey in support of the kids of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The newly-designed courses feature Memphis landmarks and … MORE
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Recent reviews

    Profile photo of Jeff Wagner
    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
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    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!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5
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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
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    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

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    4

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    bonniec218 FIRST-TIMER '21

    The course is very easy with some rolling hills. Community support is everywhere and aid stations are abundant. I encourage everyone to do this race at least once... such a … MORE

    The course is very easy with some rolling hills. Community support is everywhere and aid stations are abundant. I encourage everyone to do this race at least once… such a great cause.

    My time was horrible as I was ill-prepared and have put on several extra pounds.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    gsitkowski FIRST-TIMER '19

    This race is a must do. Although the Temp. was a little chilly, running through the City of Memphis and St. Jude's Hospital was a Great experience. The children lining … MORE

    This race is a must do. Although the Temp. was a little chilly, running through the City of Memphis and St. Jude’s Hospital was a Great experience. The children lining the course is very emotional. I will do this race God willing every year. What an Awesome cause.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    kdpurcell REPEAT RUNNER '19

    This is the most emotional race I’ve ever run. You get to run through the campus of St Jude Hospital. Families and patients are on the race route and thank … MORE

    This is the most emotional race I’ve ever run. You get to run through the campus of St Jude Hospital. Families and patients are on the race route and thank you for saving their children. This is a must race if you live in the south. Don’t miss it every December. My favorite December race. Fantastic atmosphere throughout the whole race. We have a group of 20 coming this year to run.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Wayne Cornett
    KirstensDad FIRST-TIMER '19

    Awesome course support. There were gels in about four places. There were other fueling options too. Lots more people cheering than I anticipated. Nice long sleeve performance shirt. Post race … MORE

    Awesome course support. There were gels in about four places. There were other fueling options too. Lots more people cheering than I anticipated. Nice long sleeve performance shirt. Post race food was a little light. Course is a little hilly, but not bad.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    RRWAEB83 FIRST-TIMER '19

    I loved getting to run through the St Jude campus. It was pretty crowded and congested the first 5k but once it thinned our it was a bit better. Everything … MORE

    I loved getting to run through the St Jude campus. It was pretty crowded and congested the first 5k but once it thinned our it was a bit better. Everything about this race was really heartfelt and meaningful. I’d do it again.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4
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    This year the St Jude marathon weekend was a little different with the convention center being under construction. Notable changes.... the expo was about 20 miles away and the pasta … MORE

    This year the St Jude marathon weekend was a little different with the convention center being under construction. Notable changes…. the expo was about 20 miles away and the pasta party was moved to the Peabody. The temporary expo location was much smaller and not as elaborate as normal but it was okay – fingers crossed it doesn’t deter people from coming back. It being so far away made for a tight window to make our hospital tour that afternoon. I hope if they’re there again next year they open earlier.

    Friday afternoon we were lucky enough to have a tour of St Jude. Highly recommend!! The hospital was such a happy place filled with hope and love. The thought and detail that’s gone into every little thing will stick with you way past race day. We were already thinking we’d come back for 2020 but the tour solidified our plans.

    Race day was great! The weather was overcast and gloomy but not too cold and it never really rained. The crowd support was incredible and running through the St Jude campus was unlike anything else. The families will pull out so many of your emotions and push you to keep going.
    Each mile has a sponsor and spectators line almost the entire race. If your ever feeling low there’s someone around to pump you up!

    The race was very crowded so I would not recommend for a pr race (if you’re a slower runner like me you’ll be weaving through people most of the time) but it’s definitely one of my favorite weekends of the year. It’s great being a part of something so special!

    “When your legs are tired, run with your heart”

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    sarastew FIRST-TIMER '19

    I've fundraised for St. Jude as a hero before, but doing the actual race that you get to run through the grounds of the hospital is so emotional and worth … MORE

    I’ve fundraised for St. Jude as a hero before, but doing the actual race that you get to run through the grounds of the hospital is so emotional and worth seeing what you’re truly running for. The patients that are able come out and line the course along the path that leads through the grounds of the hospital. Most in wheel chairs, wearing face masks, some holding signs about being cancer free because of you… It’s hard not to feel connected to the cause.

    The race, along with anything St. Jude does, is put together beautifully and well organized. This year the convention center was under construction so we had to go down to Landers Center in Mississippi to get our packets, but with the race shuttles provided it wasn’t too bad. The course has some tough hills over the bridges which provides some difficulty, but totally doable. The full marathoners got a nice finisher hat which I liked. The half finishers didn’t get anything extra than the medal. If you ever consider a charity run, THIS is the one to do!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    dannytolliver REPEAT RUNNER '19

    The 10K Marathon was great, as always there were plenty of water stops, bathroom and great crowd support, the volunteers alone with the cheering squad was nice. The St Jude … MORE

    The 10K Marathon was great, as always there were plenty of water stops, bathroom and great crowd support, the volunteers alone with the cheering squad was nice. The St Jude kids standing outside the hospital is a site for soar eyes, the finisher food was Awesome, fro. Pizza , chocolate milk, Powerade , OJ, bananas , crackers & Chips, oranges ,and there was plenty, oh forgot the hot soup, no holding back

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    erbVanZan FIRST-TIMER '19

    So glad I choose this for my Tennessee, I became a hero and raised money. The organization was top notch!! Expo was nice and everyone is friendly! The entire city … MORE

    So glad I choose this for my Tennessee, I became a hero and raised money. The organization was top notch!! Expo was nice and everyone is friendly! The entire city embraces this race. So many even who were not volunteers would thank us for running.
    My only complaint, is they ran out of things at the post race party (how can you run out of chocolate milk, and there were still many runners coming in) and offered only beer.
    The course is not all that pretty. The riverfront is not very clean and many areas looked run down.😞 Beale Street was suppose to be a cool place to go, but we were very uncomfortable when we went on a Friday, approached by homeless, and beggars following us for an entire block. It was sad but have us a bad taste of Memphis.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    pbegno FIRST-TIMER '18

    Our son was a patient of St Jude Children's Hospital and this race was a must for our Family. It was cold and had a delayed start due to forecast … MORE

    Our son was a patient of St Jude Children’s Hospital and this race was a must for our Family. It was cold and had a delayed start due to forecast of ice and snow. We ran around St Jude Children’s Hospital and the patients were along the sides holding signs and thanking us – I cried and hugged and took lots of picture’s!! A few hills – one big one around mile 9!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    usamhall FIRST-TIMER '18

    The communication on the race was almost excessive with emails once or twice a week. The expo was very large and had lots of goodies. What I remember of the … MORE

    The communication on the race was almost excessive with emails once or twice a week. The expo was very large and had lots of goodies. What I remember of the weather was the humidity and at the end great gusts of wind as we finished. It is always great to run a race for a cause and we were very touched by the children that great us on the course. The Marathon starts downtown and runs by the river then up to the hospital and back into neighborhoods. I was told in advance that this was a flat course. However there never seemed to be a full mile that was flat. I was thankful for the cover of the trees in parks and neighborhoods because the downtown was so hot and windy. Interesting enough it was really warm for a December day. I will remember those kids forever.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    cabrack FIRST-TIMER '18

    This race was very emotional. From the pasta dinner speakers to running through the hospital it put a whole new meaning to why I was running. This was my 3rd … MORE

    This race was very emotional. From the pasta dinner speakers to running through the hospital it put a whole new meaning to why I was running. This was my 3rd marathon in 2 months. I was hoping to have a good race because the first 2 I ran with friends. I found the course to be very difficult. I wasn’t expecting the hills and they killed me. It also was warmer and more windy then i was prepared for. I ended up walking a lot even though I should have been able to run the whole thing. The race was very well run. Being able to hang out in the baseball stadium before and after the race was very nice. The course support was great. I recommend this race although I am not sure I would run it again.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    Profile photo of Scott Sabol
    ssabol1562 FIRST-TIMER '18

    This is one of those races where I have to say it wasn't great but it wasn't bad either. Mother nature didn't help us out much...severe storms pushed the start … MORE

    This is one of those races where I have to say it wasn’t great but it wasn’t bad either. Mother nature didn’t help us out much…severe storms pushed the start back an hour and a half. Once the storms blew out, we got sun and humidity. But you can’t really hold weather against a race but it might bias my opinion a bit!

    Pros: Scenic course…ran past Beale Street and along the water front. Great crowd support..especially running through the St Judes campus where patients and their families were cheering us on! Nice medal and great post race party with local beer brewed specifically for the race. Also had a lot of aid stations on the course which was huge with the humidity

    Cons: Very crowded. With 25,000 runners and some confusion about road closing times due to the delays, parking was a bit of a nightmare. You really have to arrive really early since the 5K/10K starts an hour before the half/full. Parking and traffic around the expo were also terrible. The course had steeper hills than I expected which were amplified by the humidity.

    Overall, I would say this race and city are worth doing once. Graceland is a must see as are the Peabody Ducks. Beale Street is a big draw but we did not feel very safe there after dark. We also had some bad Uber experiences. HINT: if a driver tells you they need to get gas, insist that they bring you to your destination first.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    Joerobe FIRST-TIMER '18

    Overall Rating: It was average. Course Difficulty: Mild rolling hills throughout the course made for a nice mix of muscles being used. Heat and wind were definitely a factor in … MORE

    Overall Rating: It was average.

    Course Difficulty: Mild rolling hills throughout the course made for a nice mix of muscles being used. Heat and wind were definitely a factor in this race, although I would take the warm over the cold any day.

    Course Scenery: This course takes you on a foot tour of the best sights in Memphis. I was never bored for something to look at.

    Race Production: For the number of people there, production was pretty smooth. My #1 complaint is that there were no gu packs where they were supposed to be, an obvious result of starting 10000 or so half marathoners with a few thousand full marathoners. It’s not that big of a complaint, but by the time I took the pop tarts from the kid in her front yard at mile 16, I was starving. The race was delayed twice for lighting, but there were plenty of notifications, and communication was very good. No pizza when I got to the finish, but whatever, I was ready to leave anyway.

    Race Swag: It was a good medal and long sleeve tech shirt.

    My Performance: Slow for me, but I had chosen the night before to stay with a couple of friends and see them across the finish line. If I had run my normal pace, this would have been a better than average race for me.

    Final notes: I signed up to run this with a family member, and when she couldn’t make it, I made the best of a situation. I was able to run the entire race with three good friends, one a first timer; and enjoy a warm and sunny winter day. Despite my indifference toward the race in general, St Jude is a great organization. While I am not a huge fundraising type of person, and I don’t love the “big” race scene, it was still good to be able to raise a part of the $11 million that went to St Jude as a result of this weekend.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    M_Sohaskey Dec 04, 2018 at 5:31pm

    HA, I'm never one to refuse a mid-race Pop Tart, either. Glad you were able to help a couple of friends reach the finish in Memphis, and congrats on an… MORE

    HA, I'm never one to refuse a mid-race Pop Tart, either. Glad you were able to help a couple of friends reach the finish in Memphis, and congrats on an awesome 2018 of your own — you killed it this year. Thanks too for all of your excellent reviews, RaceRaves wouldn't be the valuable resource it is without 'em. Hope we can sync up our race schedules and meet again in 2019! LESS

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    Joerobe Dec 04, 2018 at 5:55pm

    Sounds great Mike! Thanks for all you do for our running community and a very Merry Christmas to you and Katie.

    Sounds great Mike! Thanks for all you do for our running community and a very Merry Christmas to you and Katie.

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    onepamperedgirl REPEAT RUNNER '17

    In full disclosure I run this race as a "hero" to fund raise for St. Jude. They have a huge expo when you pick up your race packet so bring … MORE

    In full disclosure I run this race as a “hero” to fund raise for St. Jude. They have a huge expo when you pick up your race packet so bring your wallet. Each year I purchased a Cotton Colors Christmas ornament and had it personalized with the race date. They donate a portion of the proceeds to St Jude’s.
    As someone who had to travel in for this race you need to get your hotel reservations early. Also you want to sign up for the race as soon as it opens as it tends to sell out each year.
    As far as the course, I think they have changed it since I ran in it last. The course each year will take you through the heart of the St. Jude’s campus. Those kids being outside cheering you on, regardless of the weather, might make you shed a tear or it will also pump you up to finish the race strong for them. The thing that I like is that you finish on the Memphis Redbirds baseball field.
    They have an area set up for food afterwards. You also have numerous places you can eat close to the stadium as well.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    The St Jude Memphis marathon weekend is top notch and leaves you feeling so grateful The course is challenging but you have great crowd support An added bonus with this … MORE

    The St Jude Memphis marathon weekend is top notch and leaves you feeling so grateful

    The course is challenging but you have great crowd support

    An added bonus with this race is it is on Saturday so you can go out and explore afterwards.

    I love a Saturday race!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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