St. Jude Marathon runs through Cooper-Young, residents plan for delays
A blowup of the St. Jude Marathon course map showing the streets in and around Cooper-Young that will be affected. Runners are expected to be in the area roughly between 9:25 a.m. and 1 p.m.
The St. Jude Marathon, the annual foot race benefitting Memphis St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital that is being held this year on December 5th, is one of the city’s most iconic events and — for non-participants — one of its biggest inconveniences.
The marathon, which also includes a half marathon, a 5K, and a family fun run, is expected to attract about 20,000 participants with an estimated 50,000 spectators along the route that stretches from downtown to Midtown and back. Because of its sheer size, police regularly warn people traveling around downtown and Midtown to expect traffic delays, and this year is no different.
What is different, however, is the course, particularly along the stretch that will most affect people in Cooper-Young. Some course had already been made earlier this year, but those plans have been altered additionally to accommodate the possibility — now unlikely — that the University of Memphis may be hosting this year’s American Athletic Conference Football Championship the same morning.
The main changes are in Midtown, near and in Cooper Young. Marathoners will now get off East Parkway at Harbert, then head down Cooper on the west side of the street (with traffic) from Harbert all the way down to Southern. From Southern, the marathoners will run briefly on Lamar and then McLean to get to Walker. The water hydration) stations have been adjusted slightly as well and are also marked on the updated maps.)
According to time table of expected arrival times provided by St. Jude, Cooper-Young residents can expect runners in the area as early as 9:25 a.m., when the fastest runners are expected to be a East Parkway and Central, and as late as 1 p.m., when the stragglers are expected to pass the checkpoint at Central and McLean.
So please plan your Saturday morning appropriately, or, better yet, come on out and cheer on the runners, though be advised that because of security, police can search all bags and backpacks along the route.
For more information, including a complete course map, visit stjudemarathon.org.