The St. Jude Marathon, the annual foot race benefitting Memphis St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital that is being held this year on Saturday, December 3rd, 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 10K, 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.
It is only the marathon that will impact Cooper-Young, however. Their course through the neighborhood will follow the same altered route introduced last year. Runners will get off East Parkway at Harbert, then head down Cooper on the west side of the street (with traffic all the way down to Southern. From Southern, the marathoners will run briefly on Lamar and then McLean to get to Walker. They will then take Tanglewood north to Evelyn and Evelyn to McLean and then on to Central on their way out of Cooper-Young.
According to a time table of expected arrival times provided by St. Jude, Cooper-Young residents can expect to start seeing runners in the area soon after 9:55 a.m., when the fastest runners are expected to be at Cooper and Harbert. The last runners are estimated to pass the checkpoint at McLean and Central at 1:41 p.m.
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.