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Race Dates

2018: TBD
2017: Saturday, December 2, 2017

Course Information

Profile: Rolling Hills
Type: Mostly Loop
Surface: Road/Pavement
Certified?: Yes

Race Day Weather

Mean Temp.: 46°F (7°C)
Average High: 55°F (12°C)
Average Low: 37° F (2°C)

Historical Weather

PR Score & Course Score

PR Score: 98.59
Course Score: 98.59

Race Size

2018: No Results
2017: 2,347 Finishers
2016: 2,506 Finishers

BQ Percentages

2018: N/A
2017: 6%
2016: 5.9%

Miscellaneous Information

Pace Groups?: Yes

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Course Description

The St. Jude Memphis Marathon course consists of mainly short rolling hills. The race starts and ends in Downtown Memphis. Runners will pass many of the city's most popular landmarks and attractions including the Mississippi River, Beale Street, and the campus of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The race finishes at AutoZone Park, home of the Redbirds, Memphis' AAA baseball team.

The marathon does have many short hills, however, the difference between the high and low points of the course is only about 100 feet. The relatively fast course and the normal race day temperature and humidity makes the race a good opportunity for PRs and BQs.

Marathon Rankings

The St. Jude Memphis Marathon was the 34th largest marathon in the U.S. last year and was the 33rd largest in 2016.

Last year 6% of finishers qualified for the Boston Marathon and 5.9% of runners qualified for Boston in 2016.

This gives the St. Jude Memphis Marathon the 325th highest percentage of Boston Marathon qualifiers in the U.S. last year and the 353rd highest percentage in 2016.

Its Course Score of 98.59 ranks it as the 258th fastest marathon course in the U.S. and the 2nd fastest course in Tennessee.

The typical race time temperature and humidity levels are within the ideal range for optimal marathon performance. This, coupled with the Course Score, gives the St. Jude Memphis Marathon a PR Score of 98.59. This PR Score ranks it as the 196th fastest marathon in the U.S. and the 2nd fastest in Tennessee.

Learn more about PR Scores and Course Scores on the FAQ page.

Elevation Chart

Max Elevation: 316 feet (96m)
Min Elevation: 220 feet (67m)


Recent St. Jude Memphis Marathon Reviews

4.6 Stars from 7 Reviews
View all Reviews

review of 2017 St. Jude Memphis Marathon.   

2 / 5 Stars


The crowd support is the highlight of this race. The people of Memphis are clearly very proud of St. Jude's, justifiably so. I heard many comments from locals about how wonderful the hospital is and how grateful they are to have it as part of their community. The thing that needs to be clear if you're planning to enter this race is that the main purpose is to raise money for the hospital. In fact, it is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the hospital. Importantly, St. Jude's does not send bills to families, so they rely on external funding to keep the hospital running. Once you register, you receive frequent (1-2/week) emails from the race about fundraising. Fast times and catering to people who are vying for BQs, PRs, or age group awards is a secondary (or tertiary) consideration.

The Expo continues to play up the fundraising nature of the event. After you get your bib and race packet, the first room you enter has St. Jude's marathon related swag. Only after you've paid, do you enter the rest of the Expo where more typical race vendors are present.

I was pretty disappointed that they ran out of safety pins at the expo. How is that even possible? Not surprisingly, the surrounding convenience stores were also sold out of safety pins. This was just one more sign that the race was secondary consideration to the fund raising.

Race Tips

Make sure you line up early to get into the correct corral. The corrals were jam packed and virtually impossible to move forward. Strangely, there were a large number of people trying to move from the front corrals to ones further back. I've never seen this before.

For much of the race, you are limited to one road lane and you're packed in. Specifically, despite running on a 4 lane road, two lanes remained open to vehicular traffic and one lane was closed to provide a buffer between runners and cars. This leaves one lane for runners, which isn't a big deal at mile 10, but at mile 1 you're shoulder to shoulder with other runners with no hope of passing. Again, if you're in the correct corral, it's probably fine. If you have problems going out too fast, you'll be forced to reign it in. However, it you're not in the correct corral, you'll find yourself trapped with no help of moving up where you need to be.

The other tight spot on the course is the finish where you run 50 meters or so through a chute onto the Memphis Redbirds baseball field. Again, if it were just marathoners, it probably would be fine, but you end up getting trapped behind half-marathon walkers who are there for fund raising or to cross an item off their bucket list and are walking 4+ across and impeding the flow of traffic.

Some people try to down play the hills on the course. It's hilly, make no mistake about it.

The weather was absolutely fantastic. 40F at the start and 60F at the finish.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

There are plenty of downtown hotels that are within easy walking distance to the start/finish. Book really early, because they do fill up. Our hotel had a sign posted at the front desk that said you are staying in the entertainment/sports district so expect loud noise coming from the street until wee hours of the morning. I suspect this is true most weekends other than marathon weekend. There was a lot of noise coming from the street until Friday at 10 PM or so, but things were quite after that. I didn't notice any significant noise Saturday night either. I suspect that on Friday, most people staying downtown are going to bed early and on Saturday, they are too tired from their race to go out and party too much.

Bottom Line;

-Crowd support

-Too much emphasis on fund raising
-Does not cater to faster runners

-Book your hotel early
-Stay downtown
-Line up early

Overall, it was an ok experience, but as someone vying for age group awards, I won't likely be back.

review of 2017 St. Jude Memphis Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


The weather was great, the spectators are excellent and frequent, the run through St Jude's campus will leave you inspired, and the food at the end is plentiful (and included beer)! This is the most welcoming city that lives its marathoners, and you will hear a 'thank you' everywhere you go. Aid stations aplenty and packed with enthusiastic volunteers. The police are everywhere helping at intersections. What an outpouring, and it makes the event amazing.

Race Tips

The hills are minimal. There are enough shady spots on the course that the weather stays ok even as the sun warms up.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

If you stay at one of the recommended downtown hotels, you will easily be able to walk to/Friday m the packet expo, start, and finish.

review of 2016 St. Jude Memphis Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


I thought it was well organized and supported. The spectators were amazing and it is to benefit a great cause.

The Nuun energy drink supplied at the aid stations immediately caused me GI distress and I shouldn't have taken any since I've never used it before. Most races have Gatorade or Poweraide and this is what I train with. I think this was a poor choice by the race organizers.

Race Tips

I have nothing but praise for how this event was organized and ran. I was in the 2nd corral, so I got to start very close to race time. There were 3 minutes between the start of each corral and I would have not liked being farther back and thus waiting a long time to start. The pacing group I was in (3:10) was spot on through 19, when I had to start slowing d/t GI distress.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

review of 2016 St. Jude Memphis Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


Excellent energy from the crowd and other racers. Great cool weather. Some rolling hills, but not too tough of a course.

Race Tips

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

Peabody Hotel is right at the start and finish line, so an excellent choice

review of 2015 St. Jude Memphis Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


Great crowd support and running through the St. Jude campus is an awesome experience.

Race Tips

Arrive early, the Memphis course is not flat.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

Run as a St. Jude hero for a rock star experience.

Finish Time Equivalent

If you ran the St. Jude Memphis Marathon in 3:47:00, what would your time in the Boston Marathon be?

See how your race times would compare on other marathon courses using the Marathon Time Converter Tool.