Memphis, Tennessee (May 1, 2012) –Registration is now open for the 2012 St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend that takes place Nov. 29-Dec. 1. The St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend is one of the only major marathons that benefits a single charity, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. St. Jude treats children fighting cancer and other deadly diseases with pioneering research and care and no family ever pays St. Jude for anything.

    Participants can “Run for a Reason®” and sign up to be a St. Jude Hero at the same time they register. Race officials anticipate more than 5,000 participants to raise funds for St. Jude as a St. Jude Hero, with a collective fundraising goal of $5 million.

    “Participating in the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend as a St. Jude Hero is an incredibly fun and meaningful way for people to combine their pursuit of personal fitness with their passion for making a difference in the lives of others,” said Richard Shadyac Jr., CEO of ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “The money raised by our Heroes helps St. Jude give hope to children fighting cancer and other deadly diseases, all while ensuring that no family ever pays St. Jude for anything.”

    Vining Sparks team captain Mark Allen, noted that “The St. Jude Heroes program allows runners to combine their fitness goal with a desire to make a real difference by raising funds for St. Jude.” The team is inspired by the grandson and the sons of three Vining employees and since 2010 have raised more than $237,000 for the hospital.
     
    Last year, St. Jude Heroes raised more than $4 million to help the kids at St. Jude. Registered runners and anyone interested in donating can visit www.stjudemarathon.org/heroes to get started. All fundraisers can earn great incentives such as hotel accommodations, a VIP tour of St. Jude and access to an exclusive St. Jude Heroes Pasta Party the Friday night before the big race on Saturday. To help St. Jude Heroes raise money, fundraising tools including a personalized webpage are provided.
    Marathon participants also will have access to a fitness expo at the Memphis Cook Convention Center on Nov. 29-30. Inside, they can receive support from pace teams, on-course and post-race food and beverages, goodie bags, commemorative t-shirts, collectible bibs, race medals and more.
               
    Be sure to “like” St. Jude Memphis Marathon on Facebook and follow @StJude on Twitter for the latest updates.

    About the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend
    Since 2002, the event has been produced in partnership with the Memphis Runners Track Club and presenting sponsor Juice Plus and now features a marathon, half marathon, the Memphis Grizzlies House 5K, kids marathon and family fun run. Funds are raised from the event primarily through St. Jude Heroes, a special group of race participants who raise funds by obtaining pledges from friends and family. More than $20 million has been raised through the St. Jude Heroes program. For more information, visit www.stjudemarathon.org.  

    About St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
    Since opening 50 years ago, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has changed the way the world treats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. No family ever pays St. Jude for the care their child receives and, for every child treated here, thousands more have been saved worldwide through St. Jude discoveries. The hospital has played a pivotal role in pushing U.S. pediatric cancer survival rates from 20 to 80 percent overall, and is the first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. It is also a leader in the research and treatment of blood disorders and infectious diseases in children. St. Jude was founded by the late entertainer Danny Thomas, who believed that no child should die in the dawn of life. Join that mission by visiting stjude.org or following us on facebook.com/stjude and twitter.com/stjude.

    About  Juice Plus+®
    Juice Plus+®, the presenting sponsor for the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend, is an easy and inexpensive way to add nutrition from a wide variety of different fruits, vegetables and grains to your diet, everyday. It provides whole food based nutrition from 17 different fruits, vegetables and grains in convenient capsule, chewable or gummi form.