The city of Memphis, Tennessee, is steeped in history. Whether you're a tourist here for the weekend or a lifelong resident, there's no better way to explore our city than to take in the sights and sounds on foot during the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend.
Each race course will take you by scenic — and historic — areas of Memphis, including:
1. St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
One of the world's premier pediatric cancer research centers, St. Jude is the sole beneficiary of the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend, its largest one-day fundraiser of the year. A highlight of each race course is passing through the campus, where participants are cheered on by a crowd that includes the patients and families they're running to support.
2. AutoZone Park
The finish line of each race is inside the home of the Memphis Redbirds, AutoZone Park, which was voted the number one ballpark in Minor League Baseball by Baseball America in 2009. Friends and family can watch and encourage finishers from the stands.
3. The Pyramid
Home of the tallest freestanding elevator in America, the Memphis Pyramid now houses Bass Pro Shops. Originally a sports arena and concert venue when it opened in 1991, it remains one of the most recognizable residents of the Memphis skyline.
All courses except the 5K will take you past:
4. Sun Studio
If you're looking for the spot where rock 'n' roll was born, look no further than Sun Studio, where owner Sam Phillips recorded Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison and Jerry Lee Lewis, among others, in the 1950s. It remains a working studio and has been designated a National Historic Landmark.
The half and full courses will take you to:
5. Beale Street
Voted America's most iconic street in USA Today's 10 Best poll, Beale Street offers live blues music and award-winning barbecue seven days a week. On race day, Memphians crowd the sidewalks to offer high-fives and cheers of support to those running the city's biggest race of the year.
6. Gibson Guitar Factory
Keeping with Memphis' music heritage, just around the corner from Beale Street is the factory where some of the most prized and famous guitars in the world are manufactured.
7. Overton Square
After a wild heyday in the 1970s, Overton Square is once again one of the most bustling areas of Memphis — a hotspot of food, arts and entertainment. It's also the home of the Midtown location of Breakaway Running, marathon weekend's official training partner.
8. Memphis Zoo
The world-renowned Memphis Zoo and Aquarium has been one of the most esteemed tenants of Overton Park for over a century. Though the courses don't pass through the zoo itself, participants will be close enough they may hear an animal or two.
Last but not least, those on the full marathon course will also get to see:
Named after the main intersection at Cooper and Young, the Cooper-Young district is the epitome of Midtown Memphis — hip, artistic and charmingly eclectic. The trestle that marks the entrance to the neighborhood is a point of local pride; marathoners will pass right under it.
10. Victorian Village
This Downtown neighborhood was once known as "Millionnaire's Row." Today, it remains the proud home of the 19th-century mansions that earned it its nickname. Located near the end of the marathon course, entering Victorian Village means the finish line is getting close.