St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend® presented by Juice Plus+® will see more than 20,000 athletes run this weekend with a special purpose behind every stride as they support the lifesaving mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital: Finding cures. Saving children.® And what better motivation to achieve a personal best than running alongside more than 1,200 St Jude families impacted by childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases - a new record for the marathon.
St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend is the largest single day fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The full marathon, half marathon, 10K, 5K and Kids Marathon take place Saturday, Dec. 3, beginning with the 5K wheelchair start at 6:55 a.m. CT in the heart of downtown Memphis.
This year’s theme, “Bring Your Passion to Our Mission” will be front and center as visitors show how Memphis and St. Jude are creating a positive impact on kids around the world through events like this. The racecourse will be filled with supporters from all walks of life, such as pastor Joel Skillen, who runs in a suit to add a bit of fun to his mission and Bella and Stella, a grandmother and granddaughter duo who first ran in the St. Jude Kids Marathon to support other kids, not knowing Stella would be diagnosed with thyroid cancer two years later at age 8.
“I know I speak for so many when I share my gratitude for the more than 20,000 runners who will participate in St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend this year in our beloved home city — and the thousands more who support them with their donations,” said Richard C. Shadyac Jr., president and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “This event not only has an impact on kids around the world, but also on the participants who run through the St. Jude campus as they are cheered on by the very kids they support. It is truly inspirational.”
The 2022 event numbers speak for themselves with retail businesses, hotels and the city of Memphis benefiting from the event.
- $37M economic impact anticipated for the city of Memphis
- More than 20,000 participants representing 50 U.S. states and 75 countries
- 4,700 St. Jude Heroes who fundraise while they train, all year long
- 3,200 volunteers who make this event come to life
- $14M fundraising goal for 2022
- More than 35 people have participated in all 21 years of the marathon
- More than 50 official cheer stations throughout the city to motivate and celebrate
- Nearly 40,000 spectators expected
Corporate partners who support the St. Jude mission all year long have formed teams to fundraise and participate, including AutoZone, Best Buy, Varsity Spirit and Shaw Industries, which was the top corporate partner fundraising team for marathon weekend in 2021. Since its inception in 2002, St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend has grown into a celebration of community ties and relationships to St. Jude – and Memphis – that endure year after year. Because of fundraising events like this, families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food, so they can focus on helping their child live.
One small step for man, 26.2 miles for children worldwide
Participants and spectators never know who – or what – they might see along the course. Some years, it’s been an Elvis impersonator at mile 10, a marriage proposal during the 10K, or Santa Claus pausing at a water station, wishing his reindeer were there to get him across the finish line. This year, they might find themselves running next to an astronaut, since four civilian astronauts from the upcoming Polaris Dawn space mission are taking part in marathon weekend. Tech entrepreneur and adventurer Jared Isaacman is commanding this new mission, a successor to the Inspiration4 venture that raised more than $250 million for St. Jude in 2021.
When St. Jude opened in 1962, childhood cancer was considered incurable. Since then, St. Jude has helped push the overall survival rate from 20% to more than 80% and won't stop until no child dies from cancer. Events like this are critical to fueling the ongoing $12.9 billion six-year St. Jude strategic plan that aims to help more of the 400,000 children around the world with cancer each year.
Get full St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend details and donate to St. Jude at stjude.org/marathon.
About St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Its purpose is clear: Finding cures. Saving children.® It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. When St. Jude opened in 1962, childhood cancer was considered largely incurable. Since then, St. Jude has helped push the overall survival rate from 20% to more than 80%, and it won't stop until no child dies from cancer. St. Jude shares the breakthroughs it makes to help doctors and researchers at local hospitals and cancer centers around the world improve the quality of treatment and care for even more children. Because of generous donors, families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food, so they can focus on helping their child live. Visit St. Jude Inspire to discover powerful St. Jude stories of hope, strength, love and kindness. Support the St. Jude mission by donating at stjude.org, liking St. Jude on Facebook, following St. Jude on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok, and subscribing to its YouTube channel.