A record 18,500 people registered for the St. Jude Memphis Marathon held on Saturday, Dec. 1. The event surpassed its fundraising goal of $5 million, with a record $5.7 million raised to support St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
St. Jude is the sole charity of the event and one of the world's premier centers for the research and treatment of pediatric cancer and other deadly childhood diseases.
Justin Gillette of Goshen, Ind. and Angie Zinkus of Eads, Tenn. were the top male and female finishers. Gillette finished the 26.2-miles course with a time of 2:35:14 while Zinkus finished in 2:55:41.
This year's event saw a number of firsts, including the participation of Richard Shadyac Jr., CEO of ALSAC/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in the half marathon. Also, new this year, race officials added a five-member marathon relay team, which experienced a same-day sell out. And for the first time ever, the Memphis Grizzlies House 5K runners experienced one of the most inspiring and meaningful legs of the marathon and half marathon races – through the St. Jude campus.
The event has grown from 2,800 registrants in its first year to more than 18,500 registrants this year.
"I visit many races during the year and I always run into people who say that the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend is their Tennessee race," said Wain Rubinstein, race director. "Participants hail from all over the country and those who choose to raise money further demonstrate the importance of the mission of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital."
Among the thousands of participants was local elite runner Austin Selby, 29, of Bartlett, who was severely injured when he was struck by a car while running in December 2010. He recovered enough to earn a spot in the ING New York City Marathon last month. The St. Jude Memphis Marathon welcomed runners like Selby unable to participate in last month's ING New York City Marathon after it was cancelled in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.
Other winners from race day included the top male and female finishers in the half-marathon, Arturs Bareiris of Crestwood, Ill. with a time of 1:10:48 and Michelle Hymel of New Orleans, La. with a time of 1:23:38.
The marathon relay awards were given to the top finishers in the categories of male, female and co-ed.
· Male (Newbern, Tenn.) 3:45:28 - Team Ermco Power: Michael Autry, Scott Lochridge, Roger Stegeman, Greg Stone and Danny Thompson
· Female (Memphis) 3:53:24 - Team Awesome: Ashley Wallace, Keri Cruzen, Kelly Lomax, Beth Scarbrough and Amanda Wittenberg
· Co-ed (Germantown) 3:03:38 - Pilgrimage Track Club: Bruce Keisling, Whitten Ortega, Scott Peatross, Jessica Tatum and Kelley Willis
The events raised $5.7 million, but expect that figure to grow in the weeks to come as St. Jude Heroes return home after completing their race.
Of the total race registrants, nearly 7,100 were St. Jude Heroes, a special group who raise funds for St. Jude by securing donations from family, friends and co-workers. Runners will be challenged to do it all again as St. Jude Heroes and can register now for the St. Jude Country Music Marathon and Half Marathon on April 27, 2013, in Nashville.
Race results are available at stjudemarathon.org. The St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend is presented by Juice Plus+® and is a collaborative effort between ALSAC/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and the Memphis Runners Track Club. The 2013 races will be held Saturday, December 7.
To learn more visit stjude.org.