St. Jude Marathon expected to bring in thousands, cause major traffic delays

New St. Jude marathon route to impact traffic across 20 communities

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - In just four days, 26,000 people are expected to participate in the 2018 St. Jude Marathon.

This year's event will feature a new route, which will impact traffic in 20 communities.

Road closure warnings began popping up last weekend, and routes will lock down downtown Memphis for most of Saturday.

Streets around the St. Jude Marathon route will close Friday night.

“As always with any event of this magnitude, public safety is our number one concern,” said MPD Deputy Chief Michael Hardy. The first closures will happen Friday around 10 p.m. at the start and finish lines.

New this year are two different start lines.

There’s one at Lt. George W Lee Avenue and B.B. King Boulevard by the FedExForum for the marathon and half marathon runners.

The other is at B.B. King Boulevard and Madison Avenue by AutoZone Park for the 5K and 10K races.

In the seventeenth year of this race, routes are switching up too.

“Really it came down to listening to the audience, listening to the feedback and then weighing those with our safety concerns,” said Steve Cox, Senior VP of Communications for ALSAC.

This year, runners will spend more time along the river front on Riverside Drive, more time going through the St. Jude Campus, and will go through Overton Park.

“We also wanted to rework the route to better show off Memphis, show off the community,” Cox said. “Runners this year will have the opportunity to pass by the Crosstown Concourse, certainly a center piece, a highlight.”

You can expect major delays and road closures throughout downtown.

Parts of Madison, Second, Fourth, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue will be shut down to all vehicle traffic.

Memphis police say you can expect some of the closures to last until 4 p.m. or 5 p.m. on Saturday.

The city considers the closures to be minor inconveniences to support St. Jude's biggest single-day fundraiser.

The best way to navigate through downtown Memphis and Midtown will be the Waze App on your smart phone.

This year, the city of Memphis has paired up with the app to provide real-time road closures.

For a complete list of closures, visit their website at this link.

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