Organizers of the 20th Running of St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll ® Nashville Marathon & ½ Marathon on April 27 announced changes and improvements to the course, including the opportunity to run on the field at First Tennessee Park.
Building on the excitement of the event, which culminates in a celebrity-filled finish line festival at Nissan Stadium, is a weekend pairing of the event with the NFL Draft.
“This year’s St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon & ½ Marathon weekend is going to be special in a number of ways as we celebrate 20 Years Running in this amazing city,” said Keats McGonigal, Senior Regional Director for Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series. “As we keep the key components that have made this such a successful race over the years, we will be making some positive modifications, which when paired with the NFL Draft will create what is undoubtedly going to be a one-of-a-kind running weekend.”
Additional details on the finish line festival and the headline concerts in conjunction with the NFL Draft will be released at a later date.
The marathon and half marathon start time will remain at 7:15 a.m. with the 5K starting at 6:45 a.m.
- The best highlights on course remain, such as passing the famous Honky Tonk bars on Broadway at the start, cruising past the Country Music Hall of Fame and Music City Center plus running tours through Music Row, Belmont University and The Gulch, as well as the Belmont/Hillsboro and
12 South neighborhoods.
- The half marathon course once again will run through Bicentennial State Park before ending with an epic view as runners cross the Woodland Street bridge into the finish at Nissan Stadium.
- The marathon course will offer some additional highlights through historic Germantown, Metro Center featuring a Mile of Music, fun and funky East Nashville, and beautiful Shelby Park.
- 5K participants will have a separate start from the marathon and half marathon next to Nashville Music City Center.
- With the removal of an early turn from last year’s course, runners will have more road width and less turns at the start, allowing runners to catch their stride and get on pace early in the race.
- Music is at the core of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series DNA and 2019 is bringing more music than ever before, including more band stages on all courses.
“We made some minor changes to improve the runner experience; however, the majority of the course will remain the same as last year,” explains Alyssa Updegave, Race Director.
Marathon week kicks off Thursday, April 25, with a free and open to the public, two-day, Health & Fitness Expo at the Nashville Music City Center. All race participants will visit the expo to pick up their race numbers and browse over 100 exhibitors featuring free samples, the latest in running gear and sports apparel, as well as a series of interactive clinics.
Race weekend includes a partnership with the NFL Draft with details to follow in 2019. The event concludes on Sunday afternoon with KiDS ROCK Nashville presented by the YMCA of Middle Tennessee, where more than 3,500 junior racers from grades K-7 will complete the final mile of their modified marathon. For the third year, race week festivities include a 1 Mile Run that will be held along with the KiDS Rock this year due to the NFL Draft festivities.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital returns as the title partner and official charity of the 2018 St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon & ½ Marathon. Last year more than 3,000 St. Jude Heroes participated in the race, raising more than $2 million for the hospital by securing donations from family, friends and co-workers. Funds raised from St. Jude are instrumental in supporting the $2 million per day it takes to operate the hospital and allows families to never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food.