Record sell-outs and new race enhancements highlight this year's event
MEMPHIS, Tenn., Dec. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Justin Gillette of Goshen, Ind. and Angie Zinkus of Eads, Tenn. were the top male and female finishers, respectively, in the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend presented by Juice Plus+® on Saturday, Dec. 1. Gillette finished the 26.2-miles course with a time of 2:35:14 while Zinkus finished in 2:55:41. A record 18,500 people registered for the event, which raised a record $5.7 million to support St. Jude Children's Research Hospital®, 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.
One first for this year's race was the participation of Richard Shadyac Jr., CEO of ALSAC/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in the half marathon. Shadyac said of his experience, "It never ceases to amaze me the response we get from people wanting to be more connected to the St. Jude mission. This event gets better every year – both in the number of participants, and the amount of money they help us raise for the kids of St. Jude. It was my honor to run alongside them today, and we also owe a heartfelt thanks to all the volunteers, race officials, city partners and sponsors who helped make the day's events such a tremendous success."
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 popular St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend reaches full capacity earlier every year. The half marathon sold out in May this year, compared to a sell-out in mid-July last year. The marathon sold out in June compared to August last year, and the Memphis Grizzlies House 5K sold out in October, compared to a mid-November sell-out in 2011. The St. Jude Memphis Kids Marathon and Family Fun Run, now in its fourth year, continues to grow towards capacity.
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 canceled 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 Tenn.) 3:53:24 - Team Awesome
Ashley Wallace, Keri Cruzen, Kelly Lomax, Beth Scarbrough and Amanda Wittenberg
- Co-ed (Germantown Tenn.) 3:03:38 - Pilgrimage Track Club
Bruce Keisling, Whitten Ortega, Scott Peatross, Jessica Tatum and Kelley Willis
According to Brandon Wilmoth, manager of charity athletic programs for ALSAC/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, "We've raised $5.7 million, but expect that figure to grow in the weeks to come as our 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 incremental funds for St. Jude by securing donations from family, friends and co-workers. The daily operating cost for St. Jude is $1.8 million, which is covered primarily by public contributions and through events like the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, St. Jude treats some of the world's sickest children with pioneering research and exceptional care under one roof and no family ever pays St. Jude for anything. St. Jude also shares its research freely with hospitals and doctors, meaning one child saved at St. Jude means thousands more saved around the world.
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, Tenn.
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.
About the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend
Since 2002, the event has been produced in partnership with the Memphis Runners Track Club and presenting sponsor Juice Plus and now features a marathon, half marathon, marathon relay, the Memphis Grizzlies House 5K, kids marathon and family fun run. Funds are raised from the event primarily through St. Jude Heroes, a special group of race participants who raise funds by obtaining pledges from friends and family. More than $25.7 million has been raised through the St. Jude Heroes program. For more information, visit stjudemarathon.org.
About St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Since opening 50 years ago, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital has changed the way the world treats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. No family ever pays St. Jude for the care their child receives and, for every child treated here, thousands more have been saved worldwide through St. Jude discoveries. The hospital has played a pivotal role in pushing U.S. pediatric cancer survival rates from 20 to 80 percent overall, and is the first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. It is also a leader in the research and treatment of blood disorders and infectious diseases in children. St. Jude was founded by the late entertainer Danny Thomas, who believed that no child should die in the dawn of life. Join that mission by visiting stjude.org or following us on facebook.com/stjude and twitter.com/stjude.
About Juice Plus+®
Juice Plus+®, the presenting sponsor for the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend, is an easy and inexpensive way to add nutrition from a wide variety of different fruits, vegetables and grains to your diet, everyday. It provides whole food based nutrition from 17 different fruits, vegetables and grains in convenient capsule, chewable or gummi form.
SOURCE St. Jude Children's Research Hospital