17,000 runners take to Memphis streets to support St. Jude: 'It’s not just a race'
While running through downtown Memphis Jessica Hooke mulls over the reason for this Marathon, raising money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and why it holds such importance for her.
Currently living in Orland, she was previously a resident of Memphis with family members who are still there; knowing the stories of survivors encourages her to help more children live to tell their tales.
Having run the marathon in 2019 and 2020 (virtually and despite having a hip problem), this is her third time taking part in this noble cause. This National Black Marathoner's Association is taking part again in post-surgical recovery.
17,000 people attended this marathon in person, with 3,000 people taking place online. People attended from each of the 50 states and from a total of 72 countries. All united in their goal to raise money for the sole National Cancer-Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centre for children, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
In the span of 20 years, $100 million has been raised for St. Jude, beginning from a local, humble fundraiser to an international event. This year according to CEO and President of ALSAC Richard Shadyac Jr., they are on the verge of reaching $12.5 million, surpassing the $9 million goals, and outdoing the record of $12.3 million in 2019. With last year's total being $7.5 million with 15,000 participants.
The race began at B.B King Boulevard, finishing at Autozone Park this year. With the 5K and 10K courses running through Downtown and St. Jude campus. People cheered for the participants as they partook in the course. For the Mayor, this event is a highlight for the city and St. Jude. Millions are raised for the hospital, and millions are spent in the city by those staying in hotels to take part in the marathon,
Hooke remembers the cheering faces and falling during the race in 2019, but she says that the reason she runs is for the people and lives St. Jude fights for. She says she will keep running this marathon.
Dal Heart is partaking in his first marathon for his 75th birthday, having raised more than $1000. While Nila Patel and the assistant teacher walked the 5K, taking part for the 4th time. Her love for the kids and wish to make a difference inspired her to participate.
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