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St. Jude Rock 'n' Roll Nashville Enjoys a Weekend of Smooth Running in Music City

by Rich and Laura Lynch

The St. Jude Rock 'n' Roll Running Series Nashville (TN) took place Saturday, April 22, 2023.There was a large turnout of runners from near and far. Their route which started at 8th Avenue and ended at Nissan Stadium included iconic landmarks such as Broadway, the Country Music Hall of Fame, Music Row, The Gulch and more. The Rock 'n' Roll races take place throughout the nation with Nashville's event featuring lots of music as you might expect.

The Municipal Auditorium welcomed close to 24,000 runners in 2023.

In 2023, the organizers are celebrating 25 incredible years of Rock 'n' Roll Running Series - Bringing Fun to the Run! That's 25 years of energetic start lines, milestone moments, moving to the music- all types of music, and finish line memories with friends, family and a community over 2.5 million strong. In Nashville with a quarter century of experience at the helm along with idyllic conditions - this year's edition can go into the books as one that was nearly flawless and one that will become a benchmark to judge all future outings by.

Marathoners rounded the bend to be greeted by the Batman Building at the finish line.

Thursday and Friday were registration days. The health expo held at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium and the Musicians Hall of Fame featured live music from Joe Noto, Golden West, Jillian Cardarelli, Lance Carpenter and Adam Warner. These artists added to the energy of the expo where runners were picking up racing packs, checking out marathon merchandise and more. On Saturday, participants were serenaded by over 25 additional groups and performers who were positioned along the route.

Runaway June headlined the after-race party at Nissan Stadium.

Saturday's St. Jude Rock 'n' Roll Running Series Nashville marathon reported close to 24,000 registered runners however, it was Garang Madut (Dayton, OH) with a time of 2:27:06 and Sarah Higgins (Greenwood, IN.) winning in a time of 2:43:54 coming home victorious in the men's and women's races, respectively. In the Half Marathon category, Patrick Rizzo (Kingston Springs, TN.) with a time of 1:07:41 and Robin Pomeroy (Verona, WI) finishing in 1:21:40 were the overall winners.

All signs point to another great event in Music City.

"I had to try to keep my pace because the bands made me speed up and I was like, whoa, chill out Sarah," said Sarah Higgins. "I was hoping to get top three. I was just going to run my race and see what happens. The course was definitely flatter than I expected it to be because I heard Nashville was hilly (it is). There were still inclines and stuff, but nothing like a crazy hill that you had to work really hard to climb. You couldn't have asked for better weather (slightly chilly in the early morning hours of the race)."

Lance Carpenter greeted registrants with his own brand of quality tunes.

In addition to an interesting course with uplifting music, contenders were encouraged by the fact that this marathon raises funds for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. St. Jude is a leader in understanding, treating and defeating childhood cancer. Founded in 1962, this hospital has helped increase the overall survival rate for patients from 20% to over 80%. Because of generous supporters, families do not receive any bills for treatment, travel and housing. So, this race is a win-win for all participants.

It really was a Rock 'n' Roll marathon in Music City.

There was plenty of excitement at Nissan Stadium as folks cheered people crossing the finishing line. Publix was on hand to give out water and bananas, plus there were photo opps, meet up spots, vendors and more live performances. Nearby was a sizable stage where Greg Pratt, Runaway June and Angie Ray entertained runners and their supporters. Thus, providing a music-centric fun way to wind down after achieving a major goal. It doesn't get much more Rock 'n' Roll than that!

This race has it all - encouragement and commitment to a worthy cause.

"We are excited to be back for our 23rd running of the St Jude Rock 'n' Roll Running Series Nashville," stated Drew Wolff, Regional Director "The weekend was full of great music, and you don't need to be a hardcore runner, we have distances of a mile up to a marathon, kids' race, and a doggie dash. All the events were a unique and inspiring way to experience Music City Nashville!" On Sunday, DJ Pete performed during some of these extra proceedings to conclude Marathon Weekend on a high note.

Greg Pratt got the party started on Saturday.

The next Rock 'n' Roll marathon will take place in San Diego, California and that course will lead runners on a scenic tour through some of that city's most well-known neighborhoods, including Balboa Park, Hillcrest, North Park, Normal Heights and moren - before finishing in Downtown San Diego.

It's not too early to sign-up for the 2024 edition.

Related Links: For more information on ST. JUDE ROCK 'N' ROLL RUNNING SERIES and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - St. Jude Rock 'n' Roll Nashville | St. Jude Children's Research Hospital


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