If you’ve ever visited Nashville, you know it’s a city of runners. They fill the sidewalks of West End and Hillsboro, jog their way over the crosswalks downtown and zip past Belmont with their dogs and strollers (and quite often both at once). But there’s only one time each year when all those runners converge in the same place, and that’s at the annual Country Music Marathon and 1/2 Marathon.
This year’s race marks the 13th in the marathon’s history, and it’s a significant year because the race landed a sponsorship from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, making it a part of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series.
According to the Tennessean, St. Jude signed on for a three-year title sponsorship deal with the race. St. Jude’s CEO of Fundraising, Richard C. Shadyac Jr., told the newspaper that the event is a big fundraiser for the hospital, as runners can become St. Jude Heroes and raise support for their run.
“The event is truly a marriage of fitness enthusiasts and country fans alike nationwide who want to do something meaningful in the fight against childhood cancer and other deadly diseases,” he said.
The only hospital that doesn’t require patients to pay for anything, St. Jude requires more than $1.7 million per day just to operate. The marathon is a great way for Nashvillians and others to get involved in the cause and channel their athletic energy into a worthy cause.
As with every Country Music Marathon in the past, this year’s run will feature a good bit of live music, with more than 50 local artists taking 28 stages to perform for runners during the race. JoDee Messina will also be offering up a live performance at the pre-race pasta party for St. Jude Heroes Friday, April 27, just one day before the race.
The race begins Saturday morning (April 28) at 7 a.m. at Nashville’s Centennial Park and ends at LP Field. A post-race concert will feature Rodney Atkins and Gloriana, rounding out the Country Music Marathon experience.