Does the mere thought of running a marathon make you tired? Well, there’s good news for all you “0.0” car sticker enthusiasts: you don’t actually have to run (or even walk or jog) the St. Jude Marathon to participate in this momentous Memphis day!
Race day is Saturday, December 4, 2021. In other words—just around the soon-to-be-blocked-off corner! Thousands of people (as in, 250,000+) will be walking (and running and rolling and trotting) in Memphis that day—and even if you’re not among the throngs with their sights set on the finish line, you don’t have to ride the metaphorical marathon bench next month—or even this month, for that matter, because “Finding Cures, Saving Children” starts today.
So Many Ways to Say Yes to St. Jude
St. Jude themselves said it best:
“Participate, fundraise, volunteer, cheer—there’s a role for everyone to play in our 20th anniversary year!”
And your involvement (whatever it looks like) doesn’t have to wait until December 4. Every week of November leading up to race day, there’s a different challenge posted each Monday that invites everyone everywhere to “Show Your St. Jude Spirit.” Not only that, St. Jude’s got you covered with their “Spirit Toolkit” and “Social Toolkit,” chock-full of snazzy Zoom backgrounds, coloring sheet cheer posters (perfect for kids and adults alike!), and even a pennant banner!
St. Jude makes it easy for people all across the city (and the nation and world) to join in on their largest single-day fundraising event of the year. To put it into perspective: in only two decades, $100 million has been raised through the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend. And all you have to do is print, post, download, or share to spread awareness and mobilize the masses.
Donate to St. Jude’s Lifesaving Mission
Another way to participate in the legacy of St. Jude is by joining the fundraising efforts leading up to the marathon weekend. Donations make it possible for St. Jude to continue offering 100% cost-free care and treatment to children battling life-threatening illnesses. Beyond that, treatments discovered and invented at St. Jude have increased the childhood survival rate by 60% since 1962. As they’re closing in on their goal of 100% survival rates, you can play a key role by joining the St. Jude Marathon Weekend fundraising efforts, happening now. All you have to do is reach out to a St. Jude Hero (someone who is running the race` and raising funds leading up to it) and ask to join their team! You can also search them easily on St. Jude’s website, and join their team online.
If you don’t know any runners, don’t be deterred—you can make a general donation to support the event, knowing that your money is being used to end childhood cancer.
Play a Vital Role as a Volunteer
In addition to donating funds and utilizing St. Jude’s Spirit Toolkit to spread the word to friends and family members through your social media networks, you can also play a vital role in the marathon weekend by serving as an event volunteer.
From manning the course, to helping out with the Green Team (think: keeping the course clean and litter-free!), to assisting at one of this year’s Expos, to celebrating and serving runners well-earned food and drinks at the Finish Festival, there is no shortage of opportunities to play a hands-on role in 2021’s marathon weekend. Don’t want to volunteer alone? Grab a friend or two, or, if you and your coworkers, small group, book club, or neighbors want to play your part together, check out the many group volunteer opportunities.
Hoot and Holler for the St. Jude Heroes
If you and a group of friends, family members, colleagues, or neighbors want to be responsible for keeping the energy high and pumping up race participants as they pass by on December 4, you’ll love this opportunity to get loud and express your support of heroes running, walking, or jogging for a cure.
St. Jude provides you with all you need to be the best cheerleaders ever—from noisemakers to poster-making supplies and a great location for you to hoot and holler. All you need to bring is your voice—and a few friends to join you in cheering your heart out!
Ready to register your squad of celebrators? Don’t delay!
Near or Far—Race from Wherever You Are!
Can’t make it to Memphis to race this year? As challenging as 2020 was, it did force us to get our creative juices flowing and come up with some virtual alternatives that have proven to be winners! If you want to participate from afar, St. Jude’s got you covered. Whether you’re ready to tackle an entire marathon or aiming to start smaller with a 5k, you can chart your own course and run anywhere in the world—all while supporting children throughout the world.
Countdown to Race Today: Every Contribution Counts
Whether you’re lacing up your sneakers, sharing a post on Insta, or scouting out the best spot to cheer at the top of your lungs for the thousands upon thousands of St. Jude Heroes running past, your participation in the 20th annual St. Jude marathon weekend is sure to make a difference in the lives of countless children and families across the globe—and make you smile while doing it.
Don’t forget to utilize St. Jude’s nifty “Navigating Race Day” page, Runner Tracking tool, and, of course, their marathon weekend hashtags: #ShowYourSpirit and #StJudeHero. Stay tuned for important updates, weekly challenges, and more by liking and following St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.