Now is the Time. Memphis is the Place.

Sign Up Now: Great American River Run 5/28

Photo: Josiah Mackenzie

american river run 2

This year Memphis in May is hosting a brand new half marathon and 5k event. The race course will feature the MS river and have live entertainment along the route which will end with post-race music, food, and drinks. Both races are available for all running levels. The Half Marathon begins at 7am and the 5k begins at 7:30am.

>>Register here<<

This event will pay honor our past and present servicemen and women by supporting the Wounded Warrior Project and will provide an opportunity for runners to raise funds themselves. A portion of registration fees will also be contributed to the Wounded Warrior Project.

“The Board has long wanted to include a participatory event to our festival lineup and we are excited about the addition of the Great American River Run.” says Doug Browne, 2016 Board Chairman of Memphis in May International Festival. “We have long-term plans for the Great American River Run to grow it into one of the nation’s top half marathons, as well as a great way to end our favorite month.”

In addition, all runners registered in the Great American River Run will also receive free entry to another new event at the 2016 festival, 901Fest. Packed with local musicians, food, vendors, merchandise, fireworks, and more, 901Fest will be the closing event for this year’s festival.


  • Friday, May 27 – Expo & Packet Pick-Up – 11:00 am to 9:00 pm
    Runner packets may be picked up at our Run Expo at the Peabody Hotel (Tennessee Room, 149 Union Avenue, Memphis TN 38103). Nike runner bags include: race bib, timing chip, wristband for entry to 901Fest, discount coupons, special surprises and important runner instructions. NO PACKET PICK-UP ON RACE DAY.
  • Saturday, May 28 – Race Day
    • Gear Check Drop-Off – 5:30 am
    • Stretch/Warm Up – 6:30-6:45 am
    • Half Marathon Start – 7:00 am
    • 5K Start – 7:30 am
    • Yoga – 8:00-8:30 am **Be advised: The half marathon race has a 3.5 hour time limit (16 min/mile). The course and course support will be shutting down based on this pace. You may finish the course, but will be asked to move to the sidewalk if you chose to continue.**

Hydration/Cooling Stations
Water stations will be set up at 10 different mile markers throughout the half marathon race and one spot during the 5K. In addition, there will be cooling stations at miles 9 & 11 for added support and cold towels will be available to racers on miles 8, 9, 10, 11 & 12.  This article can also help provide some tips to running in the heat.

Half-Marathon Prices
$75 from May 16 – 26
$85 on May 27 & 28 if available (full capacity is expected)

5K Prices
$40 from May 16 – 26
$45 on May 27 & 28 if available (full capacity is expected)

Additional Information

  • A $1,000 prize will be awarded to the fastest male & female finishers for the half marathon, while the fastest 5K finishers will receive a Porsche prize package sponsored by Gossett Porsche.
  • You bring your running shoes, we’ll bring the course entertainment. Mile 1: Memphis Jones. Mile 6: Jeff Hulett. Mile 9.01: Daddy Mack
  • Olympic athlete Sable Otey will be leading a round of stretching and warm ups from 6:30 – 6:45, so arrive early!
  • Unwind after the 5K with a yoga session in Tom Lee Park from 8:00 – 8:30 am
  • Stick around following the conclusion of the race for the best post-run party in Memphis, including music from the North Mississippi Allstars and Dead Soldiers, food, drinks and more!
  • Every runner gets a medal! Click here for more information on this year’s awesome medals (some late registering 5K runners may have their medals mailed to them).
  • Click here for more information on parking downtown. There are a host of surface lots near the park in addition to several parking garages.
  • If you’re registered for the Great American River Run, you also get FREE ENTRY to the inaugural 901Fest!
  • The routes for both runs have been updated recently. See the new course for your run below.
  • The start and finish lines are at the same location inside Tom Lee Park for both races. The race will start in the North Center area of the park. All runners are encouraged to enter the site from Riverside Drive at Beale Street.

Check out the race course maps below:


Click to enlarge


Click to enlarge

2016 Memphis in May International Festival Lineup:

  • Beale Street Music Festival: April 29 – May 1, 2016
  • International Week salute to Canada: May 2–9, 2016
  • World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest: May 12–14
  • 2016 Great American River Run: May 28, 2016
  • 901Fest: May 28, 2016

Interested in volunteering? Go here.

For updates you can follow the Great American River Run on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Use #MIMGARR to join the conversation.

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