Downtown Memphis tough to navigate during St. Jude Marathon

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Streets around the 2018 St. Jude Marathon route will close Friday night.

This year's event will feature a new route which will impact traffic in several communities.

Some 26,000 people are expected to participate in the race Saturday morning.

Memphis police said some road closures could last until 4 or 5 Saturday evening.

Parts of Madison, Second, Fourth and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue will be shut down to all traffic.

This year, there will be two different start lines. One is at Lt. George W. Lee Avenue and B.B. King Boulevard by FedExForum for the marathon and half marathon runners.

The other is at B.B. King Boulevard and Madison Avenue by AutoZone Park for the 5K and 10K races.

Police are preparing for the congestion downtown.

"We’re expecting over 25,000 runners; each one of those runners may have support and personnel with them so that’s going to swell our numbers up to about 40-50,000 people within the downtown core," Lt. Colonel Keith Watson said.

The marathon begins at 8 a.m. This year, runners will spend more time along the river front on Riverside Drive, more time going through the St. Jude campus, and through Overton Park.

“Take consideration on the roll out you saw during the MLK50 events. During that we had approximately 250 officers doing that so we are going to be around those same numbers again, close to 300 officers,” Watson said.

The city considers the closures to be minor inconveniences to support a major fundraiser for St. Jude.

Click here for a map of the race routes and road closures.

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