18,500 runners in St. Jude Marathon, raises $5.7 million

(WMC-TV) - For the 11th year, a journey of hope for the children of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital filled the streets of Memphis.

18,500 runners hit the streets of downtown and Midtown Memphis for the St. Jude Marathon Saturday morning.

Some, for 1.8 million reasons.

St. Jude raised $5.7 million.

It costs $1.8 million per day to offer free research and care to children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases.

"The biggest thing is the money that goes to St. Jude. That's the biggest reason we run is to support those kids," said marathon participant Jerry Jones. 

No family ever pays St. Jude for anything.

"I was actually a patient myself from 1970 to 1978," said former St. Jude patient Gary.
While some participants are living proof of St. Jude's mission, others run to remember loved ones.

"Jay Rogers. He's a hometown guy who just passed away a few months ago," said marathon participant Vonda Stewart
Stewart ran to give children a chance.

"He'd been battling cancer for quite some time. 20-years-old," she said.

The runners aren't only from Memphis.

Jerry Jones from Jackson, Tennessee said the race has become a tradition.

"We've come down here for the last seven years to do this," said Jones

The marathoners wound through downtown and Midtown Memphis, from Riverside Drive to East Parkway.

Along the route was the hospital where nearly 8,000 children are served each year.

Winners of the marathon were Justin Gillette from Goshen, Indiana and Angie Zinkus from Eads, TN.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.