St. Jude Marathon canceled due to weather, safety conditions - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

St. Jude Marathon canceled due to weather, safety conditions

More than 20,000 people signed up for the 26.2-mile race course, which would have kicked off its 12th year Saturday. More than 20,000 people signed up for the 26.2-mile race course, which would have kicked off its 12th year Saturday.
Shadyac says he personally traveled the race route Friday and just before 6:30 p.m. he made the call to cancel the race. Shadyac says he personally traveled the race route Friday and just before 6:30 p.m. he made the call to cancel the race.
It was a tough decision most runners supported and understood. It was a tough decision most runners supported and understood.

(WMC-TV) - Race officials announced the St. Jude Marathon will be canceled due to safety and weather concerns. The decision was made early Friday night after an entire day of wintry weather.

More than 20,000 people signed up for the 26.2-mile race course, which would have kicked off its 12th year Saturday.

But despite the cancellation, the St. Jude Heroes—a special group of race participants who raise funds by obtaining pledges from friends and family—generated $8 million.

The annual Hero Pasta Party Friday quickly changed from preparation to a cancellation.

"We did it taking into consideration everybody's safety. Safety being our number one priority," said ALSAC/St. Jude CEO Rick Shadyac.

Shadyac says he personally traveled the race route Friday and just before 6:30 p.m. he made the call to cancel the race.

"There are about 7,800 of our fellow Memphians already without power, and I didn't want to divert any resources from this great city away from those people that are people in need," he said.

He says about 30 percent of volunteers had already canceled and that 15 percent of medical personnel could not make it.

The finish line inside AutoZone park was completely covered in ice. It was a tough decision most runners supported and understood.

The following statement was released from St. Jude after the announcement:

The safety of race participants, volunteers and spectators is and always has been our top priority. After careful consideration with race officials, City of Memphis and Office of Emergency Management officials, and the Memphis Police Department, we have made the difficult but necessary decision to cancel this year's St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend due to weather conditions.

As a result, we are providing registered participants in the 2013 St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend races with multiple options to accommodate this unfortunate turn of events. Participants may choose from one of the following options:

  • St. Jude will apply their registration to one of these upcoming events: P.F. Chang's Rock ‘n' Roll Arizona Marathon and Half-Marathon (Jan. 19, 2014), Rock ‘n' Roll New Orleans Marathon and Half-Marathon (Feb. 2, 2014), and the St. Jude Country Music Marathon and Half-Marathon (April 26, 2014). NOTE: St. Jude will not cover any expenses other than the application of the registration fee, subject to race availability.
  • Receive a refund of your registration fee for the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend or allow your registration fee to be donated to St. Jude.

Finally, registered participants in the 2013 St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend will have the first opportunity to sign up for the 2014 event during a special registration window to be announced later.

In the very near future we will communicate to 2013 participants in more detail. We want to express our deepest thanks to all of the participants, volunteers and spectators who have long trained, worked and traveled to support the patients and families of St. Jude through this amazing annual event. We hope everyone will come back to support the 2014 St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend. The money raised at events like the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend are critical to our ability treat kids with cancer and ensure no family ever pays St. Jude for anything.

Action News 5's Lauren Squires is working to learn more and will have the latest on our show at 10 p.m.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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