St. Jude Marathon Cancelled, but Not for Arlington Running Club

40 Local Runners Raced Through Arlington Saturday in Honor of Patients at St. Jude

LiveFIT_groupphoto_3 with watermark

Before the race, runners gathered for a chilly group photo.

A long-time St. Jude supporter, Ellen Young had trained for months with LiveFIT Running Club to run her first half-marathon on Saturday.  As a St. Jude Hero, she had also raised $500 for the children’s research hospital. So, she was disappointed to hear Friday night that the race had been called off due to weather conditions.  But Young quickly learned that a little cold weather and icy trees doesn’t keep Arlington runners at home. Young wasn’t surprised by any of this, commenting that “Arlington is a wonderful supportive community.”

Shortly after the official cancellation, LiveFIT Running Coach Courtney Barnes and LiveFIT owner Adina Wiseman were quickly making plans for their group to run the full distance through the streets of Arlington, Tennessee.  Barnes joked that she became an overnight Race Director as logistics fell into place.  Barnes mapped a 13.1 mile route and the families and friends of the runners set up water stations, complete with fruit along the way.

Fewer than 15 hours later, forty runners set off in 28 degree temperatures from Depot Square at 8:00 am. While most had a goal of completing a half-marathon distance, Barnes, along with Wendy Quinn, and Julie Baldridge, were on their second lap.  The trio had run the course at 5:30 am in order to check it out for the rest.  A few runners opted for a shorter 5K distance.

Finish Line

At the finish line, some of the 5K runners along with families and friends, get ready to cheer on the participants.

By 10:00 am, a lively bunch of friends and family had set up an official finish line in front of the local history Museum, complete with a red tape, signs, cowbells, and a bullhorn. As the first runners came into view, they were cheered to the finish, hugged, and quickly sent to warm up inside. And this reception was repeated for every single participant throughout the morning (and a few surprised joggers).

Volunteers, participants, supporters–all agreed that today’s event exemplified the small-town charm of Arlington. Where a race can be organized overnight, in below-freezing weather, and Santa comes to your post-race party.

If you’re wondering who won the Inaugural Arlington St. Jude’s?  LiveFIT trainer Becky Bowers said it best: “Forty runners means forty winners.” Sounds about right.

Finish Line Photo Gallery available here.

Runners with Santa

When Santa happened by, he joined in for a group photo at the post-race party.


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