(Memphis) Two days before the big race and Kelly Ogden is optimistic as she picks up her registration packet for this year’s St. Jude Marathon.
She’s been watching the weather and isn’t deterred, though she knows it will be cold.
“Layering. I have thermal shirts to wear and lots of layers. So I am just praying everyone thinks about that and stays as warm as they can,” says Ogden.
Winter weather can mean big problems for 20,000 runners.
It’s why race officials plan to go out around 3 a.m. Saturday with street crews to give the roads a final look.
“If streets are icy, yeah, that’s one concern and we’ll have to see how we are gonna deal with that and how we will handle it,” said race director Wain Rubenstein.
He says it will take something really extreme for them to call off the race.
“We’re planning on having the event. It will be cold, but the thought of cancellation is not even in question,” said Rubenstein.
For runners who have waited for this, they plan to be there without question.
“I don’t think it’s gonna get as bad as they are predicting. We are gonna participate. We are going to wrap up and we are going. We are going,” said first time racer Tijuana Nichols.
Plenty of people are going for the warm gear since temperatures are expected to be frigid, but runners say they won’t need it long.
“It starts out cold, but then I think you either get numb or you warm up,” said race participant Dawn Hilliard.
Still in the back of runners’ minds is what mother nature may be planning.
“Yeah it’s concerning with the potential of ice coming. It’s definitely hard on runners, but even more so getting to the event will be difficult if the roads are covered with ice,” said Josh Giannini of Germantown.
Race organizers also plan to have warming stations, including buses on stand-by in case runners or volunteers need to get warm.
They will make contact through social media to give updates on race conditions for Saturday morning.
They say, right now, it’s full speed ahead for the St. Jude Marathon.