Runners Push Ahead To Icy St. Jude Marathon
(Memphis) Dallas is calling off its marathon Saturday because of icy weather, but thousands are still planning to brave the freezing temps by running 26.2 miles tomorrow in Memphis.
St. Jude Marathon coordinators will make a decision at 9 tonight about if the race should go on or not because of the ice storm, but for now it’s full speed ahead.
Some runners say the kids at St. Jude can’t quit when things get tough so they aren’t either.
“All we can do now to honor our son and to remember him is to give back to the place that gave so much to us,” said Jennifer Denton.
Jennifer and her husband Brian are running the 5K Saturday in memory of their son Alex who lost his battle with cancer at St. Jude.
They raised $51,000 this year to give back to the hospital.
“Without St. Jude we would not have had the last 14 months with our son Alex. He was two when he was diagnosed and three when he passed and those are just precious moments,” said Denton.
Around 25 of Alex’s family members plan to brave a 19 degree race start with wind chills as low as 4 degrees.
Alex’s dad says that’s nothing compared to what his son went through.
“It’s just another hurdle. It’s just something you need to work through and be mentally tough and keep fighting just like the kids do,” said Brian Denton.
Alex went through many rounds of chemo and a bone marrow transplant from his day, and every runner News Channel 3 talked with is nervous about the icy conditions of the race, but hope to share Alex’s bravery.
“We’re from New Orleans so we’re not use to this. I don’t know if I packed enough cloths so I need to go shop to but something to stay warm,” said runner Betsy Boudrouax.
Running coach Kevin Leathers say running a marathon in sub-freezing temps is not impossible, but you must dress warmly and in layers to stay safe.
“It’s all about layering, putting on proper layers with gloves and hand warmers in the gloves to prepare for the wind chill but also not over heat,” said Leathers.
Whatever layers are taken off during the race will be collected along the course and donated to homeless shelters.
News Channel 3’s weather team says the temperature will warm up slightly during the race and there won’t be any precipitation to worry about.