MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tens of thousands of runners and their families are once again filling the streets of Memphis for the St. Jude Marathon.
Having the runners back is not just good for the Downtown Memphis’ bottom line but also the spirit.
Equipment is being brought into place for the big morning, as this year really has an impact for so many businesses after the race was held virtually.
Deni Reilly, owner of the Majestic Grille Downtown is ready for the weekend event.
“There were people getting their race packets yesterday and coming in for lunch,” Reilly said. “Not having that race last year, it was virtual but not having it physically here you know made a real impact on the city emotionally and financially.”
The added foot traffic this year is much needed for many businesses. Lauren Anthony manages the downtown Dinstuhl’s Fine Candies location off Main Street.
The historic, locally owned shop well-known throughout the city. When the pandemic hit, the downtown location temporarily closed and much of their business relied on other nearby spots being open.
“We were really hurt by the closings brought on by the pandemic,” Anthony said. “Things are slowly getting back to normal.”
Thankfully they’re back open and once again welcoming customers. They’re excited about it, especially this weekend, as more customers from out of town stop by to experience a tasty treat.
“People from out of town, if they leave with a little taste of Dinstuhl’s, they can always go online and still order and we can ship to them,” Anthony said.
While the added dollars are important, the overall impact of the race runs much deeper.
“It’s huge. You know it’s good for the bottom line but it’s also just good for the soul. It’s really wonderful to see the city coming back to life, to seeing downtown vibrant again,” Anthony said. “To seeing all these people in town to run for the kids.”
Memphis Police have posted this year’s route online and on Facebook.