The 17th annual St. Jude Marathon will be delayed at least a half hour Saturday morning because of the weather. Meanwhile, participants, spectators, and volunteers packed the Memphis Cook Convention Center Friday, picking up race packets, buying gear, and eating lunch.
The St. Jude Marathon is expected to bring millions into the city of Memphis. We talked to tons of participants who are planning to shop and eat at local restaurants.
There’s one local restaurant owner who’s been nationally recognized for her soul food, and she welcomes the crowds with open arms.
“You come through that door as a stranger, but you leave as part of Alcenia’s family,” says B. J. Chester-Tamayo from Alcenia’s.
When you visit Alcenia’s on North Main, B. J. Chester-Tamayo will greet you with a big hug. The restaurant, open for 21 years, serves up soul food and is ready for Saturday’s crowd.
“Some customers just came in and said they’ve been wanting to come and because of St. Jude they came here today,” says Chester-Tamayo.
The St. Jude marathon is expected to generate $30-million with 20,000 runners and more than 50,000 spectators. The crowds will bring in big bucks for local restaurants and other businesses.
“Tonight, we’re probably gonna go to Beale Street or tomorrow of course. I’d like to see that Sun Records. I do wanna see Graceland,” says runner Kathleen Clark.
“I think it brings in a lot for the tourism tourist attractions the restaurants definitely,” says runner Nikki Simmons.
Alcenia’s restaurant on North Main is ready for runners and others who stop in for a bite and a hug.
“I’m the only restaurant that has love in my food, that’s what makes me the best,” says Chester-Tamayo.
Remember start times for the race will delayed by thirty minutes and that could change depending on the weather.
Also, several streets downtown will be blocked off for the marathon, as well as the Downtown Christmas parade which starts at 4:00 p.m. Prepare to park and walk.