Runners start their race in front of downtown Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium, the “Mother Church of Country Music,” at the St. Jude Country Music Marathon, Half Marathon & 5K, which saw more than 20,000 runners, walkers and wheelchair racers cross the finish line in all races combined last year, including more than 18,000 in the half marathon alone.
The race — which was first run in 2000, added the half marathon distance in 2002 and became part of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series a few years ago — follows a point-to-point course that starts off with a gradual uphill for the first few miles, which unfold through downtown Nashville and then head south, passing by the campus of Vanderbilt University.
From there, the unfolds along a hilly and sometimes challenging route, with plenty of rolling hills throughout both the full and the half marathon courses, and ends on the other side of the Cumberland River that cuts through the city, on the grounds of the Nashville Stadium and LP Field, the home field of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans.
Along the 13.1 miles of the half marathon route, participants will encounter much of what makes the city a destination for country music lovers around the world — in recent years, the first mile of the race along Broadway has featured live music for the entire length of the mile.
The next few miles — which head into residential areas south of downtown — feature the longest uphill stretch of the half marathon, a gradual climb that peaks in the Belmont neighborhood around mile 4. That’s followed by a downhill stretch over the next couple of miles and then an equally gradual downhill descent in the second half of hte race.
The rest of the race will also have live music and entertainment, thanks to what organizers say will be hundreds of cheerleaders from area high schools stationed along the route, as well as dozens of bands blasting all kinds of music out for the runners — including country, rock, blues, jazz and more — as they pass by one of more than two dozen stages along the course.
The final couple of miles bring runners past the Tennessee State Capitol building and Bicentennial State Park before they head over the bridge at Woodland Street, to the finish line at LP Field.
Runners (and walkers and wheelchair racers) will have a 4-hour course time limit for the half marathon and a 6-hour time limit for the full marathon.
Race Weather & Climate
Located near the center of the northern part of the state, along the banks of Tennessee’s stretch of the Cumberland River, the city of Nashville typically experiences mild to moderately cool weather in the spring with occasional showers in April, which has brought record temperatures here as low as 23°F (in 2007) and as high as 91°F (in 1989).
On race day (April 29), the average low is 51°F and the average high is 73°F.
- 2016 Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Half Marathon Results
- 2015 Country Music Half Marathon Results
- 2014 Country Music Half Marathon Results
- 2013 Country Music Half Marathon Results
- 2012 Country Music Half Marathon Results
- 2011 Country Music Half Marathon Results
- 6:45 AM – 5K
- 7:15 AM – half marathon, full marathon
See race website
To reserve your spot in the spring 2017 running of the St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon or Half Marathon race, register online at the event website here.
Official Race Website
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