Running Trend in Memphis: Coming in Fast

Posted on September 30, 2014


By Ellie Skochdopole

It’s no longer only the St. Jude Marathon that gets Memphians running these days. The constant street closings and neon-clad runners that consume Memphis roads nearly every weekend now can only mean one thing: Memphis has officially caught the running bug!

“Fun Runs,” are short, often themed races that have overtaken the city. In October, there are thirteen such events scheduled in or around the city, including the Pumpkin Run, benefitting Le Bonheur, the Shelby Farms Greenline Half Marathon, and the Susan G. Komen Memphis-Midtown Race for the Cure. October 11th alone sees four different programs throughout the city.

Historically, there has been the Color Run, where participants are showered with brightly colored powders throughout the race, a Blacklight Run, done under the cover of night, and even a “Mewathon,” benefitting the cat shelter the House of Mews. Rockin’ Running Tours offer three- to six-mile courses showing off some of Memphis’s top historical and culture sites. The Greenline has become a mecca for those seeking maintained trails across the county, extending from downtown all the way out to Shelby Farms.

While this trend is obviously gaining speed, it will be interesting to see how running culture will impact Memphis as a whole. The city is considered one of the most obese in America, with over one-third of residents being defined as such. However, Memphis is also simultaneously a leader in health and medical research. The city is ranked 44th in overall fitness and health by the American Fitness Index. We are also 40th for personal health indicators as well as 39th for community health indicators. While there still may be a bit to go in terms of becoming a “fit” city, the broader trend of running is definitely positive for those looking to get healthy, stay healthy, or even just explore Memphis in a new and exciting way.

Posted in: Health, Lifestyle