Memphis in May International Festival just got a little more exciting for athletes of every caliber with the announcement of the Great American River Run. The 2016 event, a half marathon and 5K run, is the first of two events that will become part of the festival’s Memorial Day Weekend lineup closing out the month-long civic celebration. The race is expected to be a fast favorite of local and regional runners, with a course showcasing the Mississippi River, live entertainment along the run route, and culminating with post-race music, food, and beverages on the river bluff.
The race will be held May 28, 2016, and the course will take participants along the banks of the mighty Mississippi River and through downtown Memphis. Both races are designed for all levels of runners, from elite athletes to the beginning runner.
“Our city sits on America’s greatest river, and we want to celebrate this tremendous local asset with a healthy-lifestyle event for local participants and running enthusiasts from across the country,” said James L. Holt, President and CEO of Memphis in May International Festival. “We also want to honor our veterans and celebrate all they do and have done for our country, which is the true purpose of the Memorial Day Weekend holiday.”
The Memorial Day Weekend event will pay tribute to our past and present servicemen and women by supporting the Wounded Warrior Project and providing an opportunity for runners to raise funds to support the mission of this important veterans service organization. A portion of registration fees for the Great American River Run will also be contributed to the Wounded Warrior Project.
“The Board has long wanted to include a participatory event to our festival lineup, and we are excited about the addition of the Great American River Run,” said Doug Browne, 2016 Board Chairman of Memphis in May International Festival. “We have long-term plans for the Great American River Run to grow into one of the nation’s top half marathons, as well as a great way to end our favorite month.”