On Saturday December 8, 2019, over 26,000 people gathered in Downtown Memphis to run in the races of the St. Jude Marathon Weekend. Runners and visitors from around the country spent the past year training and fundraising. The weekend incorporates hospital tours, concerts and the races: either 5k, 10k, half-marathon, or full marathon.
The 2019 weekend brought in over $12 million dollars to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, located in the heart of Memphis. The hospital guarantees treatment, travel and housing at no cost for families. The money raised drives the research and maintenance of St. Jude, whose influence has reached a national and international stage.
The 2019 race marks Hensarling’s 15th St. Jude half marathon. As an experienced runner and coach, she organized individualized plans for each participant as well as navigating the group through difficult runs and injuries.
“It is such a joy to be a part of [training]” said Hensarling, “St. Jude means so much to Memphis and to so many families… why wouldn’t you want to be a part of that?”
Saturday morning runs served as an opportunity for growth for both turkeys of the past and present. Abbie Warr (‘15) ran her first half marathon in 2012 and then her first full marathon during the 2019 weekend. For Warr, like many other runners, the race holds a personal importance. She started the training group the same year that Warr’s classmate was diagnosed with cancer and began treatment at St. Jude.
“There’s something about running a race for a bigger cause, especially one that I have seen the direct results of through my friendship with [her classmate].” Warr said, “St. Jude unites our city in such beautiful ways, and seeing that all come together on one day is such a unique experience.”
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