St. Jude Children's Research Hospital said Thursday that they will continue to monitor the weather conditions in advance of the marathon Saturday. As of Friday conditions were deemed unsafe and the marathon was canceled.
The overall word from the St. Jude Memphis Marathon organizers Thursday: If you can drive then they will run. However organizers released the following statement:
"We will closely monitor the impact of weather on course conditions, and we will proceed with all race day events unless conditions are deemed unsafe for participants by city and race officials. Any changes to the regular race schedule will be made public no later than 5 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 7. We will communicate with all participants via our website, Facebook, text message and email. To receive mobile updates, participants must text RACE to 785833."
Some find it hard to believe, this time last year organizers were talking about hot weather conditions for the marathon. Runners are not letting the threat of ice and sleet stop them.
"I'm a little bit hesitant about it, but as long as the streets are good. I"m sure they'll de-ice everything and make it safe for all the runners," said runner Tracia Spain.
Race Director Wain Hartwein says they are watching the forecast closely and working closely with the City of Memphis.
"We've been out on the streets today, checking on everything. Keeping up with the weather, hour by hour," he said.
He says city crews plan to treat streets, bridges and overpasses. As of Thursday nigh all runners were told via text alert that the race is still on.
"We're gonna look at the course Saturday morning about 3 o'clock and we will make a decision before 5 [a.m.]," said Hartwein. "We'll bundle up a little bit more, layer up, put things on our ears, cover our necks, cover our face. We probably won't have to shed clothes.
The race director says safety is their number one concern. Since at this point the race is still on, runners and volunteers ultimately have to decided whether it is safe for them to participate personally.
You can sign up for text alerts by texting RACE to 785833.
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