Two teams totaling 40 runners in all took turns running down the right lane of Highway 45 in threes this morning. The annual run, in its fourth year, takes the participants from Memphis to Mobile, a 390 mile journey, with each person running about 50 miles total. They began the run Wednesday morning and plan to be in Mobile tomorrow at Noon. One of the runners, Katie Freeman, says they trained hard for this challenge.
"It's not easy. You run three miles at a time, so you just get out there, we got a lot of hill practice so we just get out there and put one foot in front of the other and start running."
Each of the 40 participants was required to raise at least $2,000 to come on the trip, making for a grand total of about $80,000 on this trip alone, money that goes straight to St. Jude.
"We decided that Mobile needed something like this. We've got over 90 kids in the area that are being treated at St. Jude, so we just saw a need and thought this a neat event, something different, so we're kind of crazy, but we wanted to do it."
These runners have taken on the hills, inclement weather, and traffic all for the kids at St. Jude and really want to raise awareness for that organization because it does so much.
Runner Emily Baker says, "They're doing treatment and research all in the same facility. In addition to treating the illness, they're treating the whole patient and the entire family."
Freeman says she can't think of a better way to help everyone involved with St. Jude.
"It's all worth it when you think about those kids and you see those parents' faces. You just know this is the right thing to be doing."