Thousands of runners raise money for St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Rock ‘N’ Roll Nashville Marathon

Photo and story by Emily Heim / Contributing Writer

Runners took to the streets of Nashville early Saturday morning to help support the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and to put their training to the test in the 2018 Rock ‘N’ Roll Nashville Marathon.

Around 30,000 people participated in either the full, half or 5K marathon this year. Many athletes from all over the nation, as well as 37 different countries, attended the event. The race is a part of the Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon Series, and all runners fundraise for St. Jude treatment and patients. 

The marathon brought in a little over $2 million this year.

“I just really enjoy running,” said Dorothy Ackerman, a runner who participated in this year’s marathon. “It’s a great way to relax and unwind and meet new people. It’s actually where I met my fiance.”

Ackerman’s fiance proposed to her at the one-mile race Thursday night as they prepared for the big run on Saturday.

“We got engaged, so that’s definitely the best part of this weekend,” Ackerman said.

People run the marathon for many different reasons: to lose weight, to fulfill a bucket list, to benefit a charity or to stay in shape.

“It’s the only way I can stay in shape,” said Marry Massman, another runner.

The 19th annual St. Jude Rock N’ Roll Marathon was won for the sixth year in a row by Scott Wietecha, an elementary school physical education teacher.

Several different artists, including Hunter Hayes, performed Saturday night at the Ascend Amphitheater as a part of the festivities. The concert was free to the public.

Security guard Carrie Johnson made sure everyone was safe during the race.

“I made sure to keep the area where they were storing all the materials safe and also made sure the start line was secured,” Johnson said.

Johnson was one of many security guards who kept runners and spectators safe before, during and after the race.

To contact News Editor Caleb Revill, email

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