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Thousands race through downtown Nashville in St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – More than 23,000 registered participants were able to take an unforgettable foot tour of Music City during the St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series on Saturday.

According to organizers, the event included distances for everyone on Saturday, April 27, including 5K, 10K, half-marathon and marathon. However, the running series will continue on Sunday, April 28 with the 1-mile, KiDSROCK, and Doggie Dash events at Nissan Stadium.

  • (Courtesy: Ryan Bethke for Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series)
    (Courtesy: Ryan Bethke for Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series)
  • (Courtesy: Ryan Bethke for Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series)
    (Courtesy: Ryan Bethke for Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series)
  • (Courtesy: Ryan Bethke for Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series)
    (Courtesy: Ryan Bethke for Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series)
  • (Courtesy: Ryan Bethke for Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series)
    (Courtesy: Ryan Bethke for Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series)
  • (Courtesy: Ryan Bethke for Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series)
    (Courtesy: Ryan Bethke for Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series)

Officials said Saturday’s marathon saw some elite runners tackled the course, such as Mitchell Small from Atlanta, and Kate van Buskirk from Canada, who won the men’s and women’s races with times of 2:27:33 and 2:27:40, respectively.

“I competed at Vanderbilt a lot so I know Nashville pretty well and I wanted to come here. It’s only a four-hour drive and I thought it was by a fun Saturday afternoon. I looked up last year saw I’d probably have to run around 2:25:00 to win. I felt like I could beat anybody if I put it together,” Small said, adding that this was his first marathon, but he didn’t do a half-marathon first because he didn’t want to think about it.

“I run my first half at the Ashland City Half-Marathon about eight weeks ago. I was actually co-race director for that one so I was going on about four hours of sleep setting out cones the night before and morning of. I’m Canadian, but I split my time between Toronto and Nashville,” van Buskirk stated. “This is most fun I’ve ever had at a race. It was awesome.”

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Some members of the News 2 team — including reporters Kendall Ashman and Adam Mintzer — also ran the marathon, along with members of local law enforcement agencies, like the Metro Nashville Police Department and the Mt. Juliet Police Department.

Meanwhile, Chris Frias of Ventura, California, had a time of 1:07:24 while Katrina Ivancic of Bozeman, Montana, had a time of 1:20:39 in the half-marathon, making them the male and female overall winners of that race, organizers said.

  • Mitchell Small won the men’s race in the St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon in Nashville (Courtesy: Jason Davis for Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series)
    Mitchell Small won the men’s race in the St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon in Nashville (Courtesy: Jason Davis for Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series)
  • Kate van Buskirk won the women’s race in the St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon in Nashville (Courtesy: Jason Davis for Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series)
    Kate van Buskirk won the women’s race in the St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon in Nashville (Courtesy: Jason Davis for Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series)
  • Chris Frias won the men’s race in the St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll half-marathon in Nashville (Courtesy: Jason Davis for Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series)
    Chris Frias won the men’s race in the St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll half-marathon in Nashville (Courtesy: Jason Davis for Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series)
  • Katrina Ivancic won the women’s race in the St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll half-marathon in Nashville (Courtesy: Jason Davis for Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series)
    Katrina Ivancic won the women’s race in the St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll half-marathon in Nashville (Courtesy: Jason Davis for Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series)

“The Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series is a best-in-class road running series Bringing Fun to the Run through music, entertainment, and community immersion all combining in Nashville to provide an unforgettable experience,” a spokesperson for the event said in a statement. “The Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series Nashville brings participants through the city’s most iconic neighborhoods with rich history around every corner, passing many iconic landmarks including Broadway’s honky-tonks, Dolly Parton’s recording studio, Country Music Hall of Fame, and many more all before ending the event at the finish line at Nissan Stadium, home of the Tennessee Titans.”

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital — which continues to lead the way the world understands, treats, and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases — is the official benefiting charity partner of the St. Jude Rock ‘n‘ Roll Running Series for nine events, including the one in Nashville, according to officials. If you want to learn more or become a St. Jude Hero, visit www.stjude.org.

“The passion and dedication shown by our St. Jude Heroes at Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville exemplifies the power of purpose-driven unity. With every stride taken and every dollar raised, their unwavering support helps fuel the pursuit of advancements in pediatric cancer research and treatment by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital,” said Richard C. Shadyac Jr., president and CEO of American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities (ALSAC), the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “With the dedication of every Hero supporting us, we draw closer to a future where every child has the opportunity to live a healthy and fulfilling life, no matter where they live.”

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Organizers said several local bands — such as Nightingale, Belmont Church Band, Second Sunset, Mad Mojo, and Black Hole Sons — provided live entertainment on stages along the route before Restless Road and The Tom Yankton Band performed at the Finish Line Stage outside Nissan Stadium as the Encore Entertainment.

Presale registration for all distances of Nashville’s 2025 edition of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series will be open online until 1:59 a.m. on May 6, per officials. Special presale pricing will be at the lowest price of the year, at $89 for the marathon, $79 for the half-marathon, $69 for the 10K, $49 for the 5K, and $19 for the 1-mile and KiDSROCK events. To register for 2025 or learn more about St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series Nashville, click here.

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