NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — For the first time since 2019, the St. Jude Rock n' Roll Marathon was back in action, with no pandemic limitations. Of course, running that distance is no simple task. Naturally, Nashville came out in full force to support all the runners.
Between the adrenaline of the starting line and the mass of humanity behind you, the first few miles are usually the easiest.
"Good work, you got this," yelled Susan Staley, a spectator standing along Woodland Street in East Nashville.
But as the course winds through the various neighborhoods of Nashville, the crowds get smaller and the hills get steeper.
"It’s a tough hill right here, so cheering them on here is important," said Staley, as two more runners race by. "Good work, looking good, keep it up."
That's why Susan and Don intentionally picked this spot. Their hope is, they might multiply someone's motivation.
"I’ve done this race a couple times before and I knew it meant a lot having people cheering for me," said Staley.
That's something else this race has going for it. All throughout the course, the Rock n' Roll Marathon has set up band stages — making it a rare race where not having headphones is a legitimate option.
"We’re motivating you guys to run, run run," yelled one of the bands positioned in East Nashville.
Many of the racers bring their own form of entertainment. NewsChannel 5 spotted one man running in a banana suit and several toting funny signs. But by mile marker 18, some of that can be in short supply.
"This is not fun," yelled one runner, racing past our camera.
Melissa Dillion brought her family to cheer on her sister, Erin Willard, who was running the full marathon.
"She’ll be here soon, she’s about to cross the river," Dillion reassured her young daughter.
Despite nervous anticipation, when Aunt Erin finally rounded the bend, it seemed to be worth the wait.
"Do you see, she’s in the pink with the pink headband? Erin, whoo!" yelled Dillion.
For the runners, crossing that finish line seemed to be worth all their training. Because no matter which miles were the easiest, putting your arms up in the air at the end seemed to be the sweetest part.