After 16 years known as the Country Music Marathon, race organizers this week announced a name change— the famous Nashville race is now the St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon and 1/2 Marathon.
The change was made in an effort to allow for “a broader integration of music.” While country music is undoubtedly a staple of Nashville, it’s not all that makes up “Music City.”A testament to the music variety in Nashville: even Elvis made an appearance at the 2015 race.
“Nashville grew from a foundation built on music, and while country music is a pivotal piece of that, it’s not the only genre that defines Music City,” Josh Furlow, President of Competitor Group, which runs the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series, said in a release. “The rock and roll genre roots itself in a spectrum of music styles including bluegrass, jazz, folk, soul and of course country. Our goal is to celebrate Nashville as a destination for live music and running by linking the historical race with the power of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon brand.”
Besides the re-branding, not much will change with the popular race. The course will once again start in downtown Nashville on Broadway, travel through well-known Nashville landmarks like Belmont University, the Tennessee State Capitol building, Shelby Park and the Cumberland River, before finishing at Nissan Stadium (home of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans).
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital will return as the title partner and official charity of Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville. The 2016 race will take place on Saturday, April 30th.