Inaugural Big River Crossing Half Marathon and 5k Coming in October

July 28th, 2017

Downtown Memphis

Big River Crossing's first two-state half marathon will be held on October 21, 2017. 

The half marathon will be the first to allow participants to cross the Arkansas-Tennessee state line via the Big River Crossing, a pedestrian bridge above the Mississippi River.

In addition to the half marathon, there will be a 5K that runs its course through Downtown Memphis (the 5K runners will not traverse Big River Crossing). Both races will start at Tom Lee Park–the 5K at 8 a.m. and the half marathon at 8:30 a.m. 

The race will benefit Peer Power Foundation, a Memphis-based nonprofit that recruits and trains high-performing high school and college students to tutor and mentor their peers.

Peer Power’s conception began in 2005, led by successful entrepreneur and dedicated philanthropist Charlie McVean. Combining a performance-based compensation model with the powerful effects of peer groups, McVean launched his unique student-to-student tutoring method, which eventually evolved into Peer Power, and now serves over 1,000 students. 

In addition to the Big River Crossing, half-marathon runners will traverse the Big River Trail’s Loop, a 7-mile, paved path through the Arkansas floodplains that is scheduled to publicly open by end of summer. Sections of the loop have riverside views, and the path rounds out with an outlook on the Downtown Memphis skyline.

“It’s truly special when a city can use one civic asset to support another,” said McVean, who was also instrumental in the development of Big River Crossing. “Directing this race across the Mississippi will bring well-deserved support and exposure to Peer Power and allow the foundation to continue positively impacting classrooms across the Mid-South.” 

At approximately 1-mile long, Big River Crossing is the country’s longest active bike-pedestrian rail bridge and the longest public pedestrian bridge across the Mississippi River. It has become a nationally-recognized landmark for runners and cyclists since its launch in October of 2016, and the Big River Crossing Half Marathon will mark the bridge’s one year anniversary.

“My friends and I have been pining for a two-state race since the bridge was opened last year,” said Joe Royer, owner of Outdoors Inc. “I can’t think of a better way to end a half-marathon than with a stunning view of the Downtown skyline from Big River Crossing.”

Runners can register for the race by clicking here.

Keep up-to-date with race info and share online via the Facebook Event.

Race organizers are currently seeking sponsors to support the mission of Peer Power and benefit from this especially unique opportunity. Reach out to Dennis Ring, Peer Power Development Director, at dennis.ring [at] peerpowerfoundation [dot] org for more information.

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I must always work harder than others.


Alexandria L. Jones

I have had the privilege of being a part of the Peer Power organization since its inception and I have enjoyed every single moment.  Seeing the sheer joy on students’ faces after they have been assisted with a subject they struggled in is indescribable.  Odd as it may seem, Peer Power can be likened to an inhaler or decongestant that provides relief to a person suffering from asthma or simply sinus issues.  When a person has asthma, at times they might have difficulty breathing and would need assistance to relief them of their congestion.  In a similar light, at times many students find themselves, unable to “breathe”; they have difficulties in many subjects in school.  Peer Power act as tools that open the airways of understanding and we relieve them of the pressure and worry of failure.  As a result of students’ willingness to learn and Peer Power’s eagerness to provide assistance, students are able to excel in areas they never thought they could.