United States

Memphis, TN

Memphis is the hub of the Chickasaw Bluff, the high floodplain which sits at the confluence of the Wolf and Mississippi Rivers. Entangled in a turbulent history of Native American and civil rights, Memphis emerged in the 20th century as a cultural center of the American South, especially noteworthy for Blues and Rock and Roll music. Running in Memphis features great riverfront paths, greenways, and parks.

The best places to run in Memphis include the Riverwalk along the Mississippi, Harbor Island, and a series of wonderful greenway trails: Shelby Farms Greenline, Wolf River, and Germantown routes. Shelby Farms Park is one of the largest urban parks in the country and has a great variety of trails. Audubon Park and Overton Park are popular for running. We’ve also mapped out ‘runseeing’ tours of downtown Memphis and the up and coming Cooper Young neighborhood.

The Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) bus service is quite extensive. There are also a number of free tour shuttles which offer hop on hop off service to some of the tourist hotspots. A special MATA shuttle runs to Shelby Farms Park on weekends. Memphis Running Tours offers group runs.

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Some of our favorite runs in Memphis, TN

Overton Park

One of the gems of running in Memphis, with 342 acres of grassy public lands complete with... more...

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Audubon Park

Memphis, TN

Audubon Park, just north of the University of Memphis’ Park Avenue Campus, is a long green space bordering a beautiful golf course. The surrounding neighborhood includes the Memphis Botanical Gardens and the Dixon Gallery and Gardens, both worth a detour.

Summers are hot and humid, with daytime highs in the 90s and warm nights. Be aware of the heat of summer when planning your running. Winters are cool but never frigid, with average January high temperatures near 50F (10C) and lows around freezing. Snowfall is relatively rare. There are a handful of icy mornings every winter, so please be aware. Late Fall and spring are more pleasant for running. Note that Memphis receives 51 inches per year of rain – that’s 1.5x what New York gets. In the summer that often comes in the form of thunderstorms.

Downtown Memphis is fairly concentrated on the east side of the Mississippi. There is a strong cluster of hotels downtown, in the area west of I-69, South of I-40, and north of SRxs-78.

Check out Memphis Travel for lodging information.

Fleet Feet Sports and Breakaway Running are the local shoe and route gurus.

Breakaway Running. Two Memphis locations in midtown and Germantown. Group Runs: Multiple events per week. Calendar.

Fleet Feet. Has a Memphis store. Group Runs: Multiple events per week. Monday fun runs 6pm,  Thursday hill workouts, Saturday long runs. Information.

rLocal. Centrally located.

Memphis Running Tours offers wonderful group runs (fee).

Memphis running event Calendar, from the Memphis Track Club website.

Check in with the Memphis Runners Track Club for upcoming race info.

One event to check out is the Buffaglo Run, usually around New Years, which is a run in Shelby Farms Park, part of their Starry Nights display — 3.5 million lights!