David Garcia felt a piercing pain in his left knee at mile 3 of the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend last Saturday. But he kept going, determined to finish the full 26.2 miles with the support of his family and Team Best Buy.
“I rounded the corner, and there’s the Best Buy team cheering me on,” said David, vice president of retail operations and profit protection. “It made me happy to see them.”
He was one of a record 18 members of Team Best Buy who showed up in Tennessee’s second-biggest city with two goals in mind: to fundraise and finish. It was the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic hit that runners could be there in person. With different running backgrounds, participants had the option to run a full marathon, half marathon, 10K or 5K race. And there was more to the weekend than just pounding the pavement.
Best Buy has a longstanding relationship with St Jude Children’s Research Hospital®, and we help raise money every holiday season during the St. Jude Thanks and Giving® campaign to help fund treatment and research of childhood cancer. We were the second-largest corporate fundraising team at the marathon, and Team Best Buy raised nearly $42,000, far beyond the goal of $25,000.
Off to the races
Runners hit the road in downtown Memphis at the main St. Jude campus. They took in scenic views of the landmark Peabody Hotel and the iconic Elvis statue along the flat route. Temperatures stayed in the low 60s, with clouds and misty rain.
“It was perfect running weather,” said Courtney Capeling, vice president of HR, omnichannel.
With one foot in front of the other, the Memphis runners made progress and passed check points. At the start of the race, large photos showed St. Jude patients at the beginning of their treatments. Toward the end, the pictures were of the same patients now living their lives as survivors.
Karen Hohertz, senior director of enterprise program management, had an emotional response seeing the children’s photos as she thought of her daughter, who’s also a cancer survivor.
“I definitely teared up crossing the finish line,” Karen said.
Crossing the finish line at the home of Memphis’ minor league baseball team, runners were met with medals and a celebratory food spread. Team Best Buy’s general sentiment was gratitude to be able to run together in person.
“It just doesn’t get any better than that,” Courtney said. To learn more about how we support the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign, go here.