Over 2,000 runners laced up and launched from historic Beale Street for the 5th edition of the Great American River Run on Saturday May 29, 2021. The run is part of Memphis in May International Festival which put on a reduced scale festival celebration in 2021 due to COVID19 related restrictions. A field of serious athletes competed in the 2021 Great American River Run Half-marathon representing the elites of the running community. Notables include:

Dominic Korir, of Colorado Springs, CO winner of the 2021 Half Marathon set a new record for the event with a time of 1 hour, 6 minutes and 55 seconds. American national record-holder in the mile, Olympian Alan Webb from Little Rock, AR, and Kenya’s Martha Akeno of Greeneville, TN and Gladys Cheboi of Birmingham, AL (2019 GARR winner). 21 year old newcomer Payton Gleason from Rochester, NY and now at University of Memphis came in second place with a time of 1 hour, 7 minutes and 26 seconds.

“After just five races, this run is shaping up not only to be a crowd favorite, but also attracting serious runners from across the country,” says James L. Holt, President & CEO of Memphis in May. “We had some heavy hitters setting the pace at this year’s Great American River Run and look forward to growing the run in 2022.”

Runners from 38 states and as far away as Alaska converged on Beale Street for a socially distant run and a fireworks send-off lead by an all-electric Porsche Taycan pace car through downtown Memphis and along the Mississippi River. The Great American River Run featured something for every level runner attracting elite athletes and record holders running the Half-marathon to fun runners in the 5K or stepping up their game in the inaugural 10K.

2021 Great American River Run 1st Place TOP FINISHERS

Half Marathon Male Dominic Korir Colorado Springs, CO 1:06:55
Half Marathon Female Martha Akeno Greeneville, TN 1:16:38

10K Male Max Holman Memphis, TN 37:02
10K Female Leanne Marley Helena-West Helena, AR 38:58

5K Male Jacob Reeves Cordova, TN 17:11
5K Female Karina Benziger Memphis, TN 21:42

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