April 9 is the ninth Anniversary of the first-ever Meet Me at Maynards — a free walk and run in downtown Tucson that has become a Tucson tradition.

“We’ve never missed a week,” says Jannie Cox, founder of Meet Me At Maynards. “Not a single a week — holidays, rain, heat, we’re always here.”

With an average weekly attendance of about 500 people, Meet Me at Maynards has been a major part of the downtown scene. On Monday, April 9, Meet Me at Maynards will see about 1,000 runners and walkers cruising the downtown streets to celebrate the birthday party.

What it is: The social walk and run is untimed and for all ages and abilities. The distances vary from 2 to 3 miles.

What do you get? After signing in, you get your hand stamped, which gives discounts to over 25 downtown area restaurants and bars. You also get a raffle ticket, giving you a chance to win one of the weekly tickets good for $25 to downtown restaurants or The Running Shop, a founding sponsor.

After eight visits, you receive a free white T-shirt, after 15 visits you get a Meet Me at Maynards cap, after 50 visits a pin, and after 100, 200, 300 and 400 visits you receive special shirts.

What is the route? The birthday route is 2 miles, beginning at Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St., heading west along Congress, then looping through Jacome Plaza, the old courthouse, along Scott Avenue, past Armory Park and back to the patio of Hotel Congress.

On other weeks, the main 3-mile route also includes the iconic rattlesnake bridge and portions of Fourth Avenue, beginning and ending on the back patio of Maynards Kitchen in the historic Train Depot. Maps and directions are available at check-in.

Is there music? On Monday there will be 26 bands and musicians along the route, an eclectic mix of Tucson’s popular music scene. The house band most every Monday night is the Determined Luddites.

How much does it cost? It’s free. Thanks to sponsorships from Tucson Medical Center and others, the events and giveaways are always free.

How do I get there? The modern streetcar goes right by the start, but downtown street parking is free after 5 p.m. and there are plenty of nearby garages and parking lots.

Volunteer Spotlight

Meet Me at Maynards depends on about 15 volunteers every week, helping with check-in, guiding walks and helping hand out the weekly awards. Roma Lamor has been volunteering since 2011, helping with registration and doing some of the announcing. Last week was her 412th time attending and she estimates that she has walked more than 1,300 miles during her time at Meet Me at Maynards.

“My life has been forever changed by this event. I’ve made so many friends by meeting other volunteers and other MMM athletes,” she says. “My Mondays will always include this event.”

BY THE NUMBERS

6: Number of people who have been to Meet Me at Maynards at least 400 times: Doug Kluge, Julie Kluge, Denise Leahy, Gary Carstenson, Marjorie Beklund, Roma Lamor.

25: Downtown area restaurants providing discounts to attendees.

26: Total number of bands on tap for the Ninth Birthday Party.

32: Number of people who have been to Maynards at least 300 times.

94: Total number of people who have been at least 200 times.

197: Number of people on the first Meet Me at Maynards, April 13, 2009.

451: Most-ever times attending, by Doug Kluge.

465: Number of times the house band The Determined Luddites have played Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues.”

471: Total Meet Me at Maynards events.

1,304: Attended the eighth birthday party in 2017.

1,730: Most participants ever, on the second birthday party in 2011.

6,400: Estimated number of red blinkie lights worn every year.

16,000: Estimated miles moved in 2018.

26,307: Number of people who have registered.

203,641: Total number of visits.

Randy Accetta is a co-founder of Meet Me At Maynards, a former Southern Arizona Roadrunners president and a mentor in residence at the UA McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship.