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Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon celebrates 20 years during April 6-7 race weekend

April 4, 2024

The Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon, East Tennessee’s largest road race, returns April 6-7, 2024, in World’s Fair Park. Thousands of participants and spectators are expected to fill the city for the races and festivities. There’s something for everyone – from kids to elite marathoners – during the race weekend.  

“We are excited to celebrate 20 years of the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon with participants who have been with us since the beginning, first-timers and our community,” Race Director Jason Altman said. “You won’t want to miss the inspiring and fun activities we have in store. Register now and join us throughout the weekend for the Clayton Health & Fitness Expo, Pilot Travel Centers Post-Race Party and to cheer on others.”

The Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon includes six race events: 26.2-mile marathon for runners, hand cyclists and push-rim wheelchairs; four-person and two-person marathon relays; 13.1-mile half marathon; 3.1-mile 5K; and one-mile Covenant Kids Run.

The Covenant Kids Run and 5K take place the evening of Saturday, April 6. The half marathon, relays and marathon races are held on the morning of Sunday, April 7.

“Healthy lifestyles and community involvement are important to our city, and I commend the Covenant Heath Knoxville Marathon for giving our residents and visitors an opportunity to experience both,” Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon said. “Thank you and good luck to all of the participants, organizers and community members who have worked diligently to make this event possible.”

All race events begin on the Clinch Avenue Viaduct next to the Sunsphere, and the course continues through many scenic Knoxville neighborhoods. Races end at the finish line in World’s Fair Park, where attendees can enjoy the Pilot Travel Centers Post-Race Party with music, beer and food trucks. Award ceremonies for each race also will take place at the Finish Line Festival.

“The Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon aligns with our organization’s mission to improve the quality of life through better health. We’re very proud of our legacy as presenting sponsor,” said Jim VanderSteeg, Covenant Health president and CEO. “The significance of the marathon goes beyond the weekend – the race events are an excellent way for people to reach their health and fitness goals while connecting with the community. We hope that participants and spectators are inspired and enjoy the 20-year celebration.”

Covenant Health President and CEO Jim VanderSteeg speaking at the April 2 press conference.

Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon Events and Information


Online registration closes at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, April 2. The last chance to register will be in person at the Clayton Health & Fitness Expo. Kids Run and 5K signups are open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and marathon, half marathon and relay participants can register until 8 p.m., space permitting.

Clayton Health & Fitness Expo

The Clayton Health & Fitness Expo is open to the public and will be held Saturday, April 6, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the World’s Fair Exhibition Hall. Participants must attend to pick up their race day packets. There is no Sunday race packet pickup available.

Desiree “Des” Linden, a two-time Olympian, Boston Marathon champion, celebrity long-distance runner and author, will be the featured speaker for the Clayton Health & Fitness Expo. Her speech will start on the expo stage at 1 p.m.

Start Times & Course

All races begin on the Clinch Avenue Viaduct, overlooking World’s Fair Park, and end in World’s Fair Park. On Saturday, April 6, the one-mile Covenant Kids Run starts at 5:30 p.m., and the 5K starts at 7 p.m. On Sunday, April 7, wheelchair and handcycle races start at 7:25 a.m.; and marathon, half-marathon and relay races start at 7:30 a.m. The marathon course showcases the city’s beautiful neighborhoods and features live music stations along the route provided by Party Boys DJ Show.

Pilot Travel Centers Post-Race Party & Awards

The Pilot Travel Centers Post-Race Party will be held on the lawn at World’s Fair Park immediately following the races. The 5K award ceremony will be held Saturday at 8:30 p.m. On Sunday, half-marathon awards will be presented at 10:30 a.m., and awards for the relays and marathon will be announced at 12:30 p.m. Cash prizes are awarded to the top overall and masters finishers in the marathon and half-marathon races. The total cash purse is worth $10,000.

Road Closures

Street and lane closures will occur throughout the center city and surrounding areas during race weekend on April 6-7. All streets are expected to be open by 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. For more information and a complete course overview, please visit


The Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon uses a color-coded Event Alert System to communicate course conditions. The code levels range from low (green) to moderate (yellow) to high (red) to extreme (black), based primarily on the weather. Code level will be communicated via flags at start and finish areas, and color-coded signs are displayed at each water stop. The Knoxville Police Department and City of Knoxville staff assist with road closures and event management to ensure the safety of spectators and participants.

Spectator Viewing

Friends, family and fans are encouraged to cheer on participants anywhere along the course, from the starting point on Clinch Avenue Viaduct to the finish line in World’s Fair Park.

Post-race Injury Clinics

Covenant Health Therapy Centers will offer free post-race injury clinics for runners who develop aches, pains, blisters, sprains or other medical concerns. Appointments are not required, and participants simply must bring a photo ID and their bib. Clinics are offered Tuesday, April 9, from 3-5 p.m. at Covenant Health Therapy Center Downtown Knoxville, Covenant Health Therapy Center West Knoxville and Covenant Health Therapy Center Lenoir City. For more information and directions, visit

Proceeds/Charity Partners

Proceeds from the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon benefit both the Knoxville Track Club and Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley – the marathon’s 2024 Community Partner. The partnership will support local Boys & Girls Clubs’ healthy lifestyles program that promotes lifetime wellness activities, team sports, nutrition education and mental health services.

For more information, visit