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Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon set to succeed from start to finish line

March 29, 2017

Soon Knoxville will be filled from Clinch Avenue to Neyland Stadium with bib numbers, running shoes, caped kids, water stations and viewing parties. The 13th Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon continues its reign as the largest competitive road race in East Tennessee with more than 8,600 participants expected Saturday-Sunday, April 1-2.

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

2017-03-28 CHKM Press Conference

Covenant Health President and CEO Jim VanderSteeg (center) talks about the anticipated success of the 13th Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon at a press conference in Neyland Stadium on March 28. The race events, taking place April 1-2, finish on the 50-yard-line in the stadium. Pictured from left: Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon Race Director Jason Altman, Knoxville Mayor Madeline Roger, VanderSteeg and Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon Team Coach Missy Kane.

“Thousands of people participant in race weekend in Knoxville and many more support it as volunteers, sponsors and spectators,” said Jason Altman, executive director, Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon. “This event is about being healthy and active, having fun and letting Knoxville shine as a beautiful venue for runners and other visitors. We’re set for another successful running of the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon.”

This year, race officials expect more than 8,600 participants in the various race events – a record-breaking figure for the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon.

“Knoxville has earned a reputation as a city that embraces healthy, active lifestyles and outdoor adventure,” Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero said. “The Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon is a premier event that has enhanced that reputation, and over its 13 years has also been a major economic driver.

“The Knoxville Marathon attracts runners and their families from across the country and even from around the world. We’re delighted to showcase our natural beauty and historic neighborhoods and cheer on the more than 8,600 marathon participants.”

Since the first marathon race in Knoxville in 2005, the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon has grown in size and impact. The weekend of events for children, adults and people with disabilities promotes health and fitness, while also raising funds that benefit outstanding nonprofit programs, including Covenant Health’s Innovative Recreation Cooperative at Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center.

The races begin on the Clinch Avenue Viaduct. The route continues throughout many notable Knoxville neighborhoods and ends on the 50-yard-line of Neyland Stadium at the University of Tennessee. As they cross the finish line, runners can watch themselves on the stadium’s Jumbotron.

“There’s nothing like race weekend in Knoxville – from the excitement of the runners and the enthusiasm of the volunteers to the electrifying atmosphere at the finish line at the 50-yard-line,” Covenant Health President and CEO Jim VanderSteeg said. “As the largest health system in East Tennessee, Covenant Health is committed to promoting good health and physical activity in our community. I speak on behalf of our thousands of physicians and staff when I say how proud we are to serve as the title sponsor of the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon and support the impact it makes on each participant and our community as a whole.”


Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon Events and Information

Online registration closed Monday, March 27. Registration for all events is available only at the Knoxville Convention & Exhibition Center on Saturday, April 2, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. for the Covenant Kids Run and until 8 p.m. for the other races (except for the two- and four-person marathon relays), space permitting. Currently, there are 106 open spots for the full marathon, 154 spots for the half marathon and 82 spots for the Covenant Kids Run. The 5K race is full.

Health & Fitness Expo
The Health & Fitness Expo is open to the general public and will be held Saturday, April 1, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. in Exhibit Halls 1-3 of the Knoxville Convention & Exhibition Center. Participants must attend to pick up their race day packets. Local sports and media celebrities will take the stage at 4 p.m. to share their stories about health and fitness, balancing family life with exercise and competing in this year’s races; participants include former UT football player Sterling Henton aka “DJ Sterl the Pearl”; Becca Habegger, WBIR-TV Channel 10; Josh Ward, Sports Radio WNML-FM; and former UT football player Erik Ainge, Sports Radio WNLM-FM.

Covenant Health 5K and Covenant Health Kids Run
The Covenant Health 5K and one-mile Covenant Kids Run take place Saturday, April 1. The Covenant Kids Run starts at 5:30 p.m., and the 5K starts at 7 p.m. on the Clinch Avenue Viaduct, overlooking the World’s Fair Park. Both runs finish on the 50-yard-line in Neyland Stadium.

Start Times & Course
The races begin on the Clinch Avenue Viaduct and end on the 50-yard-line in Neyland Stadium. On Saturday, April 1, the one-mile Covenant Kids Run starts at 5:30 p.m., and the 5K starts at 7 p.m. On Sunday, April 2, 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 winds through some of Knoxville’s finest neighborhoods and features 24 live music stations along the route.

Post-Race Party & Awards
The Pilot Flying J post-race parties will be held at Neyland Stadium outside Gate 21 immediately following the races. The 5K award ceremony will be held Saturday at 8 p.m. On Sunday, half-marathon awards will be presented at 11 a.m., and awards for the relays and marathon will be announced at 12:30 p.m. Cash prizes are awarded to the top finishers in the marathon, marathon push-rim wheelchair and handcycle divisions and half-marathon races.

Road Closures
Street and lane closures will occur throughout the center city and surrounding areas during race weekend, April 1-2. All streets are expected to be open by 2:30 p.m. Sunday. For more information and a complete course overview, please visit

Fans and Spectators Viewing
Friends and family are encouraged to cheer for runners anywhere along the course, from the starting point on Clinch Avenue Viaduct to the finish line in Neyland Stadium. Fans are invited to support runners crossing the finish line by entering Neyland Stadium through Gate 21.

Post-race Injury Clinics
Covenant 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 must simply bring a photo ID and their bib number. Clinics are offered Tuesday, April 4, from 3-5 p.m. at Parkwest Therapy Center and Fort Sanders Therapy Center Downtown. For more information and directions, call 865-541-4500 or visit

Proceeds from the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon benefit both the Knoxville Track Club and the Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center Innovative Recreation Cooperative, which encourages people with disabilities to pursue leisure and sports activities. In 2014, Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon introduced the Community Contribution Program, which utilizes marathon proceeds to award community grant funding to local programs working to make East Tennessee a healthier place to live. In 2016, the program presented more than $16,500 in healthy living grants to Legacy Parks Foundation, Ijams Nature Center and Young-Williams Animal Center.

For more information, visit or call 865-684-4294.


About Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon
The Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon is a premier event organized by the Knoxville Track Club, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the encouragement of physical well being through running, jogging, competitive road racing, race-walking, fun runs, cross-country and track and field.