Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon weekend to overrun Knoxville

September 29, 2021

Soon, East Tennesseans will tie up their sneakers and stand at the start line of the annual Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon. Thousands of participants and spectators will enjoy a full roster of races, wellness events and a post-race celebration on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 2-3.

“East Tennessee health and fitness enthusiasts are excited to be back for the region’s largest competitive road race,” said Jason Altman, race director of the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon. “The participants, volunteers and spectators make this annual event better each year. We are proud to welcome people young and old, athletes and amateurs and runners and walkers to the 17th Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon.”

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.

The Covenant Kids Run and 5K take place the evening of Saturday, Oct. 2, and the half marathon, relays and marathon races are held the morning of Sunday, Oct. 3.

“The Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon is one of my favorite events, not only because it emphasizes the importance of a healthy lifestyle, but it also celebrates community,” Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon said. “The marathon showcases beauty across our city and brings together people from all walks of life. We are honored to support the marathon that encourages physical and mental health for our residents, and for those who travel here for this specific event. Thank you to everyone who is helping to make this possible. I look forward to seeing runners along our city streets and neighborhoods this weekend.”

All race events begin on the Clinch Avenue Viaduct adjacent to the Sunsphere, and the signature course continues throughout many notable Knoxville neighborhoods. The finish line is in World’s Fair Park, where attendees can enjoy a festive afterparty on the lawn with vendors, music, beer and food trucks. Award ceremonies for each race also will take place at the Finish Line Festival.

“We take great pride in the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon bearing our name. The race weekend supports our mission to improve people’s quality of life through better health,” Covenant Health President and CEO Jim VanderSteeg said. “The healthy habits participants have developed while training and the funds raised for health-focused community initiatives will make a positive difference for years to come.”

Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon Events and Information


Online registration closed at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 27. At the Health & Fitness Expo on Saturday, last-chance registration will be available for the Kids Run and 5K from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and until 8 p.m. for the marathon and half marathon, space permitting.

Health & Fitness Expo

The Health & Fitness Expo is open to the general public and will be held Saturday, Oct. 2, 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, and all attendees are required to wear a mask inside the hall. Frank Shorter, the first and only American to win multiple medals in the Olympic marathon, will be the featured speaker at the Health & Fitness Expo at 2:30 p.m.

Start Times & Course

All races begin on the Clinch Avenue Viaduct, overlooking World’s Fair Park, and end back in World’s Fair Park. On Saturday, Oct. 2, the one-mile Covenant Kids Run starts at 4:30 p.m., and the 5K starts at 6 p.m. On Sunday, Oct. 3, wheelchair and handcycle races start at 7:27 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 showcasing the city’s beauty and features live music stations along the route.

Post-Race Party & Awards

The Pilot Flying J post-race parties will be held on the lawn at World’s Fair Park immediately following the races. The 5K award ceremony will be held Saturday at 7:30 p.m. On Sunday, half-marathon awards will be presented at 10 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, Oct. 2-3. 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 new finish line in World’s Fair Park.

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 simply must bring a photo ID and their bib number. Clinics are offered Tuesday, Oct. 5, from 3-5 p.m. at Covenant Health Therapy Center Downtown, Covenant Health Therapy Center West and Covenant Health Therapy Center Sevierville. 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 2020, the program donated $10,000 in grants to Girls on the Run of Greater Knoxville, Knoxville Sled Bears, Bike Elf, Free Medical Clinic of Oak Ridge and PJ Parkinson’s. The marathon also donates extra supplies, food, clothing and more to Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley, Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee and Knox Area Rescue Ministries.

For more information, visit or call 865-805-2476.

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.