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East Tennessean Amanda Martin finishes half marathon in record time at Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon

April 2, 2023

Thousands of participants crossed the finish line of the 2023 Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon in World’s Fair Park during the April 1-2 race weekend – and one of the runners, Amanda Martin of Johnson City, broke the half marathon time record for female finishers.

At 1:16:18, Martin crossed the finish line, besting her previous time of 1:19:06 in 2021 when she made history as the first female to place first overall in the half marathon. She also placed third in the half marathon during 2017 with a time of 1:23:18.

Another highlight happened on the men’s half marathon course. Alan Carreno placed first for the second year in a row at 1:11:35, improving his 2022 time of 1:11:42.

For the men’s full marathon, first-time marathon runner Stephen Martinez finished in 2:32:28. Christian Brewer took second with a time of 2:38:27, and Seth Kolosso placed third at 2:39:38. Stephanie Buchanan was the first-place winner in the women’s full marathon with a time of 2:44:26. Second place went to Katie Baksa at 2:53:05, and Mary Alex Gary earned third place with a time of 2:53:55.

“The embrace of our annual theme, ‘This is your year,’ was evident on the streets of Knoxville and in the smiles of participants,” Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon Race Director Jason Altman said. “While many achieved their personal victory, we all collectively won thanks to the support of thousands of attendees, generous volunteers, the City of Knoxville and emergency services.”

The Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon continued its reign as the largest competitive road race in East Tennessee. Now in its 19th year, the 2023 events had more than 6,330 registrants.

“I am proud of all those who participated and made this event possible, including our employees across East Tennessee,” Covenant Health President and CEO Jim VanderSteeg said. “The true triumph is seeing so many people prioritize their health. As individuals continue to improve their quality of life, make every year yours – and get ready for the 2024 races!”

Race officials have verified the results in various categories, and the winners and times are as follows:

Men’s full marathon:

  1. Stephen Martinez of Stone Mountain, Georgia, 2:32:28
  2. Christian Brewer of Denver, Colorado, 2:38:37
  3. Seth Kolosso of Lenoir City, Tennessee, 2:39:38

Women’s full marathon:

  1. Stephanie Buchanan of Bristol, Tennessee, 2:44:26
  2. Katie Baksa of Knoxville, Tennessee, 2:53:05
  3. Mary Alex Gary of Knoxville, Tennessee, 2:53:55

Men’s half-marathon:

  1. Alan Carreno of Las Vegas, Nevada, 1:11:35
  2. Cian Bell of Knoxville, Tennessee, 1:12:29
  3. Hisato Suetsugu of Peachtree City, Georgia, 1:12:52

Women’s half-marathon:

  1. Amanda Martin of Johnson City, Tennessee, 1:16:18
  2. Elizabeth Herndon of Knoxville, Tennessee, 1:20:08
  3. Jennifer Weston of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, 1:25:23

Men’s 5K:

  1. Zac Sakacsi of Kodak, Tennessee, 16:49
  2. Michael Hamilton of Oneonta, New York, 17:19
  3. Timothy Baker of Knoxville, Tennessee, 18:40

Women’s 5K:

  1. Ariana Vargas of Knoxville, Tennessee, 20:48
  2. Ava Woodyatt of Knoxville, Tennessee, 21:19
  3. Maria Zolkowski of Knoxville, Tennessee, 21:28

The race also included several handcycle competitors. Winners are as follows:

Men’s handcycle full marathon:

  1. Dane Pilon of Asheville, North Carolina, 1:31:37
  2. David Neumer of Kingston, Tennessee, 1:49:42
  3. Joe Pomeroy of Easley, South Carolina, 2:21:29

Women’s handcycle full marathon:

  1. Carly Pearson of Knoxville, Tennessee, 2:35:41

In addition to individual races, the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon includes a two- and four-person marathon relay also on Sunday, April 2. The men’s and women’s 5K and one-mile Covenant Kids Run were held Saturday, April 1.

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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.