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Hundreds of kids complete first mile of marathon

January 29, 2019

Covenant Kids Run officially underway after dash at Zoo Knoxville on Jan. 26

Family members, friends, fitness enthusiasts and educators cheered as children from across East Tennessee ran, walked and skipped across Zoo Knoxville to kick off the Covenant Kids Run.

The one-mile fun run, part of the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon, encourages children to complete a 26.2-mile marathon over the course of two months. The Jan. 26 event at Zoo Knoxville officially jump-started the exercise program and is intended to encourage children to stay active.

“The Covenant Kids Run kickoff is both fun and inspiring,” said Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon Race Director Jason Altman. “Running with the beautiful backdrop of Zoo Knoxville while being encouraged throughout the route brought smiles to so many faces. Thousands of miles will be tracked by these children between now and the Covenant Kids Run in March.

“Even if you missed the kickoff at the zoo, families can still register their kids and start their progress toward a personal marathon.”

Friends and siblings from the Farragut community celebrate at the conclusion of the Covenant Kids Run kickoff race at Zoo Knoxville on Jan. 26. Pictured from left: Nate Hickman, 10; Graham Hickman, 5; Mollie Hickman, 8; Sadie Hickman, 3; Brooke Ryan, 10; and Austin Wilson, 10.

Registration is open at The children will complete the last mile of their personal marathon together on Saturday, March 30, when the Covenant Kids Run starts on the Clinch Avenue Viaduct near the Sunsphere, continues through the Fort Sanders neighborhood and ends back at World’s Fair Park.

Children in the eighth grade and younger can participate in the Covenant Kids Run. Each child who registers also can download the free mileage log to track 25 miles of walking, running or the exercise equivalent, such as 30 minutes of active playtime, leading up to the March 30 finale during the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon race weekend.

Each child that participates in the Covenant Kids Run also will earn one point for his or her school in the Fittest School Challenge, a competition among area schools. Schools register for the Covenant Kids Run and provide a total student enrollment count. The top five schools in the small school (fewer than 300 students) and large school (301+ students) categories with the highest percentage of student participation in the race win prize money and a Fittest School Challenge plaque.

For more information and to register for the Covenant Kids Run and all races, visit

About the 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 and walking.