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Knoxvillian Gina Rouse claims fourth consecutive women’s title at Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon

March 31, 2019

The 2019 Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon, which took place March 30-31 in Knoxville, had a familiar face at a new finish line. In the race event’s first year finishing in World’s Fair Park, Gina Rouse of Knoxville won the women’s marathon for the fourth year in a row with a time of 2:50:15. The 39-year-old had winning times of 2:56:33 in 2018; 2:52:06 in 2017; and 2:53:16 in 2016.

Knoxville’s Whitney Heins placed second in the women’s full marathon at 3:01:26, and Maryville’s Rebecca Weinand placed third with a time of 3:11:23. In the men’s full marathon, Birhanu Dare of New York won with a time of 2:24:41. Bryan Morseman of Bath, New York, placed second with a time of 2:27:59. He placed first in the 2018 and 2016 events with times of 2:27:11 and 2:25:01, respectively. Justin Weinmeister of Knoxville placed third with a time of 2:30:04.

Gina Rouse of Knoxville crosses the finish line in World’s Fair Park in downtown Knoxville as the women’s full marathon winner at the 2019 Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon on March 31. Rouse has won the event for four consecutive years.

“It was a banner year for the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon,” Race Director Jason Altman said. “No matter how you look at the numbers, the 2019 race weekend has been a success: 15th annual event; first year with the finish line and post-race party in World’s Fair Park; Gina Rouse’s fourth consecutive win in her hometown race; 7,700-plus participants; thousands of spectators, volunteers and support from City of Knoxville and Knoxville Police and Fire departments; and Covenant Health signing on for three more years as presenting sponsor.

“As always, however, it’s the individual stories of triumph that make this event special. Whether you overcame an obstacle, set and met a goal, took a step toward better health and fitness, or simply had fun and cheered each other on, you’re a winner today.”

Birhanu Dare crosses the finish line in World’s Fair Park in downtown Knoxville as the men’s full marathon winner at the 2019 Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon on March 31.

The Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon continued its reign as the largest competitive road race in East Tennessee. Now in its 15th year, the 2019 events had more than 7,700 registrants. The race weekend promises to continue to be a signature event for Knoxville, with Covenant Health signing on as presenting sponsor for three more years through 2022.

“We are committed to our mission to improve the quality of life through better health, and that’s why we’ve extended our title sponsorship of the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon,” Covenant Health President and CEO Jim VanderSteeg said. “From the collective energy of the participants throughout race weekend to the funds raised for other health-focused community initiatives, we believe in the impact this event makes for so many in East Tennessee and beyond.”

Following the start of the 2019 Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon on March 31, race officials gather for a photo. Pictured from left: David Brace, City of Knoxville chief operating officer and Deputy to the Mayor; Emily Ann Roberts, runner-up on season 9 of NBC’s “The Voice,” who performed the national anthem at the start line; Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon Race Director Jason Altman; and Covenant Health CEO Jim VanderSteeg.

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

Men’s full marathon:
1. Birhanu Dare of New York, 2:24:41
2. Bryan Morseman of Bath, New York, 2:27:59
2. Justin Weinmeister of Knoxville, Tennessee, 2:30:04

Women’s full marathon:
1. Gina Rouse of Knoxville, Tennessee, 2:50:15
2. Whitney Heins of Knoxville, Tennessee, 3:01:26
3. Rebecca Weinand of Maryville, Tennessee, 3:11:23

Men’s half-marathon:
1. Abu Kebede Diriba of New York, 1:09:17
2. Harrison Kirigwi of Columbia, South Carolina, 1:09:47
3. Brandon Ellis of Piney Flats, Tennessee, at 1:12:37

Women’s half-marathon:
1. Jane Bareikis of Midlothian, Illinois, 1:17:52
2. Elizabeth Herndon of Kent, Ohio, 1:19:11
3. Gisela Olalde of Nashville, Tennessee, 1:22:07

Men’s 5K:
1. Arturs Bareikis of Crestwood, Illinois, 16:17
2. Christopher Rayder of Collierville, Tennessee, 16:45
3. Andy Baksa of Knoxville, Tennessee, 16:54

Women’s 5K:
1. Katie Taylor of Knoxville, Tennessee, 19:31
2. Constance Bailey of Knoxville, Tennessee, 21:16
3. Emma Cissna of Knoxville, Tennessee, at 22:02

The race also included several handcyclists and wheelchair competitors. Winners in these categories are as follows:

Men’s handcycle marathon:
1. David Neumer of Kingston, Tennessee, 1:50:22
2. Kevin Siebarth of Monroe, Michigan, 2:03:47
3. John Enrietto of Columbia City, Indiana, 2:15:45

Women’s handcycle marathon:
1. Carly Pearson of Knoxville, Tennessee, 2:30:56

Men’s push rim wheelchair marathon:
1. Matthew Porterfield of Knoxville, Tennessee, 1:08:46
2. Paul Erway of Shelbyville, Kentucky, 2:11:03

Participants of the 2019 Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon take off from the start line on the Clinch Avenue Viaduct in Knoxville, Tennessee, on the morning of March 31. Marathon, half-marathon and relay race participants competed and finished the race in World’s Fair Park. The Covenant Kids Run and 5K races took place on Saturday, March 30.

In addition to individual races, the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon also includes a two- and four-person marathon relay. The men’s and women’s 5K and one-mile Covenant Kids Run were held Saturday, March 30.

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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.