August 15, 2006 - The third annual Covenant
Health Knoxville Marathon promises to be bigger than ever, with more
participants, and more involvement from the community and area businesses.
Covenant Health, the City of Knoxville and the Knoxville Track Club
announced all of the information about next year's event at a news
conference today at Neyland Stadium.
"After two amazing years, once again the city is committed to help
make the third annual marathon a tremendous success and one of the
top running events in the country," said Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam.
"We want to involve more volunteers and see even more enthusiasm
from spectators along the route. This is truly a community event."
2007 marathon is set for Sunday, April 1. The route will take a
similar path as in previous years, with a spectacular finish inside
Neyland Stadium. Other races will include a 4-person marathon relay,
13.1-mile half marathon, a 3.1-mile 5K run, and the Cariten Kids'
Run, all finishing at the stadium.
"Covenant Health and Cariten Healthcare are again very proud
to sponsor the marathon and excited to be part of a first-class
event," Covenant Health President and CEO Tony Spezia said.
"Participation has grown each year, community and business
support has expanded, and public awareness of the important health
benefits of regular exercise has increased."
said that the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon has been successful
in introducing many first-timers to the sports of walking and jogging
by encouraging participation in the 5K and short-distance events.
"In 2007, we will double our efforts to draw more of a variety
of participants representing all ages and skill levels," Spezia
Noting that lack of physical activity is the most significant factor
contributing to childhood obesity in America today, Spezia said
he was particularly pleased that participation in the Cariten Kids'
Run more than doubled from 2005 to 2006.
"Attracting young runners to the sport and encouraging them
to be physically active will be our number one priority for the
children's event," Spezia said.
The Knoxville Track Club has named members Jason Altman and Mike
Schoenberger co-directors of the marathon, and they will handle
preparation and planning for the event.
"With wonderful partners like Covenant Health and the City
of Knoxville, the Knoxville Track Club is able to make the marathon
weekend bigger and better every year," Altman said. "We
do plan to keep one thing the same year after year--the spectacular
finish on the 50-yard line of Neyland Stadium and showing each runner
as they cross the finish line on the Jumbotron."
Schoenberger said that event organizers are placing a special emphasis
on getting the business community more involved through the Fittest
Company Challenge. Covenant Health and City of Knoxville employees
will be fielding teams, and area businesses are being asked to "rise
to the challenge" and do the same.
The Knoxville Track Club and Covenant Health will offer training
programs for runners and walkers of all levels beginning this fall.
Pre-registration is encouraged for all events. For more information
about the marathon or to register online, go to www.knoxvillemarathon.com.
Information also is available by calling the Knoxville Track Club