| March 27, 2008 - The fourth annual Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon promises to be bigger than ever, with more participants and greater involvement from the community and area businesses. Representatives of Covenant Health, the city of Knoxville and the Knoxville Track Club are pleased with overall participation and community support.
"This is a great event that has gotten better each year, and 2008 is no exception, with record numbers of runners in the half-marathon and 5K events," said Mayor Bill Haslam. "I know we’ll have some great races, and everyone will have a wonderful time running through Knoxville’s neighborhoods."
"Covenant Health is very proud to be the presenting sponsor of Knoxville’s largest community fitness event. The Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon inspires thousands of adults and children to exercise and to make physical fitness a priority in their lives," said Tony Spezia, president and CEO of Covenant Health.
Current registration as of Friday, March 22, includes 536 marathon runners; 1,695 half-marathon runners, a new record; 312 runners in the four-person relay race, which is also a new record; 1,180 5K runners; and more than 300 children participating in the Cariten Kids’ Run. With a week left to register, race officials anticipate between 4,500 and 4,800 total participants, depending on the weather.
The race this year will follow a new course, beginning at the Knoxville Convention Center and winding through the neighborhoods of Fort Sanders, Sequoyah Hills, Fourth & Gill, Parkridge, Island Home and Old Sevier as well as downtown Knoxville and the University of Tennessee campus.
Live entertainment will be featured at 22 different sites along the course, and the Party Boys DJ Show will be at the start, finish and various other locations.
A pre-race church service will be held this year at 6:15 a.m. in the east concourse of the Knoxville Convention Center. Kely Braswell of Antioch Community Church will provide a 15-minute, non-denominational service for those who are missing their regular church service while participating in marathon events.
Volunteers and Sponsors
Jason Altman, Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon race director, said community support – including more than 800 volunteers on race day – is what makes the event so successful. "We are able to offer race participants the experience of a lifetime. Everyone has pulled together to ensure we have safe races and a great time."
Altman added, "Also, with the support of sponsors, we are able to offer race participants a wonderful experience – goody bags, the Pilot post-race party at Thompson-Boling Arena, the Fittest Company Challenge, the Fittest School Challenge and cash prizes for top finishers in both the marathon and half-marathon."
All races will start at the Clinch Avenue Bridge over World’s Fair Park. The marathon and half-marathon will begin at 7 a.m., the 5k will begin at 7:25 a.m., and the Cariten Kids’ Run will begin at XXX a.m. All races will finish on the 50-yard line inside the University of Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium. Each runner’s finish will be broadcast over the stadium’s JumboTron.
The event will necessitate periodic road and lane closures throughout the city. All streets are expected to be open by 2 p.m. Sunday.
Motorists who need to reach Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center and East Tennessee Children’s Hospital on Sunday morning should take Alcoa Highway to the Cumberland Avenue exit and enter the Fort Sanders area via 20th Street. Parking will be prohibited on Clinch Avenue between 11th and 16th streets, and vehicles parked on the street will be towed Saturday evening.
A map of the course and recommended spectator viewing sites is available for download here.
Post-race Injury Clinics
After the race, Covenant Therapy Centers will offer free medical services for marathon participants. Runners who discover bothersome aches, pains, blisters, sprains or any other post-race medical concerns should bring a photo ID and their bib number to one of the following post-marathon injury clinics:
March 31, 3:30-6:30 p.m.: Methodist Therapy Center in Oak Ridge
April 1, 1-3:30 p.m.: Fort Sanders Therapy Center in Halls
April 1, 3:30-6:30 p.m.: Parkwest Therapy Center at Fort Sanders West
April 2, 3-6 p.m.: Fort Loudoun Therapy Center in Lenoir City
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, racewalking, fun runs, cross country, and track & field.
Covenant Health is a community-owned health system providing comprehensive health services throughout East Tennessee. Headquartered in Knoxville, Covenant Health includes five acute care hospitals with a total of more than 1500 licensed beds, as well as numerous outpatient services. The health system also includes specialty providers of behavioral, oncology, and rehabilitation services, along with home care, physician clinics, community wellness programs and managed care products and services. Covenant Health has more than 1000 affiliated physicians and 8000 employees.