August 5, 2008 -
The 2009 Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon has been set for Sunday, March 29, and organizers are predicting record turnout for the five-year-old event.
Organizers expect fifth annual race to exceed 5000 runners. Early bird registration opens August 2
The Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon is more than a road race,” said Mayor Bill Haslam. “It is an opportunity for thousands of runners, walkers, spectators, and volunteers as well as neighborhoods and city agencies to share a tremendous experience.”
Mayor Haslam said the marathon has grown steadily each year in the number of runners and in special features and programs, which bring additional people to the event.
“This has been a wonderful event and it’s only going to get better,” he said.
Covenant Health, the presenting sponsor of the event, is committed to making the marathon weekend a fun, fitness experience for everyone.
“Covenant Health wants to encourage participation among people of all ages and fitness abilities,” said Tony Spezia, president and CEO of Covenant Health. “Fort Sanders Health & Fitness Center, Covenant Therapy Centers, and other Covenant Health facilities are offering programs to help you prepare and train safely for an event, regardless of whether you want to walk, jog or sprint. Our single focus is to get families moving again.”
In addition to the full 26.2 marathon, the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon will have a 4-person relay, half marathon, 5K run (3.1 miles) and Cariten Kids’ Run. As in previous years, all races will have an exciting finish inside Neyland Stadium. Race participants will be shown on the JumboTron as they cross the finish line.
Jason Altman, who serves as director of the marathon on behalf of the Knoxville Track Club, said he has high expectations for the 2009 event.
“Our goal for 2009 is to eclipse 5000 participants,” Altman said. “We had a steady 10 percent growth rate the first three years, and last year registrations jumped more than 20 percent. The event has matured into a significant event for Knoxville and East Tennessee, and the sport of running and road races continue to gain in popularity across the country.”
Altman said they will continue to place a special emphasis on getting the business community more involved through the Fittest Company Challenge. Last year a record number of 168 companies participated, with some 1300 of their employees running and walking in the events.
Registration for the 2009 marathon, half marathon, relay and 5K opens Saturday, Aug. 2. The Knoxville Track Club is offering an early sign-up discount of $10 for the full and half marathons from Aug 2 through Aug 15 at midnight. Registration for the children’s run will open later this fall. For more information about the marathon or to register online, go to www.knoxvillemarathon.com. Information is also available by calling the Knoxville Track Club at (865) 684-4294.
The Knoxville Track Club and Covenant Health will offer training programs for runners and walkers of all levels beginning this fall. Information about the programs will be available at www.knoxvillemarathon.com or by calling the Knoxville Track Club at 865-684-4294.