Training begins for 2017 Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon


Runners and competitors preparing for the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon are invited to attend free weekly group training runs, which take place at 8 a.m. on Saturdays leading up to the marathon weekend, April 1-2.

During these outings, experienced runners will guide participants through various trails in the Knoxville area, with two stopping points along the training route.

Runners of all levels are encouraged to participate and can choose from several pace options, ranging from beginner to advanced. The training program is sponsored by Eddie’s Health Shoppe, Knoxville Performance Lab and ZenEvo Dark Chocolate.

Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon participants gather for a group training run in 2016.

Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon participants gather for a group training run in 2016.

“The group runs are a great opportunity for participants to begin and maintain the training process,” said Jason Altman, race director for the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon. “One of my favorite parts of the race is the camaraderie and friendship that results in training together for the same goal.”

In addition to the training runs, participants can join the Fittest Company Challenge, sponsored by Humana. Companies receive a point per mile for each employee who finishes a race. Runners or walkers may participate in the marathon, half-marathon, two-person relay, four-person relay, 5K, or work as a volunteer at the event. In order for points to be counted, individuals must register properly and finish on the 50-yard line at Neyland Stadium on race day. Participants are welcome to walk or run any of the events, however walkers are encouraged to participate in the half-marathon, 5K, or relay races due to time constraints.

Plaques will be awarded to the first-, second- and third-place winners in three categories based on number of employees participating for each company.

Representatives from Covenant Health, Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon, RunKNOX, ORNL Federal Credit Union and Humana gather to kick off the 2017 Fittest Company Challenge on Dec. 7. Companies participate in the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon race events and earn points for each mile completed by their employees. Pictured from left: Scott Schmidt, head coach for RunKNOX; Kristy Altman, executive director for the Knoxville Track Club; Jason Altman, executive director for Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon; Missy Kane, fitness promotion coordinator for Covenant Health; Shauna Jamison, manager of engagement and administrative support for Humana; and Ashley Pegram, executive coordinator for ORNL Federal Credit Union.

Representatives from Covenant Health, Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon, RunKNOX, ORNL Federal Credit Union and Humana gather to kick off the 2017 Fittest Company Challenge on Dec. 7. Companies participate in the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon race events and earn points for each mile completed by their employees. Pictured from left: Scott Schmidt, head coach for RunKNOX; Kristy Altman, executive director for the Knoxville Track Club; Jason Altman, executive director for Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon; Missy Kane, fitness promotion coordinator for Covenant Health; Shauna Jamison, manager of engagement and administrative support for Humana; and Ashley Pegram, executive coordinator for ORNL Federal Credit Union.

For younger participants, the Covenant Kids Run kicks off at Zoo Knoxville on Saturday, Jan. 28, at noon. This event allows kids to run or walk one mile through the grounds of the zoo. Upon completing the mile, each child will receive a mileage log to track 26.2 miles over the next two months, culminating with the last mile April 1 at the Covenant Kids Run at Neyland Stadium. All physical activity counts towards the child’s marathon goal.

“Introducing children to running and fitness at a young age is essential in teaching to live a healthy lifestyle,” Altman said. “They will have a lot of fun as they run or walk their first mile at the Zoo Knoxville, and running the last mile at the Vols football stadium will be a lifelong memory. These activities not only promote good health, but also instill the drive to work diligently to achieve goals.”

Registration for the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon is open and can be completed at www.knoxvillemarathon.com/register. Costs start at $15 for the Kids Run and go to $80 for the full marathon. Prices will increase on Feb. 14, 2017, at 11:59 p.m. EST.

For more information, visit www.knoxvillemarathon.com or call 865-684-4294.

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.