20th Annual Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon set for April 2024

When springtime arrives in Knoxville, you can usually count on dogwood trees blossoming and runners stepping out to “go the distance” as the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon celebrates its 20th race on city streets and greenways in bloom April 6 – 7, 2024.

“It’s a great weekend of events, whether you’re an elite runner or just someone walking a 5K for the first time,” says race director Jason Altman. “We encourage everyone – no matter age, experience or ability – to sign up and set a goal.”

Altman says people from all walks of life and many levels of ability and athleticism come together on the Clinch Avenue bridge near the iconic Sunsphere every year for this Tennessee tradition. The Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon has continued through four U.S. presidents, three Tennessee governors, a wide range of inclement weather and a worldwide pandemic, yet shows no signs of slowing down.

The 2024 event includes a full marathon, half marathon and team relays on Sunday, April 7, with a 5K and a kids’ fun run the evening of April 6. Course routes showcase Knoxville’s neighborhoods, greenways and downtown area.

From Around the World and Close to Home

The Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon has drawn international interest and prominent locals including media personalities, star athletes and politicians have taken part through the years. In 2005, the event’s inaugural year, then-Knoxville mayor Bill Haslam crossed the finish line in the half marathon before a successful run for the governor’s office.

Olympic runner and Pan American Games medalist Missy Kane completed the full marathon in 2005. Former University of  Tennessee quarterback Sterling Henton, better known today as game day DJ “Sterl the Pearl,” has run, walked and hosted multiple events in the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon.

“Thousands and thousands of people have come together through the years to be a part of something big here in an incredible place,” Altman says. “We’re grateful for the support, we’re grateful for the enthusiasm and we’re excited about what’s ahead.”

In 2023, 6,322 participants in the full and half marathons, relays, 5K and Kids Run completed a combined total of more than 54,000 miles. The 2023 event attracted area residents as well as international participants from Australia, Canada, China, Germany, South Africa and Vietnam.

Marathon CHKM bridge view

More Than Just a Race

The marathon weekend will include a runner’s expo on Saturday, April 6, featuring exhibitors of products and services in fitness, sports and nutrition. The expo will also feature two-time Olympian Des Linden as guest speaker. Linden is the current world record holder for the 50K with a finish time of 2:59:54, she broke the U.S. Masters Women’s Marathon
record in Chicago last year and she’s a 2018 Boston Marathon Champion.

Hundreds of children will race through World’s Fair Park late in the day Saturday for the Covenant Kids Run, a health and fitness program that encourages children to be active, not only on race day but with training in the weeks beforehand, too. That training can include any form of active play in addition to running. The goal is to help young runners build healthy habits that will last a lifetime.

Covenant Health Therapy Centers offer post-marathon injury clinics at no cost to race participants. Runners with race bibs and photo IDs who have aches, pains and injuries can be assessed by a licensed physical therapist at one of three convenient locations. Registration for the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon is open through April 2.

For more information, to register or to learn about volunteering opportunities, visit KnoxvilleMarathon.com.

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