Marathon Team

Get inspired!

It’s a marathon team like no other! As East Tennessee’s premier healthcare provider, Covenant Health has a strong commitment to improving the quality of life in our region through better health. As part of that mission, Covenant Health assembles a team of individuals each year to serve as ambassadors for health and fitness while they train together for events in the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon.

For three months they undergo intensive training at Fort Sanders Health and Fitness Center and the Knoxville Track Club under the leadership of Covenant Health fitness expert Missy Kane. They face the challenge with courage and determination, improving their health and fitness, and inspiring East Tennesseans to get up and get moving for a better quality of life.

(Catch up with WBIR Chief Meteorologist Todd Howell at Fort Sanders Health and Fitness Center)

(Read about team member Bryan Paschal in KnoxTNToday)

Past teams have included:

  • City officials
  • Business leaders
  • Community servants
  • Athletes
  • Educators
  • Military veterans
  • Local media celebrities and more!

Read on to learn more about the team, and for information about the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon, visit our marathon page.

Marathon Team outdoors with Coach Missy Kane

NEW!How to Reach Your Goals for Good
Do you have trouble reaching your goals? Maybe you’re too committed. Team trainer Chris O’Hearn explains in this important post about setting your sights for success.

Personal trainer helps woman with hand weights
Fort Sanders Health and Fitness trainer Chris O’Hearn guides Cassandra Stuart through weight bearing exercises during team training.

Olympic Trek with the Team
Some members of our team recently participated in a live broadcast on WBIR-TV featuring local Olympians and other outstanding athletes. Among those bearing the Team USA colors was our own Coach Missy Kane, a former member of the USA Olympic Track Team.

Group of athletes posing outdoors

They’ve Been Here Before

This year’s team is made up of some familiar faces. Each has participated in one of Covenant Health’s marathon teams in the past. While they come from different walks of life and didn’t cross the finish line the same year, they do have something important in common – a goal to finish the race to personal victory! This year’s team is on a mission to help improve the health and fitness of East Tennesseans, leading the way by example.

  • Learn more about the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon
  • Get your own training plan! Coach Missy Kane has compiled a booklet that can help guide you through the process of training for a half marathon: Steppin’ Out
  • For some tips on choosing the right shoes for training, check out this report from WBIR featuring former marathon team member Sharon Alley at New Balance Knoxville.
  • Check out our training photo gallery to catch the 2021 marathon team in action on the Team Training page.
  • Need some suggestions to help get your family on track for a healthier lifestyle? Here are some Family Fit Tips from our coach.
  • You’re never too old to make health and fitness a priority. Check out Coach Missy Kane’s training tips for people who are 50+ and Fierce.
  • Missy Kane has been coaching marathon teams for Covenant Health since 2005. Check out our photo album from a reunion of past team members

About the coach

Missy Kane holding weightsMissy Kane is fitness promotion coordinator for Covenant Health, and her passion is helping others take steps toward a healthy lifestyle, whether they’re longtime athletes or have been sedentary for years. Missy is a former collegiate track and field coach, an Olympic athlete, a Pan American Games medalist, and a member of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, the Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame, and the Knoxville Track Club Hall of Fame. This is her 17th time coaching a team for the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon. To learn more about Coach Missy Kane and ways to have a fit and fun lifestyle, visit her web page.

Coach Kane is joined by Fort Sanders Health and Fitness Center trainer Chris O’Hearn. Chris is a highly respected personal trainer and life coach who helps our team members strengthen mind, body and spirit for a successful finish. 


Did you know?

  • In 2019, Covenant Health’s marathon team was made up of U.S. Military Veterans
  • The first marathon team (2005) included then-mayor Bill Haslam, who later went on to become the governor of Tennessee
  • Starting in 2011 and for several years after, the team became a “Biggest Winner” weight loss challenge, helping team members loose a combined total of about a thousand pounds
  • Team members have trained in temperatures as low as 17 degrees F 
  • In 2020 the marathon team was disbanded due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The members of the 2021 Covenant Health Marathon Team represent a dozen teams from past years

The 2021 Covenant Health Marathon Team

David Biggerstaff
Kelly Biggerstaff
Scott Bolin
Lee Ann Bowman, WBIR
Sue Buckley
Randy Carr
Alan Cheatham
Carol Evans
Bonnie Harlow
Michael Holtz
Cindy Jones
Bryan Paschal
Cassandra Stuart