Marathon Set for April 1, 2007

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
kfarley@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Marathon Set for April 1, 2007

Posted: 08/15/2006
The third annual Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon promises to be bigger than ever, with more participants, and more involvement from the community and area businesses. Covenant Health, the City of Knoxville and the Knoxville Track Club announced all of the information about next year's event at a news conference today at Neyland Stadium.

"After two amazing years, once again the city is committed to help make the third annual marathon a tremendous success and one of the top running events in the country," said Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam. "We want to involve more volunteers and see even more enthusiasm from spectators along the route. This is truly a community event." The 2007 marathon is set for Sunday, April 1. The route will take a similar path as in previous years, with a spectacular finish inside Neyland Stadium. Other races will include a 4-person marathon relay, 13.1-mile half marathon, a 3.1-mile 5K run, and the Cariten Kids' Run, all finishing at the stadium. "Covenant Health and Cariten Healthcare are again very proud to sponsor the marathon and excited to be part of a first-class event," Covenant Health President and CEO Tony Spezia said. "Participation has grown each year, community and business support has expanded, and public awareness of the important health benefits of regular exercise has increased."

Spezia said that the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon has been successful in introducing many first-timers to the sports of walking and jogging by encouraging participation in the 5K and short-distance events."In 2007, we will double our efforts to draw more of a variety of participants representing all ages and skill levels," Spezia said.Noting that lack of physical activity is the most significant factor contributing to childhood obesity in America today, Spezia said he was particularly pleased that participation in the Cariten Kids' Run more than doubled from 2005 to 2006. "Attracting young runners to the sport and encouraging them to be physically active will be our number one priority for the children's event," Spezia said.The Knoxville Track Club has named members Jason Altman and Mike Schoenberger co-directors of the marathon, and they will handle preparation and planning for the event."With wonderful partners like Covenant Health and the City of Knoxville, the Knoxville Track Club is able to make the marathon weekend bigger and better every year," Altman said. "We do plan to keep one thing the same year after year--the spectacular finish on the 50-yard line of Neyland Stadium and showing each runner as they cross the finish line on the Jumbotron."Schoenberger said that event organizers are placing a special emphasis on getting the business community more involved through the Fittest Company Challenge. Covenant Health and City of Knoxville employees will be fielding teams, and area businesses are being asked to "rise to the challenge" and do the same.The Knoxville Track Club and Covenant Health will offer training programs for runners and walkers of all levels beginning this fall. Pre-registration is encouraged for all events. For more information about the marathon or to register online, go to www.knoxvillemarathon.com. Information also is available by calling the Knoxville Track Club at 865-684-4291.