Kids Run underway

Rachel DellingerOur Town Youth

Children from across East Tennessee ran, walked and skipped across Zoo Knoxville to kick off the 2020 Covenant Kids Run on Jan. 25 as family members, friends, fitness enthusiasts and educators cheered them on.

The one-mile fun run, part of the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon, encourages children to complete the equivalent of a 26.2-mile marathon by tracking their physical activity through February and March. The kick-off at Zoo Knoxville officially jump-started the exercise program and is intended to encourage children to stay active.

“The Covenant Kids Run kickoff is both fun and inspiring,” said Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon Race director Jason Altman. “Running with the beautiful backdrop of Zoo Knoxville while being encouraged throughout the route brought smiles to so many faces. Thousands of ‘miles’ will be tracked by these children between now and the Covenant Kids Run in March.”

Alcoa Elementary School and Alcoa City Pre-K participants at Kids Run at Zoo Knoxville included Brady Phillips, Levi Phillips, Patrick Collins, Giulia Santos, Caroline Williams, Alex Patterson and Connor Patterson.

Altman said that even if children did not attend the kick-off event, families can still register their children and start tracking their activities. Participants will complete the last mile together on Saturday, March 28, during the Covenant Kids Run. The event starts on Clinch Ave. near the Sunsphere, continues through the Fort Sanders neighborhood and ends back at World’s Fair Park.

Children in the eighth grade and younger can participate in the Covenant Kids Run. Each child who registers also can download a free mileage log to track 25 miles of walking, running or 30-minute session of active playtime leading up to the March 28 event during the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon race weekend. Registration for the Covenant Kids Run is available at

Each child who participates also will earn one point for his or her school in the Fittest School Challenge, a competition among area schools. The top five schools in the small school (fewer than 300 students) and large school (301+ students) categories with the highest percentage of student participation in the race win prize money and a Fittest School Challenge plaque.

“Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon isn’t limited to 26.2-mile races,” Altman added. “With a full marathon, relay races, half marathon, 5K and Covenant Kids Run, there’s an option for every level of ability and every member of the family. Whether you walk, jog or run, the entire family can participate in a health activity during race weekend, March 28-29. Register now and join us for the fun!”

Rachel Dellinger is public relations coordinator for Covenant Health.

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