Marathon promises weekend of fun (plus traffic weirdness)

Carol EvansFun Outdoors

There’s a lot more to the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon than a 26.2-mile race that’s a qualifier for the Boston Marathon.


Before the big event starts at 7:30 a.m. Sunday, the Covenant Kids Run (a 1-mile fun run for children 12 and under) and the Covenant 5K offer excitement on Saturday, at 5:30 and 7 p.m., respectively. And Sunday also includes a 13.1-mile half-marathon and two- and four-person marathon relays, which start with the main marathon.

All events start on the Clinch Avenue Viaduct above the World’s Fair Park downtown and finish in front of  the World’s Fair Exhibition Hall.

Tons of spectators will line the route, but perhaps the biggest way non-runners get involved is trying to maneuver around the marathon. Seriously, people: Check out the road closures before you hit the road.

There will be more than 25 bands and the Party Boys DJ Show to pep up runners along the route (and entertain spectators). On Saturday, Dave Landeo and Tod Sheley will perform on the Festival Lawn at the World’s Fair Park from 7:30 to 10 p.m. On Sunday, Dave Landeo & the Sol Beats will perform at the same location from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Both concerts are open to the public.

Food trucks and beer sales (for 21 and older) will also be at the site.

Marathon organizers recommend these sites as the best place to watch: the start line, Western Plaza, Tyson Park, Caswell Park, Island Home and the finish line at the World’s Fair Park.

The Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon is the largest competitive road race in East Tennessee. Proceeds benefit the Knoxville Track Club’s youth programs and Covenant’s Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center Innovative Recreation Cooperative.

Thirsty for more?

If you’re heading to the Urban Wilderness this morning, check out the ribbon-cutting of the UW Water Fountains at 10:30 at Anderson School, 4808 Prospect Lane.

Legacy Parks Foundation, REI, Appalachian Mountain Bike Club, Clean Water Network, parks directors Paul White and Sheryl Ely, and South Knoxville neighbors will welcome you to the event.

The new REI support stations improve infrastructure of the UW by adding three water stations and a bike tune-up station at strategic locations along the 50 miles of trails. They will create a safer, more inviting experience for people of all ages and levels of riding proficiency.

Take I-40 to the James White Parkway’s terminus at Moody Avenue. Turn left onto Sevierville Pike, then go 2.5 miles and turn left onto Centeroak Drive. Take the first left onto Prospect Road, and the school will be on the right.

For more ideas on fun outdoor activities, click here to peruse the Outdoor Knoxville calendar.

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