Month-long marathon underway

Jay FitzOur Town Youth

Hundreds of East Tennessee children crossed the finish line at Zoo Knoxville on Saturday to kick off the Covenant Kids Run. The Aug. 28 event was the first step toward a month-long marathon challenge.

Now, it is up to participants to make progress on their own. Throughout the 26.2-mile marathon, kids will log distance and activity until the end of the race on Oct. 2. The exercise program is intended to encourage children to stay active physically and in their communities.

“I’m excited to see so many young participants go the distance this year,” said Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon Race Director Jason Altman. “Thanks to Zoo Knoxville, kids and their families embarked on a new challenge and explored the park together. These children will track thousands of miles between now and the Covenant Kids Run in October.

“There is still plenty of time to participate. Families can register their kids online until the end of the October finale.”

Registration is open at The children will complete the last mile of their personal marathon together on Saturday, Oct. 2, when the Covenant Kids Run starts at 4:30 p.m. on the Clinch Avenue Viaduct 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 the free mileage log to track 25 miles of walking, running or the exercise equivalent, such as 30 minutes of active playtime, leading up to the last mile on Oct. 2 during the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon race weekend.

Each child who participates in the Covenant Kids Run also will earn one point for his or her school in the Fittest School Challenge, a competition among area schools, presented by Dollywood. Schools register for the Covenant Kids Run and provide a total student enrollment count. 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.

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