7,000 runners turn out for 10th Annual Knoxville Marathon

7,000 runners turn out for 10th Annual Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon

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Taking off from downtown Knoxville's World's Fair Park, more than 7,000 runners took part this year, making it the largest competitive road race in East Tennessee. Taking off from downtown Knoxville's World's Fair Park, more than 7,000 runners took part this year, making it the largest competitive road race in East Tennessee.
"It's been my dream ever since I was little to do this," said Lauren Mitchell, a senior at UT, running the marathon for the third year in a row. "It's been my dream ever since I was little to do this," said Lauren Mitchell, a senior at UT, running the marathon for the third year in a row.
Runners got to finish the marathon at the 50-yard line of Neyland Stadium, a dream for some runners. Runners got to finish the marathon at the 50-yard line of Neyland Stadium, a dream for some runners.
Mark Chepses of Searcy, Ark., won the 10th annual Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon on Sunday, March 30. Mark Chepses of Searcy, Ark., won the 10th annual Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon on Sunday, March 30.

By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The 10th Annual Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon saw a record turnout on Sunday.

Taking off from downtown Knoxville's World's Fair Park, more than 7,000 runners took part this year, making it the largest competitive road race in East Tennessee.

This year's runners tackled the 5k, the half marathon or the full marathon.

"I knew it'd be a challenge and I really liked it," said Judy Peavyhouse, who traveled from Dayton, Ohio to run in the half marathon portion of 13.1 miles.

Following months of training, they pushed on mile after mile, slamming through each leg of the course.

"It's been my dream ever since I was little to do this," said Lauren Mitchell, a senior at UT, running the marathon for the third year in a row. "Just seeing that 26 mile marker, I was like 'I'm doing it!''

They were cheered on by family, friends, and even event strangers.

"It's so awesome to have all my friends out here to support me," said Mitchell.

"When you're getting tired and you think 'oh, I might need to walk this,' and then they're cheering, you just keep going. You don't walk, you just keep running," said Peavyhouse.

And finally, after all those miles, they reached the finish line, positioned in none other than UT's Neyland Stadium, taking the final steps of the grueling, house long journey in one of Knoxville's most famous sites.

"Oh my goodness. I mean everybody wants to come in this stadium," said Peavyhouse. "Then we got to come across the 50 yard line. Wow. Can't beat it."

"It was my first one. I'm a little sore. Probably won't be able to walk tomorrow. But I had a great time and I'd do it again," said Rob Nidiffer of Chattanooga.

The winner of the Knoxville Marathon was Mark Chepses of Searcy, Ark. Chepses finished the 26.2-mile men's full marathon with a time of 2:27:31.

Knoxville's Ethan Coffey came in second at 2:27:55. Abraham Kogo of Hebron, Ky., was third with a time of 2:33:06.

In the women's category, first place went to Camille Herron of Warr Acres, Okla. Her time was 2:44:27. Kathy Wolski of Knoxville came in second at 3:03:27, and Andee Swann of Morristown came in third at 3:11:24.

For a complete list of the standings, click here.

Several members of the WATE 6 News staff ran in this year's Covenant Health Knoxville marathon, including Anchor Kristin Farley, Sports Anchor Prentice Elliott and Meteorologist Julya Johnson.

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