Runners prepare for Knoxville virtual marathon

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The 15th annual Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon starts this weekend, but there are some changes due to COVID-19.

This year the Covenant Health marathon is virtual. It will be spread out over nine days. The new format offers a unique opportunity for runners to take in the race on their own terms, they don’t necessarily have to do it all at once.

After it was postponed multiple times, runners who participate every year have been training for this moment.

“In the past, of course it’s been a huge mass start, but it’s not good with the virus to have that kind of a closeness between the runners,” said Ken Sirois.

Ken Sirois and Becky Tener are both seasoned marathon runners, but this is this first time either one of them has participated in this one virtually.

“It’s totally different because it’s not going to be a mass start. People will just run it on their own,” Sirois said.

“The virtual part of it, like ken said, it’s not going to be quite the same, but it’s still going to be good I think,” Tener said.

At last check, almost 5,000 people registered to run in this year’s event. The virtual race will take place over nine days, from Nov. 7 through Nov. 15.

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