KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — On Saturday, Feb. 4, children throughout Knoxville will begin the first mile to complete a marathon. The Covenant Kids Run will kick off at noon at Zoo Knoxville.

The 1-mile course is the beginning of the children’s challenge to complete the exercise equivalent of a 26.2-mile marathon. The run is part of the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon.

Starting Feb 4, children will log their physical activity leading up to the final mile of the Covenant Kids Run at World’s Fair Park on Saturday, April 1. All exercise counts, including running, walking and active play.

“The Covenant Kids Run is an exciting tradition that incentivizes being active and a chance for young participants to be part of East Tennessee’s most popular road race,” Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon Race Director Jason Altman said. “This is an excellent opportunity for families to set fitness goals. Register your child and yourself for races and start on the right foot together!” 

Children in eighth grade and younger are eligible to participate in the Kids Run and each child who participates in the Covenant Kids Run on April 1 will earn one point for their school in the Fittest School Challenge. This competition among area schools awards 10 local schools with prize money and a Fittest School Challenge plaque.

The top five schools in schools with fewer than 300 students and in schools with over 301 students with the highest percentage of student participation in the race will win prize money and a Fittest School Challenge plaque.

The run begins at noon in Zoo Knoxville and costs $20 to register. This covers the cost of the Feb. 4 event, the last lap on April 1 and free zoo admission for the race participant and one accompanying adult on race day.

Signup can be done in advance at or at the zoo beginning at 10 a.m. the day of the event. Any additional guests may pay half-price for admission on Feb. 4.

“This event is all about inspiring healthy lifestyles and giving back to our local schools and organizations that serve students,” Altman said. “We’re eager to see it come full circle on April 1 and hope kids will continue to step up to the challenge.”

In case of inclement weather on Feb. 4, will have updates.