KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Runners can expect some slight changes to several of the courses for the 2023 Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon series, which runs April 1-2.
Jason Altman with the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon explained the first course change is the 5K on Saturday, April 1. Altman explained what runners can expect.
“Previously, we have run through the University of Tennessee campus and that’s something that we might get back to when the stadium is available for us, but there’s a big concert coming to town, the Eagles are going to be in town Saturday evening,” Altman started. “Just talking with the Knoxville Police Department, traffic engineers, the University of Tennessee we thought to try and alleviate some of the congestion and traffic that they have, it would be best to come up with an alternate course.”
Altman went on to explain the 2023 Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon series, including how the 5K course for 2023 will start at the Clinch Avenue Bridge and will go through the Fort Sanders neighborhood.
“It’s one of the most historic neighborhoods here in Knoxville,” said Altman. “Covenant Health is our title sponsor of course and they have Fort Sanders Regional there, which was their first hospital.”
Altman also detailed the changes to the 2023 Marathon course. They are listed below.
- Around mile 13, marathoners will turn left from Grand Ave onto World’s Fair Park Drive, crossing Broadway Ave to Jackson Ave. They’ll then turn left on N. Gay St to pick up where the previous course left off. (This eliminates hills on L&N Stem, Western, and Summit Hill).
- After crossing Magnolia Ave, marathoners will continue on Bertrand and turn right on MLK Jr Ave. They’ll then turn right on Summit Hill and right on Patton St. They’ll turn left on a newly paved path that bypasses the Smokies Stadium project and turn left on Willow Ave. A left on Central picks up the previous course in the Old City.
Race organizers say these two changes are nearly opposite in mileage lost and gained, but the negligible difference will be adjusted on Spence Place at the turnaround cone.
“Rest assured it’s a course that is going to be certified, that way folks that want to qualify for the Boston Marathon or the New York City Marathon, we still remain a qualifier for all of those,” said Altman.
Neither of these changes will affect the half marathon course.
He also spoke about volunteers being needed for the race series, adding about 1,000 volunteers are needed to make the magic of marathon weekend possible.
Those interested in lending a helping hand to make sure race weekend gets off without a hitch can head to the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon Website volunteer section.