KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Marathon weekend officially steps off Saturday night, April 1 with the Covenant Health 5k and Kid’s Run. However, be sure to pack your patience because these aren’t the only events going on downtown.

“This year, because of the way several events fell, we now have 4 significant events that fall on Saturday, April 1st,” said Knoxville Police Captain Sammy Shaffer, one of several area first responders tasked with keeping downtown flowing despite all the event chaos.

Along with the 5K and Kid’s Run, Knoxville will host a concert by The Eagles, The Dogwoods Arts Chalk Walk and The Big Ears Festival just to name a few.

“The minute we realized the conflict with the concert we immediately sat down because we do have to approve those routes,” said Shaffer.

When Shaffer says “we”, he’s referring to a number of agencies that have been formulating a plan to keep runners and motorists moving.

“When we start closing the streets, traffic engineering is involved and we’re involved. When we go on the University campus, the university is involved,” Shaffer told WATE. “So, we all have to start working reasonably early and come up with a solution.”

One of the biggest obstacles Saturday night will be Seventeenth Street in the Ft Sanders Area. Normally, concertgoers heading to Thompson-Boling would take I-40 to 17th and then straight to campus. However, this year the 5K is running through the Fort and that means 17th will be closed to thru traffic. That’s why Shaffer urges concertgoers to utilize Neyland Drive.  

“The 5K actually cuts off that northern approach to campus,” said Shaffer. “We want to encourage folks to consider going to Thompson-Boling Arena for the concert to utilize Alcoa Hwy to Neyland Drive. Or utilize James White Parkway to Neyland Drive.”

Keep in mind, One Knox SC will also be home at Regal Soccer Complex off Neyland on April 1st as well. Therefore, Captain Shaffer says to leave early, be alert and be patient.

“Be patient with each other, be patient with us, be patient with the venue when you get there because it’s going to be a lot going on.”