KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — It was not just those competing at the 2023 Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon who woke up bright and early Sunday morning.  

Thousands came out to support the runners. From start to finish, people lined the streets with posters and their loudest cheers.

“We got cheer zones all over the course. We got people at the relay exchanges for us. It’s going to be a big party,” Scott Schmidt said.

Schmidt added that marathon day is like Christmas morning for his group, 

“I’m coaching for the Knoxville Track Club. We have a program called Run Knox and we have about 20 athletes out here today who are running multiple distances between the marathon and the relay,” he said.  

He says they have been training for months for this one day. 

“We love coming out here, hanging out afterward at the post-race party. We’re super-excited to be here.” 

Brittany Williams is cheering on her dad and husband. She found a nice warm spot indoors to wait for them close to the finish line. 

“We started at the start line with everybody, and then once they took off, we came down here to try and stay warm,” Williams said.  

They were not the only ones with that idea, but while they stayed warm inside, others decided to try and catch the runners at different cheering points.  

John Pontiff was cheering on his wife.

“It’s a lot of fun. It’s a good time to kind of chase everybody downtown and just see everybody cheering and having a good time,” he said.  

Grace and Alex said this was their first time at the Knoxville Marathon. 

“Our best friend Pia is running. Go Pia! She’s awesome,” they said.

This is Grace and Alex’s first time at the Knoxville Marathon. 

Alex said, “It’s really sweet because everyone is so supportive and friendly and just kind of pumping each other up. It’s awesome.” 

Williams added, “there are people from everywhere. It’s really uplifting, and everybody supports one another. It’s really good to watch.”