Several Sevier County runners participated in the 2006 Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon this past Sunday. Sponsored by The Knoxville Track Club this is the marathon’s second year. The weekend included a Health & Fitness Expo and multiple running events: Marathon, Relay, Half Marathon, 5k, and the Cariten Kids’ Run. All participants finish in UT’s Neyland Stadium, one of the country’s most collegiate athletic facilities, and be featured on the JumboTron, a massive 51 ft by 132 ft LED video board.
The Marathon course is a 26.2 mile journey through scenic Knoxville, TN. The course was originally designed to show-off Knoxville and run through several of its fine neighborhoods.
One such participate was Seymour resident and member of the Seymour Volunteer Fire Department Al Leitch. “The company that I work for, Pepsi Bottling Group, offer incentives during the year for us to be fit and they were a co-sponsor supplying Gatorade.” Leitch, a former smoker, began running five years ago.
Speaking about the race, “It takes a lot of training to finish it. The more training you can put into it the better you do. It’s mind over body. It’s quite an accomplishment to do it. I had a pit crew of my two sons and daughters they drove around to different locations on the course and met up with me with Gatorade and stuff and that made a big difference.”
The course earned very positive reviews in the inaugural marathon in 2005.
The race began at 7:00 a.m. with many runners getting up before dawn to make it to the streets of Knoxville to participate.
All Marathon participants received a t-shirt and goody bag upon packet pickup, and a mylar blanket, finishers’ medal, finishers’ running hat at the finish line.
The marathon course will featured 18 runner refreshment stations with Gatorade and Mountain Valley Spring Water. There were also two gel station serving GU (flavors: Vanilla, chocolate, berry, and banana) at approximately the 15 and 18 mile marks as well as another.
Participants in the marathon had to be 18 years of age and older and were required to finished the race within seven hours and you could walk or run the course, as long as you did it in that time frame.
Plenty of medical support was available throughout the course; in addition a therapy team provided by Fort Sanders Therapy Centers was available at the Post Race Party. Those that finished the race and made it to the party were treated to massages courtesy of the Horizons Wellness CentersNew this year was the ability to participate as a team and be eligible for special team awards and prizes.
They are already planning next year’s marathon.
According to Leitch, “It was great being on the football field at the end. It was quite an accomplishment.”