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Knoxville marathon numbers rising

Early registration numbers for the 2008 Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon are on record pace.

Early registration period ended at the end of November, and total registration was up an additional 45 percent when compared to the same time period for previous year’s event. Numbers for the full marathon alone are currently up an additional 28 percent, said Jason Altman, race director.

“In three short years, we have earned an excellent reputation for putting on a tremendous event,” he said “Those positive reviews, combined with an increase in national marketing, have helped create Knoxville into a destination city for runners and walkers.”

Architectural experts that designed the course have determined that the most participants the current course can handle is 3,500. Altman said that while the marathon has not had to put a cap on registration in the past, 2008 could be different.

“If registration continues at the current rate, we would most likely have to limit the number of participants come late February or early March,” he said. “While we want everyone to be able to participate, we have to adhere to the safety precautions for the benefit of all participants. I would definitely encourage people to register early to insure their spot in the 2008 event.”

Runners, walkers and fitness advocates can register online at www.knoxvillemarathon and also can share race stories, ask questions and plan their running routes via the Web site’s new Online Community link.

Blogs, forums (or discussion groups), and route-planning features were created for marathon site by, a UK-based popular lifestyle/community networking site.

Bloggers can visit the Online Community to keep an online diary of their training regimen, which can be kept private or shared with friends and the running community.

Participants seeking race advice, training tips and other course specific information, can access the Forum feature for information and feedback from other runners and course experts.

The Route Planner allows runners to plan and measure their running routes from the comfort of home by mapping out different courses around the City of Knoxville and beyond. The routes also can be kept private or made public for other runners and local visitors to access.

“Runners are passionate, and can even be obsessive, about their sport,” said Alicia O’Neill, North American Director of Sales and Marketing for “They want to share their thoughts, questions, fears and information with others who are going through a similar experience.

“These new features are a great way to communicate with like-minded individuals.”

The launch of these new Web features comes three months before the 4th Annual Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon March 30.

Participants are encouraged to use the features to document their experience and to query others as they prepare for either the marathon, the half-marathon, the 4-person relay, the 5K, or the Cariten Kids’ Run.

Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon is organized by the Knoxville Track Club, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the encouragement of physical well-being through running, jogging, competitive road racing, racewalking, fun runs, cross country and track and field.


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