(WBIR-Knoxville) Roughly 8,000 runners laced up for the 10th annual Covenant Health Knoxville races Sunday morning.
Race Director Jason Altman said, "The vast majority are people who just enjoy being out there. The sense of accomplishment."
The challenging course included lots of hills, with a finish line on the 50 yard line at Neyland Stadium. Participants in the 5K, half marathon, and marathon said seeing themselves on the jumbotron was a rewarding end to the races.
Tony Read said, "It was great to finish on Neyland Field. I enjoyed that very much!"
Emily Read said, "We feel like honorary Vols!"
Majority of the runners said the one area along the course that was the toughest was the hill on Noelton Drive.
Shawn Angel said, "That hill was challenging. My wife called me while I was going up that hill and I said, 'Look! Talk to you later!'"
Finally crossing the finish line had the runners feeling like champs as many of them reached their goal.
Evan Johnson reports live from the finish line of the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon.
Beth McCarter said, "Just to finish!"
Crystal Widner said, "I finished nine minutes faster than last year."
Meghan White, Widner's friend, added, "I stayed with [Widner] and ran and I made her finish under what she was supposed to."
Also taking part in the half marathon (13.1 miles) was Perry Pruitt, this year's winner of Covenant Health's Biggest Winner. After dropping nearly 90 pounds since the fall, Pruitt finished the race faster than he expected.
Pruitt said, "I actually expected to finish in about 3:30:00 - 3:45:00. And I actually finished in 3:15:00."
Patrick Cheptoek finished first in the half marathon with a time of 1:09:12
Cheptoek said, "I did this last year and it was a great feeling and I wanted to do that again."
Mark Chepses placed first in the full marathon with a time of 2:27:31
Chepses said, "I'm happy because I won. It was a very tough race, but I won."
WBIR is a proud sponsor of the 2014 Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon. Several 10News employees joined the thousands of other runners in the event. WBIR 10News Anchor Robin Wilhoit was one of those employees and raised $3,154.00 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society as part of "Team in Training".
To see a complete list of names and times go to http://www.knoxvillemarathon.com/.