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Need to Know: Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon this weekend

This year, the race will start and finish in World's Fair Park.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Runners in the 2019 Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon will finish at a brand new finish line this year.

Live blog: 2019 Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon

Marathon weekends is set for March 30-31, with the 5K and Covenant Kids Run on Saturday and the marathon and half-marathon on Sunday. 

Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon Forecast

This year, the race will start and finish in World's Fair Park. It previously finished on the 50-yard line of Neyland Stadium, but that changed this year because UT was expecting Neyland Stadium to be in the midst of renovations, though that has since been postponed.

The marathon starts at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 31, 2019.

Marathon participants must be 18 years of age or older. Marathon participants must be able to complete the course, whether running or walking, in 7 hours. The course will be rolled up in a 16 minute/mile pace.  The finish line will remain open for 7 hours. There is no separate start time for walkers.

LINK: Marathon Course Map - Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon

RELATED: Full coverage of the 2018 Knoxville Marathon

Credit: Covenant Heath Knoxville Marathon
Covenant Heath Knoxville Marathon Course Map 2019

 “Most of the changes affect the second half of the marathon route, but we still visit all the scenic, iconic Knoxville neighborhoods that make this race special. Of course, all races this year will enjoy a new finish line in World’s Fair Park with a festive after party on the lawn with music, food trucks, beer and more," Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon Race Director Jason Altman said.

RELATED: Course map released for 2019 Knoxville Marathon

LINK: 2019 turn-by-turn course description

LINK: Marathon route profile

On course, there will be plenty of portable toilets. 

They will be near (but not right next to) every water station.

RELATED: Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon water stations show off creativity

There will be 5 at each of the first 6 water stations, 4 at each of the next 9 water stations, and 2 at each of the remaining 3 water stations on course. There will also be plenty available at the start, both on the concourse in front of the Knoxville Convention Center and on the plaza terrace level of the KCC.

At each station, organizers will have flags to alert runners of weather and other conditions. A green flag means good, yellow is less than ideal, red means potentially dangerous, and black means the event is canceled because of dangerous conditions. 

If you're wondering how to dress -- be sure to check the forecast the night before! Fun costumes aside, a chilly morning will mean lots of people dressing in layers.

It also means lots of layers being shed during the race as runners heat up! You can shed an item along the course at any time, but if someone's not there to come and claim it for you before the race ends -- don't expect to find it waiting for you.

Shed clothes left along the most of the marathon route are collected and donated to KARM.

Something new this year, though, is that you can shed clothes around the first mile at Thompson-Boling Arena and have Runners Market hold onto it for you for a week. 

Runners, on your marks!

The day before the marathon, participants will need to check in at the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon Health and Fitness Expo to receive their bib, timing chip, t-shirt, and goody bag. There is NO Sunday pickup.

The expo runs from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, March 30 at the World's Fair Exhibition Hall at 935 World's Fair Park Drive in Knoxville.

The expo is much more than just a check-in. There will be  exhibitors of running and fitness apparel, and a variety of products and services for fitness, sports and nutrition. 

This year -- Marine Corps veteran Rob Jones will be the featured speaker at 3 p.m. inside the exhibition hall. Jones was wounded in Afghanistan, resulting in a left knee dis-articulation and a right above-knee amputation of his legs. Since then, he has worked to help fellow wounded veterans and completed a number of milestones -- including in 2017 completing a goal of running 31 marathons in 31 cities in 31 days to raise more than $200,000 for the Coalition to Salute America's Heroes. 

Road Closures

The Clinch Avenue Viaduct serves as the start for all races and will be closed to traffic starting at 2 p.m. Saturday until 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Parking will be prohibited on Clinch Avenue between 11th and 16th streets, and vehicles parked on the street will be towed Saturday evening.

On Saturday, the Covenant Kids Run starts at 5:30 p.m., necessitating closures of 11th Street and World’s Fair Park Drive in front of the former Candy Factory building and Knoxville Museum of Art, and periodic closures of Clinch and White avenues between 11th and 13th streets and a small portion of 13th Street between Clinch and White avenues during the run.

RELATED: Army vet-turned-chef trains for Covenant Health Marathon

The 5K starts at 7 p.m. on Saturday with closures at Clinch Avenue between World’s Fair Park and 16th Street, portions of Volunteer Boulevard, Peyton Manning Pass, Phillip Fulmer Way and James Agee Street until about 8:30 p.m.

On Sunday morning, the marathon will require staggered road closures from 7:20 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. throughout downtown Knoxville and the following neighborhoods: Fort Sanders, Sequoyah Hills, Fourth & Gill, Parkridge, Island Home and Old Sevier.

Motorists who need to reach Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center and East Tennessee Children’s Hospital on Sunday morning should take Alcoa Highway to the Cumberland Avenue/Kingston Pike exit and enter the Fort Sanders area via 20th Street. Please look for directional signage along this route.

Wondering about a specific road we didn't mention? Click here.

  • World’s Fair Park Drive: Closed from start of race until the half marathon passes from 11th Street, then the closure is moved to south of the parking lot beside the Knoxville Museum of Art; closed on north end by Fort Kid;
  • Clinch Avenue Viaduct from Henley to 11th streets: Closed throughout the marathon weekend events;
  • Clinch Avenue: Closed at the start of the marathon, 5K and Covenant Kids Run from 11th to James Agee Street and at end of marathon between Union Avenue and World’s Park Drive;
  • James Agee Street: Closed at the start of the marathon and Covenant Kids Run from Clinch to Cumberland avenues;
  • Volunteer Boulevard: Closed for 5K to UT Drive on the west end;
  • Lake Loudoun Boulevard: Southbound lanes from Todd Helton Lane to Neyland Drive closed for the marathon;
  • Neyland Drive: Eastbound and westbound lanes closed for the marathon from Walnut Street to Kingston Pike until the turnaround is complete;
  • Kingston Pike: Eastbound lanes closed between Neyland Drive and Cherokee Boulevard; traffic will be two-way in westbound lanes;
  • Cherokee Boulevard: Southbound lanes closed;
  • Blows Ferry Road: Westbound lanes closed;
  • Alta Vista Way: Northbound lane closed;
  • Noelton Drive: Right lane closed from Alta Vista Way to Kingston Pike;
  • Kingston Pike: Right lane closed westbound from Noelton Drive to Forest Park Boulevard;
  • Forest Park Boulevard: Northbound right lane closed from Kingston Pike to Newcom Avenue;
  • Newcom Avenue: Closed from Forest Park Boulevard to Lebanon Street;
  • Lebanon Street: Closed from Newcom Avenue to Third Creek Greenway;
  • Tyson Park: Closed at Kingston Pike entrance and the road closure sign inside Tyson Park at the U.S. 129 overpass;
  • Cumberland Avenue: Right westbound curb lane closed from Tyson Park to 22nd Street;
  • 22nd Street: Closed from Forest to Cumberland avenues;
  • Forest Avenue: Closed from 17th to 22nd streets; continued closure from 17th Street east to 13th Street;
  • Highland Avenue: Eastbound lanes closed from 11th to 13th streets;
  • 11th Street: Closed from Highland Avenue to Western Avenue;
  • Grand Avenue: Closed between both intersections with World’s Fair Park Drive;
  • L & N Station Drive: Closed between World’s Fair Park Drive and Western Avenue;
  • Summit Hill Drive: Closed between L & N Station Drive and Gay Street;
  • Gay Street: Northbound right lane closed from West Summit Hill Drive to Council Street;
  • Magnolia Avenue: Closed between Gay Street and North Central Street;
  • Central Street: Closed between Magnolia Avenue and Broadway;
  • 3rd Avenue: Closed between North Central and Eleanor streets;
  • Deery Street: Closed between 4th and Lovenia avenues;
  • Lovenia Avenue: Closed between Deery and Luttrell streets;
  • Luttrell Street: Closed between Lovenia and Wells avenues;
  • Wells Avenue: Closed between Luttrell and Eleanor streets;
  • Eleanor Street: Closed between Wells and 3rd avenues;
  • Fourth Avenue: Closed between Deery to Central streets;
  • 5th Avenue: Closed between Hall of Fame Drive and Winona Street;
  • Hall of Fame Drive: Closed between the two intersections with 5th Avenue;
  • Winona Street: Northbound lane closed between 5th and Washington avenues;
  • Washington Avenue: Closed between Winona and North Bertrand streets;
  • N. Bertrand Street: Closed from Washington to McCalla avenues;
  • McCalla Avenue: Closed from North Bertrand Street to Willow Avenue;
  • Willow Avenue: Closed from McCalla Avenue to Patton Street;
  • Patton Street: Closed from Willow to Jackson avenues;
  • Jackson Avenue: Eastbound lane closed from Patton Street to Central Street;
  • Cumberland Avenue: Closed between Central and State streets;
  • State Street: Closed between Cumberland Avenue and Hill Avenue;
  • Hill Avenue: Closed between State Street and the James White Connector;
  • James White Parkway: Closed between State Street Connector to Sevier Avenue ramp;
  • Sevier Avenue: Right lane closed from James White Parkway to Island Home Avenue; cones 6-8 feet from the westbound curb for a runner lane from Island Home Avenue to Council Place;
  • Island Home Avenue: Closed from Sevier Avenue to Maplewood Drive; westbound traffic to use Hillwood Drive;
  • Council Place: Closed between Sevier Avenue and Gay Street;
  • Wall Avenue: Closed between Gay Street and Market Square;
  • Union Avenue: Closed between Market Square and Locust Street; and
  • Locust Street: Closed between Union and Clinch avenues.

Not running? No worries.

If you don't want to run, remember you can still be part of the marathon experience by cheering the runners on along the route.  WBIR will also televise the entire marathon on race day.

RELATED: Witty signs keep runners motivated for the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon

Dave Landeo & The Sol Beats will perform on the stage. Dave and Knoxville musicians Joe Thompson (sax), Michael Hulsey (trumpet), Vic Ilagan (drums) & Vince Ilagan (bass) will be performing on stage at the Festival Lawn at the World’s Fair Park from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday.

The band performs a mixture of dance tunes, high energy rock, and soul-pop covers and originals. It’ll be a big after-race celebration for all the runners, family & friends. Free and open to the public.

At this year’s event, Calhoun’s Restaurant will be serving up beer from their world famous microbrewery, Smoky Mountain Brewery. They will serve beer on Saturday after the 5K (7 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.) and again on Sunday (10 a.m. – 3 p.m.). Each registered participant, 21 and older, will receive a ticket for one complimentary beer. Calhoun’s will also be selling beer for family members, spectators, or participants wanting a second beer. Participants under the age of 21 will not receive a beer ticket.

Food Trucks will be out on both Saturday, March 30, and Sunday, March 31, including three of Knoxville’s favorites – Forks on the Road, Penne For Your Thoughts, and CJ’s Tacos. They’ll be selling food to spectators, family members, or participants who are looking for more than the provided post-race food that comes with your entry.

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