I just got back from the 10 o'clock press conference for the Knoxville, errr I mean “Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon” which will be taking place on March 26th of 2006. The conference only last about 20 minutes and included the mayor of Knoxville Bill Haslam, Covenant Health Representatives Tony Spazio and Missy Kane, UT Athletic Director Mike Hamilton and the former and present Knoxville Marathon presidents Zane Hagy and Kevin Skurski.
The mayor talked about how well the marathon impacted the city through the information of a post race survey by Dr. Carol Costello. The amount of revenue that the city enjoyed was a breath of fresh air as the report estimated that $400,000 dollars were spent in the area over the weekend. He was also pleased that Covenant Health has signed on for two years as the featured sponsor. Covenant Health's Spazio and King revealed the first change of the morning, with the Knoxville Marathon being renamed to the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon. (I can see it referred to the Knoxville Marathon in the vernacular much as the ING New York City Marathon is commonly referred to as “New York Marathon” or simply “New York”).
Mike Hamilton expressed his thanks that UT and especially Neyland Stadium could be part of such a prestigious event. Even though the press conference was very laid back, Hagy provided some comic relief with his statement about those in the race needing hospitalization. “4 runners needed to be hospitalized after the race, with me being one of them, I can say that Covenant Health provided great care” – or something like that. Kruski, the present leader of the Marathon, officially revealed the date of the marathon this year 03.26.06, 7 months from today, which we already knew. He also announced a few changes for the upcoming year.
The biggest change will be a team competition to the marathon race. He didn't go into great detail, but awards will be given to the fastest team and also the team that completes the most cumulative miles. So, you don't have to be fast to win a team prize. He did mention that there might slight modifications of the course, but did not go into detail. He did mention that they are going to take the comments from last years and incorporate them into 2006, to make it bigger and better than 2005. Here are a few pictures from the conference:
Mayor Haslam welcomes everyone to the conference
Zane Hagy speaks about the success of the 2005 Knoxville Marathon
Kevin Skurski outlines some of the highlights of the 2006 Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon
No big changes to the 2005 logo, other than the name addition
Kevin reveals the date of the marathon on a timer clock
All runners are shown on the Jumbotron as the finish at the 50 yard line of Neyland Stadium