Many folks enjoy choosing race locations as destinations and like to do a little sightseeing or exploring in the area around a race. Well Athletes, here is one to add to your list … On May 18th Rev3 will take over Knoxville TN with their AG Championship race; as well as an Olympic REV and Half REV race. Here is a little glimpse at the town of Knoxville, a little about the course and some things to do – places to go.

Knoxville sits on the eastern side of Tennessee, not too far from North Carolina. The city was the original capital of Tennessee, and is on the banks of the Tennessee River.

For all you athletes out there – a little about the course.

Point to point swim … Athletes will swim in the Tennessee River starting at Calhouns on the river and ending at the Tennessee Boat House.

A Bike course that has a lot to offer … Awesome views, scenic climbs, technical descents on country roads … What cyclist doesn’t love a little challenge? HalfREV course: The course will keep you honest on the bike with significant climbs around mile 5, 11, 21, 24, 38 and finally mile 47. For every uphill there is a downhill – going into T2 it is fast and flat. OlympicREV course: The first 9.5 miles and the last 14 miles are the same as the HalfREV. The only two segnificant climbs on the OlympicREV course are at mile 5 and 15.

Put your running shoes on … The run course for both the HalfREV and OlympicREV will take place on the Knoxville Greenway Trails where it is a fast and flat stretch with a little bit of shade. For the OlympicREV you will only run to Tyson’s Park, turn around and had back to the finish area. For the HalfREV you will continue on the Greenway and have a little change in pace around mile 4 where you will come up on your first big climb taking you into Sequoya Hills Neighborhood. Here you will put your hill works to the challenges with a few rollers. Your next steep uphill will be around mile 4.5 but don’t worry it is short and sweet. What goes up must come down; after the climb you get a nice downhill going into mile 6 where you turn around and run the same path back toward the finish where your family and friends will be waiting to cheer you in. Don’t forget about some of the climbs you did on the way out, that decent going into miles 6 will be your last big climb around mile 7.5.

Knoxville Olympic Run

Knoxville Half Run
Little Revvie’s … don’t forget to bring your gear  Rev3 has added their first ever Kids race in Knoxville … This race will take place May 17th and kids you will be treated just like the Pro’s!!! For more information on this race check it out at

A race for the whole family … Why not make it a destination spot? Things do, places to go

You may know Knoxville as the home of the University of Tennessee. This flagship university is home to more than 30,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. Rev3’s race takes place adjacent to campus, and the Revvie will be in UT’s swim complex.

As you’d expect with any college town, there are tons of restaurants and bars close by. The downtown area – called Market Square – is just blocks from where the Rev3 expo will be set up. There you’ll find no less than a dozen restaurants, theatres, a farmer’s market, and tons of shop. One very cool shop is the Mast General Store – this old-style mercantile has been a fixture in Knoxville in one form or another since the late 1800’s, and sells a wide range of outdoor and camping gear, clothes, old fashioned toys, and a huge selection of old fashioned candies. (The candy department is a MUST visit if you’re bringing your kids to Knoxville with you).

There are way too many things in Knoxville for me to give you a comprehensive look at the city, but you can check out a variety of websites for more information. Start with or TripAdvisor. That being said, here are a few really cool places to check out while you’re in Knoxville:
World’s Fair Park & Sunsphere Tower: OK. You can’t miss this place. Seriously. That’s because the park will be the home of the Rev3 expo and finish line area. While you’re there, be sure to check out the Sunsphere – this 300 foot tower was built for the 1982 World’s Fair. You can climb the stairs or take the elevator to the observation deck and check out the city! Best of all, it’s free!

Sunshere REV3
Kids’s Related Places: You may be bringing your family with you to Knoxville. If you are, there are a couple of cool places to check out. The first is the Knoxville Zoo. This little zoo is home to 300 or so animals, including red pandas, black bears, komodo dragons and meerkats. Who doesn’t like meerkats? You can also check out the East Tennessee Discovery Center – home to all sorts of kid-friendly things to do like a planetarium, all sorts of science displays and tons of hands on things to do.

“Grown-Up” Places: Not to be outdone, there are also things to do for the more “refined” and “sophisticated” among us. The Historic Tennessee Theatre in Market Square is a cool venue for plays and concerts. In fact, the weekend of the race, the Knoxville Symphony will be performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4, and tickets start at just $11.00. If you’re into history, check out the East Tennessee History Center, where you can learn about more than 300 years of life in Knoxville and eastern Tennessee. Of course, there are tons of old mansions to explore, an art museum and a museum of natural history.

Outdoors and places close by:  I’d be remiss if I didn’t share some of the amazing and verdant areas around Knoxville. As I mentioned earlier, Knoxville is in eastern Tennessee, and is nestled snug against the Great Smoky Mountains and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Just a short drive out of Knoxville, you can visit really cool places like Gatlinburg (which is home to great shopping, attractions like Ripley’s Believe it or Not, a skylift/aerial tramway to Uber Gatlinburg, and even ziplining), and Pigeon Forge – home to Dolly Parton’s Dollywood.

Gatlinburg is about an hour’s drive east of Knoxville. Just a little bit farther east is Newfound Gap – the lowest drivable pass through the Great Smoky Mountains and the border with North Carolina.  If you’re going out this way, be sure to make a side trip to Cade’s Cove – which includes an 11-mile one way drive where you’ll see deer and other animals. You can also take some pretty amazing hikes from Cade’s Cove.


Every Athlete has to eat
The Metro Pulse is a great source for places to eat, but here is a list of a few places Downtown:
• Tomato Head (My favorite place to eat. Even has some vegan options)
• Sunspot (comes highly recommended)
• Shuck Raw Bar
• Barley’s Taproom
• Nama (sushi)
• Smoky Mountain Brewery
• Soccer Taco
• Aubrey’s
• Ruths Chris Steakhouse

Calhouns is right on the water and the swim starts at the Calhouns dock!

Calhouns is right on the water and the swim starts at the Calhouns dock!

Last but not least … Tri/Bike/Run stores
• Cycology
• The Bike Zoo
• West Bikes
• Cedar Bluff Cycles
• Echelon Bikes
• Fleet Feet
• Harper’s Bike Shop
• Biketopia
• Knoxville Bicycle Company
• Fountain City Pedaler
• Runners Market

Why Race Knoxville …
It is in a prime location that has a lot to offer for the whole family and not just athlete focused.  The course is fair but a little challenging to mix things up a bit.  Duh… it’s REV3 with an energetic atmosphere that everyone loves to be a part of!

Tips for the race
Swim in a straight line with the buoys to the left. Keep it easy on the bike in the beginning so you don’t burn out the legs, especially if you are racing the HalfREV. Remember: you still have to run at the end! Slowdown a little on the descents because you will pick up speed quick and the roads are a bit curvy in some areas.  Don’t go out too hard on the run, it is fast and flat to start but for the HalfREV you will have those hills in the middle of the course. Stay hydrated; fuel your body and race smart!!!

Knoxville Olympic BikeKnoxville Half Bike
So there you have it. A glimpse of Rev3’s big race in May and a guide of things to do while in Knoxville, TN! I will be racing May 18th; Hope to see you there!

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