Since its inception in 2003, the Little Rock Marathon has drawn over 320,000 participants from all 50 U.S. states and 41 different countries to our city to test their skills and endurance.
In fact, in 2023 36% of participants lived outside of Arkansas, and 48% of participants traveled over 60 miles to come to Little Rock for the annual event.
There’s both a half-marathon (13 miles) and full marathon (26 miles) taking place at 8 a.m., Sunday, March 3, 2024. These races both start and finish in Little Rock’s beautiful downtown River Market District, with the paths crossing the Broadway Bridge into North Little Rock and circling back through Little Rock.
Here are some of the notable landmarks full marathon runners will pass, either directly or close-by, on their path. If you’re a runner, take this as some inspiration for where to stop by before or after your race – but perhaps not during. You have a race to win, after all!
On a beautiful spring day, Riverfront Park is an ideal spot to relax before or after your race. Enjoy an up-close view of the beautiful Arkansas River, and even cross President Clinton Avenue to enjoy a variety of downtown restaurants and bars. All this exercise absolutely warrants a great meal to celebrate.
Arkansas State Capitol
The state Capitol is a stunning building that will certainly catch your eye as you run past, though your view might be a little bit blurry. Why not stop again at your own pace, and visit this historic building, and enjoy a self-guided or guided tour of the building and grounds? The Capitol is open every day.
Daisy L. Gatson Bates House National Historic Place
The marathon route passes along Daisy Gatson Bates Drive, but not past the Bates' home itself. Consider returning later to see the historic home that became the official pick-up and drop-off site for the Little Rock Nine's trips to and from Central High School each school day. Tours can be scheduled.
Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts
Slow down the pace by enjoying an afternoon at the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts. The museum offers a 14,000-object permanent collection, compelling temporary exhibitions, lively theatre, and enriching courses. If you run past, the museum’s modern exterior is sure to grab your attention.
Historic Hillcrest District
On your run, you’ll find yourself on Kavanaugh Boulevard, which is in the heart of the Hillcrest neighborhood. OK, maybe you can’t stop at one of the neighborhood’s coffee shops or restaurants while you’re running, but no one’s stopping you from returning afterward.
The 26-mile marathon takes you on a loop that passes by Allsop Park, a wooded area that connects the Hillcrest and Riverdale neighborhoods. Allsop Park is a perfect spot to enjoy a leisurely picnic with friends and family and to celebrate the weekend, whether you ran the marathon or not.
Big Dam Bridge
Your route won’t take your quite to the Big Dam Bridge, but close. Return to this beautiful spot on the Arkansas River when you have some down time, as it’s the perfect location for photos or a good selfie. Even consider bringing your bike if you have one, as you can cross the bridge by bike as well.
Click here for more information on the Little Rock Marathon.