As Arkansas’s largest racing event, the Little Rock Marathon has gained a national reputation for being well-planned and locally organized. Thousands of people flock to the city for the event each year. If you're one of them – and even if you're not – here are five things you likely never knew about the biggest race in Little Rock.
Perhaps what the Little Rock Marathon is best known for is its finisher’s medal. It’s ginormous. In fact, it’s become a collector’s item. Sure, finishing the race is a big deal, but sometimes it’s all about the bling. This medal has become somewhat legendary in the racing industry as holding the record for one of the world’s largest. In the very beginning, local organizers set the bar high, and they manage to exceed expectations year after year. The 2019 medal, for example, stood tall at 8.5 inches high, and tipped the scale at three pounds, and, trust us, they've only gotten bigger since then!
A Race for Every Pace
A marathon can be intimidating to some, but it shouldn’t be here. The Little Rock Marathon has something for everyone of all abilities and skill. Is 26.2 miles or 13.1 miles right up your alley? Are you more of a 10k or 5k runner/walker? Perhaps your kiddos would like a mile designated just for them? Success starts with just one move in the right direction, so point your compass here and make it happen.
Identity CrisisIt's not a multiple personalities thing, but local marathon organizers roll out one heck of a theme each and every year and it’s always worth the wait! The 2023 race's theme is "Peace, Love & Little Rock," and past themes have included "Alice in Runderland," "A Race Odyssey," "Game On," and pirates.
Follow the MoneyWhile it is probably no surprise to know the Little Rock Marathon has an entry fee, what many may not know is where most of the proceeds from this event go. The idea for a marathon was created from a desire to grow the city’s parks program. And, that’s exactly what it has done. Since its inception in 2003, the marathon has raised more than $1 million for the Little Rock Parks & Recreation Department which oversees more than 60 parks totaling over 6,100 acres.
Let it Linger
People spend months preparing for the marathon. They finish and receive their medal. What they may not do, however, is stick around and explore the city they’ve just raced. Should you decide to participate in the Little Rock Marathon, plan to stick around for a few days and live like a local for a bit. The city has a vibrant food and beverage scene, energetic nightlife options, a rich history and cultural heritage, unique shopping experiences in quaint neighborhoods and more. Make more than just marathon memories here. Plan your Little Rock stay today.
Make plans to participate in the Little Rock Marathon, keeping these five things in mind. See you at the finish line!