As Arkansas’s largest racing event, the Little Rock Marathon has quite the reputation for being well-planned — and locally organized. Thousands of people flock to the city each year, and have a fine time taking to the streets. Here are just a few reasons why—
Medal Mania – 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. Absolutely, meeting a goal is good. Yep, beating a personal record is fantastic. But, let’s be honest. Sometimes it’s all about the bling. And, Little Rock’s bling never disappoints. In fact, 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 stands tall at 8.5 inches high, and tips the scale at three pounds. Click here for a few more surprises.
A Race for Every Pace – The word ‘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 Crisis – It'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 2019 theme is “A Race Odyssey,” and comes complete with a space age promotional video, costumes and fanfare. The citywide hype alone is worth the trip to Little Rock. Past themes have included pirates, comic book characters, Medieval dragons, board games and more.
Follow the Money – While 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 60 developed parks and twelve undeveloped parks totaling over 6,100 acres. In addition, the Little Rock Parks & Recreation offers a wide-range of youth and adult recreational and sports leagues, after-school and summer playground programs for children ages 6-15, outdoor recreation, therapeutic recreation and programs for seniors. Funds raised will continue to support parks and recreational programs for all ages.
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!