- 3 miles/5K, 6 miles/10K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon
- Road Race
- Event Website
This was by far my toughest and worst marathon but none of the reasons had anything to do with the event itself. I ran this race just 2 weeks after being diagnosed with the flu and really felt like I didn't have enough time to recover properly. And then the weather didn't do any of the runners any favors!
The city of Little Rock absolutely goes all out for runners the weekend of the marathon. There are tons of signs around downtown and in front of restaurants and bars welcoming runners to the city. That's always a great thing to see when you're away from home.
The expo was well done although a little smaller than I expected. I think the race organizers do such a good job of hyping up the race that it's easy to forget that the actual race itself is pretty small in terms of number of runners. But, they had plenty of merchandise and good vendors to visit with so no complaints.
The day of the race the weather did exactly what was forecast, very cold with off and on rain for the first 2 hours which shifted over to sleet and snow for about another hour and then came the north wind blowing from 10 to 20mph. Since this was according to forecast, most of the runners were dressed appropriately, but there is no way to not be cold when you're wet and the wind chill drops into the 20's. None of this is the fault of the race directors, of course, and there was actually fairly good crowd support in spite of the weather.
The course itself hits a lot of Little Rock highlights. It goes directly in front of Little Rock Central High School, the state capitol building, and the governor's mansion. The back half of the marathon goes through some sketchy areas and there is a long out and back along a bike path that is a little boring but there's no way the entire course could be perfect.
I will say this course is the toughest that I have done so far. The hills are steep and long and come one after the other. In the early sections there is usually a nice downhill to get some recovery but the later hills don't go back down much at all. As noted by other reviewers there is a rough hill between 24 and 25 that is not a welcome sight at that point in the race.