- 3 miles/5K, 6 miles/10K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon
- Road Race
- Event Website
PRE-RACE: This race provided seemingly endless amounts of information! From frequently email updates, heavily utilized social medal accounts (@lrmarathon) and a pre-race booklet there was plenty of opportunity to learn more about the ins and outs of Arkansas largest and most popular marathon. The best part of the pre-race communication however, was the smartphone app created for this race. The LRMarathon app includes ALL necessary race information, offers the ability to register for the race and provides live-tracking of runners during the race. This app was super useful to myself as a runner and to my long-distance cheering squad checking out the race from across the country.
The pre-race expo for this event was great! With over 70 vendors there was plenty of do and see throughout the two day event. My friend and I arrived to the expo on Saturday after lunchtime and there was still plenty of merchandise, giveaways and activities. A highlight of the expo for me was the ample opportunities for photo ops! The race organizers (known at this race as the 'chicks in charge' CICs) did an awesome job decorating the whole venue according to this year's theme. "A Race Odyssey" I loved seeing the giant flying saucer, space shuttle and alien autopsy set up throughout the venue.
THE SWAG: The free swag for this race was pretty run of the mill. Runners had the opportunity between selecting a t-shirt style with the race logo on the front. Depending on your distance you received four different colors of shirts, or multiple shirts if you signed up for their two day challenge. The 5k and 10k took place on the Saturday of this race weekend with the half and full marathon options on Sunday. There was a HUGE variety of swag available for purchase at the event as well, they had tank tops, sweatpants, pint glasses and even more. One thing I wish I had known about in advance was the fact that all the merchandise was still available for 50% off the original price after the race was over on Sunday. So if you're a bargain shopper like me, hold out and see what they have left once you've crossed the finish line! I'm still quite happy with my neon yellow tank top featuring an adorable alien with a flower. I've already worn it on several runs since.
THE RACE: The half marathon and marathon run on the same course up until mile 12 of this race this course includes some rolling hills and a few challenging sections. The little rock half-marathon course is one of the most energetic, well attended, enthusiastic race I have ever had the pleasure to run. Each mile of this race is sponsored by a local group or organization, and they line the streets to cheer on runners and hand out food and water. Some highlights from the race course included: tons of live music, a road side spin class, church groups dousing runners with holy water and providing 'communion on the run', a local college step team providing motivation and entertainment, grilled pineapple (YUM!), live music and tons of beer. I personally don't drink during races but I saw many other runners sample the variety of offerings along the course. There were several out and back sections of the race that allowed me to see my friend running the full marathon and made it possible to check out the variety of costumes adorning the runners. Runners were dressed as astronauts, aliens and even Elliott from ET. (Complete with ET attached to the front of the runner in a milk crate) - it was really awesome to see the sprit and excitement that everyone involved put into the race. Much like the expo, the race featured ample roadside photo ops including baymax from Big Hero Six and many other space themed characters.
BLING: People come from all over the country for the famous medals of the Little Rock Marathon weekend. The bling for this race is truly unbelievable. The full marathon medal is quite literally larger than my head and the half-marathon medal comes in at about 50% the size. Glow in the dark, sparkly, including a spinner and tons of decorations this medal was quick to become one of the best in my collection.
FINISH LINE & POST-RACE: This race finishes back exactly where it started, with plenty of fans cheering you on in the finishers chute. Post race includes an amazing celebration with plenty of snacks, water, a pasta lunch and plenty of beer. I got to hang out at the after part for about two hours while I waited for my friend to finish the full marathon and had fun meeting runners from all over the country. The entire race expo was also still set up for those who wanted to do a little more shopping. I would love to run this race again in the future! 10/10.