Run Bentonville Half Marathon
Run Bentonville Half Marathon( 1 review )
Meredith RiceFort Smith, Arkansas, United States
This race was truly a hidden gem. I was looking for a local race to try for a proof of time and happened upon this one in the birthplace of Wal-Mart. The theme this year was 90's and the race organizers stuck to it beautifully in their t-shirt design and even by having a 90's band at the finish. The organizers were also extremely good at posting on social media with updates or even simply funny memes. There was bad weather on race day and they made sure everyone was made aware and safe. They had two churches available to runners near the start line with breakfast, bathrooms, and a comfortable place to stay out of any lingering storms (at least for as long as possible). The course was packed with interesting aid stations (sponsored, I believe, by different local groups) and absolutely beautiful views of the Natural State. Before I move on to my two favorite things about this race, I will mention the one downside. A HUGE hill right before the finish. The race acknowledges and almost celebrates that hill as a race landmark/tradition, though. That makes it a little more fun (I am saying that as I am far removed from it now). The race pictures were free. Although, you may not want the ones coming up the aforementioned hill. My two favorite things about this race were the extras or THE SWAG. At the finish, after you collect your well-earned bling, you can get in line for some food. There were cookies, drinks, pizza and, best of all in my opinion, free Chick-fil-A in that area. There were some photo opportunities there as well. Now, about that swag I mentioned. It was INCREDIBLE. A whole bag worth of products (thanks in large part to the sponsoring Wal-Mart or Wal-mart Museum) ranging from tissues to caramels to laundry detergent. I could go on and on and it was amazing. Then, you had the race shirt, the race headband, the race water bottle (which changes design each year), AND a finishers tech hoodie given out at the finish line. You DEFINITELY get your money's worth plus more with this race. It may, emphasis on MAY, even make me forget about that hill....