I am super excited because I have found a new race that I will be running every year and one that I hope you will sign up to run in 2016! It’s called the Bentonville Half Marathon which also includes a 5K and 1 mile fun run located in Bentonville, Arkansas and starts in the beautiful Plaza! I ran the half. Stay tuned for some details of why I will be returning...
I got to meet the race director, Layne Moore, who was very nice. She had entered a building where a bunch of us runners had been standing in line to use one restroom, LOL! You can imagine the line! Layne was very helpful in letting us know of the porta potty’s that were located near the start line. Off we went because we had about 20 minutes until the start of the race!
The race this year included about 2,600 runners. The race started at 7 a.m. just after the Mayor spoke to the runners, followed by other announcements and the National Anthem. It was beautiful to hear all the runners singing along.
Just before taking off, it had started to rain lightly, but that didn’t ruin the spirits of the runners. I was running this race as a training run and as motivation for a comeback on my training. Over the winter, I had not done a whole lot! Anyways, we took off with excitement! The crowd support was amazing! Every block of that race was filled with cheering fans, little kids giving hi-five’s, etc. I appreciated all the hydration stations at about every two miles along with a couple of porta potty’s at each station. We ran through beautiful neighborhoods. There were signs that people had posted for their friends and loved ones. There were bike patrollers, encouragement signs for the runners and even live bands along certain areas of the course. It was awesome!
Mile 8ish was awesome. It was downhill on S. Walton Blvd. and then we turned right into the Bentonville Bark Park.
It’s a beautiful bike trail where there was music sounding throughout…very entertaining! I enjoyed the river and the clean bike park, trees and all! I think it was my favorite scenery! I went back after the race to take a few pictures of part of the trail on the outside.
I enjoyed the chatter among friends and runners who were introducing themselves to each other. There were some awesome runners who ran up to friends to chat with them for a minute, which put a smile on my face. Support from strangers, friends, and family really means a lot to us runners when we’re out feeling exhausted, etc. I really appreciated all the Police Officers patrolling traffic. I always yelled out, “Thank you!” to them and so did several others around me. Some races you have to watch out for yourself even when you have been told ahead. If I’m running trying to shoot for a PR, having to make frequent stops for traffic can be a huge disappointment! Been there done that.
SO, let’s talk about the last mile of the race. Yeah, it’s all uphill, baby! You read that right…uphill, LOL! It really made it fun though and challenging and I do love challenges. Once we got near the top, we were handed Hawaiian Leis. That was a nice touch and it just so happen I was handed green, one of my favorite colors. You could also hear the crowd and I was on target for a sub-2:00 half marathon. As I got closer to the finish I could see the time clock showing just under 2 hrs. and I sprinted to the finish and got a sub-2:00. It wasn’t my best time, but considering the lack of training I did over winter, I was very happy with how I finished. The finish line was one of the best finishes! Thank you all for your cheers and encouragement. You helped to make my experience wonderful. I was super grateful for the volunteer crew for cutting off our timing chips because I was too tired to do it myself, LOL! The finisher medals were huge and very, very nice along with the race shirts and post race fuel which included Chicken Biscuits from one of my favorite restaurants, Chick-fil-a, pizza, fresh fruit, snacks, drinks, etc. Thank you!!
I also enjoyed coming out of the finishing area and going over to see my finishing results which they were posting on a wall as the runners came in. On it showed how you placed, etc.and if you won an age group award.
I suggest following this page and putting this event on your 2016 race calendar. Arkansas is beautiful and there are some awesome shops in Rogers, Arkansas not too far from the event. You can also purchase race photos through Smug Mug, a service used by the event. I was happy to purchase my photo and appreciate the race photographers for capturing moments during my race!
THANK YOU, Bentonville Half for a MEMORABLE event! I will be back!