This past weekend I raced in the Little Rock Marathon, and it was a wonderful weekend destination event in every way. After packet pick-up, I toured the President Clinton Library and museum as well as the Little Rock Central High National Park Historic Site and the State Capitol – all wonderful. The waterfront is full of shops and restaurants downtown, which give way to a long and scenic bike trail along the Arkansas River.
On Saturday, the 5k and 10k races were held. For the marathon on Sunday, participants were treated to perfect weather – in the mid-40s to start, warming up to the upper 50s. The course went past all the major highlights, and aid stations included several beer stops (the local microbrewery scene is alive and well here). The half marathon course was mostly flat, but the marathon course brought hills starting at the midway point. Nothing awful, but just something to be aware of.
And, then, at the finish line, there was the moment that the race is famous for – the presentation of the world’s biggest finisher’s medal. True to expectations, this was a mammoth piece of metal – so big that I decided to carry it rather than wear it.
Favorite sign on the course: “All toenails go to heaven.”
Favorite spectator moment: a mother chasing after a toddler who had started to veer onto the course, saying “honey, you don’t have to run with them; just clap!”
Favorite food stop: don’t miss the Flying Fish restaurant for casual dining and the best fried catfish you’ll find anywhere.