Only 1/2 a Hoedown: the Little Rock Half Marathon

In the quest to hit a half marathon in all 50 states, this weekend I headed out to Little Rock 1/2 Marathon in Arkansas. I’m working outside of Kansas City, KS at the moment so instead of spending $500 on a flight, I drove 6 hours to Arkansas for state #14 (I think?).  I left Friday around 3:45 (about an hour plus after I wanted too) and didn’t get in until around 9:45.  This is why you got to love the Plains states and a speed limit of 70 mph on the highway.  Originally, I was going to meet up with a friend of my (Amy), but she ended up going on a medical mission trip to Haiti (jealous of that one!).

I stayed out by the airport (3ish miles from downtown) and Saturday morning, headed to the expo to pick up my gear.  This is the 11th annual LR Marathon and 1/2 Marathon (with a 10K and 5K) and you have about 10,000 runners. They use loaner chips so give em back at the end of the raise or pay up $30! I ended up volunteering in order to get a free long sleeved shirt with a cowboy (or cowgirl) vest looking thing on the front.  I also found my new favorite socks (swiftwick, head over here to take a look cause they’re awesome!) at the expo which excites me and my small feet.  That and it was buy 3 get 1 free :-).  I did some Little Rock site seeing (the Old State House, the Peabody hotel ducks), got some lunch and headed to Central HS, where the Little Rock 9 went in the 1950s during the integration of schools.  Afterwards, I headed back to the hotel for a shakeout run of my own (missed Bart Yasso’s in the morning) and ended up missing on the 50 State 1/2 Marathon Group photo (sorry guys :-().  I found a 4:30 church and at the the end, the priest makes an announcement to the effect of:

Priest: “tomorrow, thousands and thousands of runners are going to take to the streets in subfreezing temperatures to take part in something I really don’t like doing. Running.  Would all those running the marathon (and 1/2 marathon) please stand.”

We stand and the priest says: “You’re Crazy.” Yes Father, yes we are (and we know it too).

After some dinner in town, I headed back to the hotel to get my stuff laid out and hit the sack.

I love 8 am starts, it means I get more sleep but I’m guessing I should have stayed down town.  It took me 8 minutes to get from the hotel to my exit and then I spent 20 minutes looking for parking which I somehow found for free.  Not sure it was a valid lot, but I got no ticket so there you go.  I worked my way to the front of the open corral and we were let loose about 15 minutes in.  For the first time in awhile, I ran a sub 9 min mile as my first mile (woohoo!).  I ran the first 6.55 miles in an hour and thought I was going to PR, but the 28 degree weather said otherwise.  That and work drained me some.  For the most part after my first 3-4 miles, I was running about a 9:30 mile or better.  Miles 8-10 were rough and I was well over 10 minutes.  Stupid mild elevation, but what can you do.  The last 3 miles I was at least under 10 minutes with my last 2 miles under or about 9:30.  During the last 2/3 of a mile, the lead runner for the marathon passed me.  Gotta say that feels good (riiighht).  We were cheering him as he passed and he gave us a wave which is always exciting. As I got to the finish, my favorite person, Bart Yasso, was doing shoutouts.  Needless to say, I got my high 5 and my name called as I’m yelling out “Philly!!” while running by.  Always a plus, that’s for sure!  I loved the costumes at the race, plenty of cowboys, cowgirls cowspidermans and who knows what else that I missed.  I had 2 signs that I laughed at while running:

1. I gave up Running for Lent (why didn’t I think of that)

2. Around mile 11: Finish the race like you’re finishing a piece of cheesecake (hey, I was starting to get hungry)

This is a good race to come out and do, especially if you end up doing the marathon.  They have an 8 hr time limit and if you’re walking and planning on finishing between 6-8 hrs, you have a early (read 6 AM) start time.  It is pretty flat (I started wearing down more so due to sleep) and I can’t complain about an 8 AM start time.  Need more reason to come this: Bling…

Little Rock 1/2 Marathon Medal

Little Rock 1/2 Marathon Medal

This picture doesn’t do it justice, but the thing is huge. The marathon medal?  Even bigger.  Probably best medal I have.  Only complaint I have is 28 degree weather. It didn’t warm up until later in the day (as I was leaving).  I had 3 long sleeved shirts on and didn’t warm up and kept my ‘throw away’ gloves on the entire race.  I know we don’t have a Pope at the moment, but that shouldn’t mean Little Rock was suppose to freeze over.  Good tim

About drrunner
8 time marathoner, 65 ish time 1/2 marathoner with a bucket list item to hit all 50 states. BibRave Pro, Doctor and a mix of insanity

6 Responses to Only 1/2 a Hoedown: the Little Rock Half Marathon

  1. Raven says:

    A co-worker of mine did her first half marathon at this race. She proudly showed off her medal, and it is fabulous! Now I want one! Next year I’m doing this race! I must own this bling!

  2. Congrats on a great run. LRM was a great event! I ran the full for the BIG bling… definitely not flat! Also doing the states, AR was #10 for me.

  3. Lori says:

    Glad to read your recap of the Little Rock half. That is one I have been looking at completing for my plans of a half or greater in all 50 states plus DC. I’m up to 14 as well. Maybe next year!

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