|Half Marathon State # 18
Half Marathon #34
Biggest Race Medals Ever!!!!!!
On Sunday, March 5, 2017 I ran the Little Rock Half Marathon in Little Rock, Arkansas. It seems like such a long time since my last state of West Virginia back in November. It was awesome to get another state colored in. This was a busy, quick weekend. I flew out to Little Rock on Saturday morning and back home Sunday night after the race. When I got into town, I checked into my hotel at the DoubleTree Little Rock. This is an excellent location hotel in that it is just a 5-10 minute walk to the expo, start, & finish lines. I had n awesome view of the Arkansas River from my room.
After checking in, I walked down to the expo. The expo was at the State House Convention Center.
Because my flight was not supposed to land until 3:00 PM and the expo closed at 6:00 PM I had one of my fellow runners in the Fifty States Half Marathon Club pick up my packet earlier, just in case the flights were delayed (which fortunately they were not). This was a really good expo. It was really big with lots of vendors, booths, etc. So if you forget something, you can get it at the expo. I spent about 45 minutes walking around and checking out the vendors.
While at the expo, I met up with Bart Yasso, who was the MC for the race. I have met Bart several times at the Space Coast Half Marathons. He is such a cool guy to talk with.
After leaving the expo, I had some time to pass, so I decided to accomplish one of the tasks I try for in each state, that being find a unique cupcake store. I found the Community Bakery, which according to their window display was voted the “Best Bakery in Little Rock.” I got a few cupcakes, a monster cupcake/cookie, and a couple of cookies for less than $10. This was a very reasonable bakery. The sweets I purchased had a good taste; however, the cupcakes were a little dry for my liking, but all it all it was worth the stop.
After leaving the bakery, I had just enough time to walk back to the hotel to drop off my baked goods and then get to our Fifty States Half Marathon Club Dinner Meetup at The Dizzy Gypsy Bistro. On the way back, I passed by both the start & finish lines.
This was one of the largest club meetups I had ever attended. We had over 70 club members in attendance. Because we made the large restaurant, they put us all in a big room and made us our own personal buffet for a flat rate. It was an awesome place to eat with a great runner ready variety of food and great wait staff.
After dinner I headed back to the hotel to get my gear ready and get some rest. According to the weather reports, we were expecting it to be raining, so my gear was planned accordingly.
On Sunday morning, the race was not until 7:00 AM, so I was able to sleep a little later than normal, since I only had about a 10 minute walk to the start. When I woke up on Sunday morning, I looked out the window over the Arkansas River, the rain was pouring!
So I was prepared. My Garmin watch rain predictor was pretty accurate as well.
It was great that they had the race staging close to the State House Convention Center. They opened up for us to stay dry before the race.
Once I walked up to the start, I was able to take a few rain photos before the drenching.
Before the race, I meet up with some of the crew from the Fifty States Half Marathon Club.
After a rousing prayer by the director of parks and recreation, and the national anthem we were ready to go. There was about a five minute delay because it took everyone a while to get out of the convention center to get in the corrals. We took off about 7:05 AM.
It was a steady rain for most of the race. But it was not too bad not to run. No lightening! The race wound its way through downtown Little Rock. The course was rather hilly. It did not seem as extreme as the profile revealed afterward, but there were hills.
I felt really good in the race. For about the first 8 miles I was averaging a 1:50-1:51 finish time for the half marathon. The rain helped keep things cool. The race temps were in the upper 40s to lower 50s. Typically, I do not stop at many water stops because I carry water and Gatorade with me. However, since I flew and did not check a bag, I did not bring Gatorade. Well, if you plan this know that there are no grocery stores, drug stores, or convenience stores downtown to pick up these items. That being said I had to hit most of the water stops for the Gatorade.
I don’t know if it was because of the weather or that I was in the zone; however, I did not take in much scenery on the course. The only thing I recall was running past the Governor’s Mansion. Sorry if there was more, it just did not see it. Since I wasn’t able to take any photos during the race, here are a few cropped out from the on course photographers. But like most runners, no one buys photos from them because they are just too expensive.
Once I crossed the finish line, I realized just how soaked I was. My shoes and socks revealed how rough it was.
After the race, they moved all the post race support back inside the convention center. So after we received our race medal, a Mylar sheet, and a post race picture, we were routed into the convention center for refreshments. Once inside I received pasta, water, chocolate milk, Mountain Dew, banana, and a package of fruit cups. It was an excellent post race support.
Once again, this race is worth the medal alone. The marathon medal is over 3 pounds, and the half marathon is 1.5 pounds. If you are looking for an Arkansas race, I highly recommend it.
After cleaning up after the race, I went and had a burger at @ The Corner. It was a really good burger and home fries. Highly recommended.
After lunch I headed back to the airport. If you choose the Double Tree Little Rock, they have a shuttle that will take you back to the airport. It was a very quick weekend trip to Little Rock, but was a great 34th half marathon and 18th state. The last step with each state check off is to color in the medal rack and my Fifty States Half Marathon shirt.
Well that is a wrap on Half Marathon #34 & State #18. I have just 2 weeks until my next half marathon. On March 18-19, I will head out to Dallas, Texas to run the Dallas Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon.
So until then, see you on the roads!