It’s more than two weeks away but all indications are the 50th annual running of the Arkansas Marathon will be the biggest since the event returned to Booneville.
As of last Thursday, the event had 143 runners pre-registered to run either the Mayor’s 5K, the Booneville 10K, the half marathon or the Arkansas Marathon. That’s almost double the 72 to run last October. The racers represent 18 states.
Susan Bulger, the executive director of the Booneville Development Corporation/South Logan County Chamber of Commerce, the organization which oversees the event, which is set for Oct. 13, said she feels like the committee did a better job of getting the word out for the 50th.
“I think a lot of it is we advertised more this year and we have a really nice medal to give out,” she said.
The medal for the full marathon is a large 50 with a spinning hog and 2018 engraved in the bottom of the five and Booneville in the bottom of the zero, all sitting atop an all capital Arkansas Marathon.
All medals for the events have a 50 as well, Bulger said.
Thus far the most popular race is the half marathon where 66 runners are registered. There are 43 already signed up for the marathon.
Online registrations can still be completed at www.raceentry.com, Bulger said.
As many runners as there are already, Bulger said there will be several more sign up for the 5K or 10K just prior to the 7 a.m. start, if history is any indication.
With the early deadline passed, entry fees are $35 for the 5K, $45 for the 10K, $60 for the half marathon, and $75 for the marathon.
The course, for the first time in three years, will not be altered this year. Runners will depart on Broadway in front of the Arkansas Revenue Office, run south past the old Bearcat, turn left to Sharpe (Highway 23) where they will turn left again and carry on until their respective turnaround points.
For the marathon that means a turn around just past the Scott County line.
All runner end at the same location as the starting position, which will be into the annual October Daze festival, which begins at 8 a.m. in the downtown area.