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The Spa Running Festival will take place Saturday in Hot Springs.

Runners and walkers will compete at three distances: the Half Marathon Summit(2) Challenge, the Spa 10K and a 5K (which will be divided between runners and walkers).

The name Summit(2) Challenge is self-explanatory: The 13.1-mile course takes runners to the summit of West Mountain and back down again ... twice. The elevation chart on the website shows a one-way gain of about 500 feet over a distance of about two miles.

The half-marathon will begin at 7 a.m. Saturday, the 10K at 7:45 and the 5K will begin at 8. The starting line for all three races is on Convention Boulevard in front of Embassy Suites hotel.

Participants must be at least 13 to run the half-marathon unaccompanied, and everyone must maintain at least a 16-minute-per-mile pace to finish by 10:30 a.m., when the course will close and any remaining runners will be moved to sidewalks.

Awards will be given three deep by sex and age group, along with awards in the masters, grand masters and senior age categories. 5K walkers will receive awards three deep only in 10-year age groups. All half-marathon and 10K finishers will receive a medal.

Runners (and 5K walkers) will be chip-timed. Timing chips do not have to be turned in after the race (the website refers to them as "nonreturnable souvenirs").

The annual Squirt Race starts at 9:30 a.m. for children ages 2 to 10. The 9- and 10-year-olds will run about a mile, and the course is progressively shorter for each younger age group. Parents can run or walk with their kids. All (child) finishers will get a medal, and awards will be given to the top three boys and three girls from each age division. Entry fee is $10 per child.

For those interested in half-marathon record breaking, this will be only the third outing for the Summit(2) Challenge, and both records were set during 2016's run. The fastest male half-marathoner was John Pankey of Hot Springs, with a time of 1:23:28. The fastest female half-marathoner was Erika Setzler of Conway, with a time of 1:29:29.

The awards ceremonies will be in Rooms 207/208 of the Hot Springs Convention Center. The 5K awards will be given out at 9 a.m.; the Spa 10K awards at 10:15; and the Summit(2) Challenge awards at 11.

Online registration is available until midnight Tuesday. The half-marathon costs $70; the 10K is $35, and the 5K is $30. On-site registration and packet pickup will be 3 to 7 p.m. Friday at Hotel Hot Springs and Spa, 305 Malvern Ave. On-site registration will cost an extra $5.

The half-marathon has a 400-racer limit. Race-day registration (for races still open) and packet pickup will be available from 6 to 7:30 a.m. Saturday at the Bank of the Ozarks Arena, 134 Convention Blvd.

The deadlines for a guaranteed event T-shirt have passed, but shirts will be given out while supplies last.

For more information and online registration, visit

Boulder Bash

Little Rock Climbing Center will host its annual Boulder Bash competition from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday.

The competition will follow the red point format -- there will be multiple color-coordinated "problems," that is, pre-plotted routes, with different point values assigned to each route based on difficulty. Climbers gain points only if they complete the route without falling.

Climbers will have three hours to do as many climbs as possible, but only their five most difficult climbs will count toward the final score.

Online registration is available until midnight Friday and includes a T-shirt while supplies last. Check-in and on-site registration are from 4 to 5 p.m. Saturday. The competition costs $35 ($30 for members). That doesn't include gear rental. The awards ceremony and a raffle benefiting the Arkansas Climbers Coalition will take place from 8 to 9 p.m.

Interested in learning before competing? Day passes cost $15 per adult, $12 for ages 5 to 12. Shoe and harness rental costs $8. Climbing classes, memberships and personal trainers are available. The center is at 12120 Colonel Glenn Road.


White River Marathon for Kenya

The White River Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K will begin at 7 a.m. Saturday at the Cotter School, 181 Mable St. in Cotter.

All three courses run out and back. The marathon will follow the half-marathon's 13.1-mile course out and back twice. With the exception of the first mile, which has a slight downhill (and thus a slight uphill on the way back) the route is flat.

The White River Marathon is a qualifier for the Boston Marathon.

Every participant will receive a finisher's medal. There also will be awards given three deep by sex and age group.

Online registration is available until Wednesday. The marathon costs $70, the half-marathon $60 and the 5K $30.

Packet pickup will be available 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday at the school; registration will be available for an extra $10 -- if the races haven't sold out. A pre-race pasta dinner will coincide with Friday's packet pickup, $10 for adults and $5 for children.

Race-day packet pickup will be open from 5 to 6:40 a.m.

Part of the proceeds will benefit the town of Katito in Kenya. White River Marathon 2017 is also holding a used shoe drive.

For registration and more information, visit

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ActiveStyle on 11/13/2017

Print Headline: Hoof it to Hot Springs for Spa Running Festival

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