Trail running race planned for Bentonville in November with $10,000 prize purse

Bikers north of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville take a dirt trail in this March 15, 2022 file photo. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Flip Putthoff)
Bikers north of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville take a dirt trail in this March 15, 2022 file photo. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Flip Putthoff)

BENTONVILLE -- A foot race that will offer a $10,000 prize purse will be held in the city next month.

The inaugural Bentonville Dirt Circus 10K and 5K races will be held Nov. 17-18. UltraSignup, Rush Running Co. and Visit Bentonville will put on the event, according to a news release.

Between 300 to 500 runners are expected, said Rob Goyen, director of events at UltraSignup.

"I think that Bentonville has world-class trails, great infrastructure and a great community of trail runners," he said.

Goyen also cited having a "great trail retailer" like Rush Running and great race directors in the area as reasons to highlight Bentonville.

The event is geared toward professional trail runners and trail running enthusiasts. The $10,000 prize purse is for the 10K race, according to the release.

The payouts are $3,000 for first, $1,250 for second and $750 for third in the men's and women's classes in the 10K race, Goyen said.

James Reeves, who works at Rush Running, designed the course, Goyen said.

The 10K race will start at 7 a.m. followed by the 5K race at 8 a.m. Nov. 18. The 10K route will wind through Bentonville's Handcut Hollow, according to online race information.

The Dirt Circus also will host a Kids 1K event, an expo and an after-party.

The day before the races, Mike Rush of Rush Running will lead a "social shakeout run" of 3 to 5 miles. Rush Running also will be the site for packet pickup, and runners are invited to come together for dinner that night, according to a schedule posted online.

"I think that the community is what makes trail running so impactful to people's lives," Goyen said. "The trail community supports its runners, its [race directors] and its tribe very well."

The Dirt Circus series is a celebration of trail running and the running community. The Bentonville event will feature a post-race party with raffles and prize giveaways, according to the release.

"Visit Bentonville is thrilled to partner with Rush Running in welcoming the UltraSignup organization to Bentonville," said Kalene Griffith, president/CEO of Visit Bentonville. "Our outdoor events and experiences continue to be the bread and butter for our tourists and our locals alike. Our trails create an economic driver for our hotels and restaurants."

UltraSignup is a leading marketplace for trail events and is committed to providing an unmatched experience for participants, with top-notch logistics, safety measures and a course that will showcase Northwest Arkansas, according to the release.

Founded in 2008, runners can use to discover and choose from more than 5,000 races.

"Our aim is to create an unforgettable event that celebrates the trail running community and provides an opportunity for talented athletes to compete for one of the largest prize purses in trail racing," Goyen said in the release.

The Bentonville Dirt Circus 10K and 5K is open to all trail running enthusiasts from seasoned athletes to first-time participants.

To register

Registration is open. Participants can sign up at where they will find detailed event information and updates leading up to the race weekend.


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