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The ARK 5K Classic

2014 Grand Prix Race #14
North Little Rock, AR - August 30, 2014 - 7:30 AM

Race Highlights

  • Race hosted by the Arkansas Running Klub
  • Packet Pick-up and Registration at Go! Running on Friday
  • Arkansas State Championship race for the 5K distance
  • 2014 will be the 33rd running of the ARK 5K on Labor Day weekend
  • USATF Course Certification #: AR10016DLP
  • Proceeds benefit the Arkansas River Trail

Directions to the Starting Line

From I-30: Take the Broadway Street exit and head west. Parking available at Dickey-Stephens Park. Race day registration is several blocks to the east in the gazebo in the small park area under the Main Street bridge.

Race History

The Arkansas Running Klub has held this 5K race in North Little Rock on Labor Day weekend dating back to 1982. In the early years, the race was known as the Twin City Bank (TCB) 5K and held in Burns Park. Martin Fulk and Diane Marshall won the inaugural running in 1982. Mike Clark set a then Burns Park course record in 1983, clocking a 15:15 finish. Diane Marshall won again in 1983 and 1984, setting the Burns Park female course record in '84 with a 17:55 time.

The TCB 5K joined the Grand Prix Series in 1983 - the second year of operation for both the race and the Series. After a change in sponsorship, the race was known as the Mercantile Bank 5K from 1996 to 1999. In 2000, the race course moved out of Burns Park to the North Little Rock Riverfront/Argenta area. The name was also changed that year to the ARK Fast 5K - reflecting the new course's flat topography. Minor tweaks in the course and name continued in the 00 decade as the race was subsequently known as the River Run 5K (2003), Riverfront 5K (2004-05, 2010) and the Clear Mountain 5K (2006-2009). In 2010, the race moved back to Burns Park under the name ARK 5K Classic. Leah Thorvilson ran 17:32 that year to beat the old Burns Park course record. In 2013, the race returns to the North Little Rock riverfront area, starting and finishing next to Dickey-Stephens Park.

A source of stability amid the changes in name and course is the race's affiliation with the Arkansas Grand Prix Series. The ARK 5K has remained part of the Series (always on Labor Day weekend) every year since 1983. Along with the Spa 10K which also joined in 1983, the ARK 5K has the longest run of any race with the Grand Prix Series. The race has often served as an Arkansas State Championship event and was selected as the RRCA National Championship 5K in 1987.

Course Description

In 2013, the course returns to the North Little Rock riverfront area. The race starts on Willow Street, next to Dickey-Stephens Park. The course makes an early turn onto Riverfront Dr, heading west. A quick jog to the south will take runners onto the Arkansas River Trail where the route continues west until reaching the turnaround point past the first mile marker. Runners then head back east along the River Trail for a long, straight stretch. A small dip and rise on the trail to pass under the train bridge is the only noticeable elevation change on the course. Not long after leveling back out, the runners will pass the mile 2 marker. The course continues along the trail past the Razorback submarine and turns north on Olive Street for a short stretch. The race then turns left to travel west on Riverfront Dr to reach the end of the third mile. Turning right back onto Willow Street will then deliver runners to the finish line.

For further information, contact:
Kathleen Rea, Race Director
(501) 247-1445