- Race hosted by the Arkansas Running Klub
- 2016 will be the 35th running of the ARK 5K on Labor Day weekend
- USATF Course Certification: pending
- Proceeds benefit the Arkansas River Trail
Directions to the Starting Line
The run starts 5001 Northshore Dr, North Little Rock, AR 72118. From I-430 driving south take exit 12 and go left (west) on Crystal Hill Road. Take a right Northshore Drive and proceed to the school. Driving north on I-430 take exit 12 and go right on Crystal Hill Road and right on Northshore again.
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
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. For one running of the race in 2013 the race started on Willow Street next to Dickey-Stephens Park and made use of Riverfront Drive and the Arkansas River Trail. 2014 saw a return to Burns Park and the Fun Land Loop Course. In 2015 the race changed locations once again. Still in Burns Park, the race took place on the flat roads of the Soccer Complex and the Arkansas River Trail. In 2016, the race moves to the Northshore/Cook's Landing area of the River Trail with a start and finish at Crystal Hill Elementary School.
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.
The ARK 5K will have a new course in 2016. The race will start and finish in the area of Crystal Hill Elementary School. The course is currently being certified and will utilize the roads of Northshore, Cook's Landing Road and the trails in Cook's Landing Park. This course is flat and fast. More details to follow.