- Course includes a challenging section through Hot Springs National Park
- Race is the apogee of a festive weekend in Hot Springs
- 5K and half marathon (non-GP) held in conjunction with the 10K
- USATF Course Certification #: AR02010DLP
Directions to the Starting Line
Coming from the northeast: exit I-30 onto US-70 W (exit 111). Take US-70 (E Grand Ave)
~20 miles into Hot Springs and turn right onto Convention Blvd.
Coming from the southwest: exit I-30 onto US-270 (exit 98B). Take US-270 (Malvern Ave) 18 miles into Hot Springs and turn
right at Convention Blvd.
Address: 134 Convention Blvd
The Spa 10K has been run in Hot Springs since 1982. In 1983, the Spa 10K was included in the Arkansas Grand Prix Series,
which was also in
its second year. The race has been a part of the Grand Prix ever since, often serving as the final race of the year in the Series.
This climatic position has lead to many compelling showdowns in Hot Springs over the years, as championships are often won or lost
on the Spa 10K course.
The race starts at the Hot Springs Convention Center and travels west into
the downtown area.
Runners then turn onto historic Central Ave with
the Hot Springs National Park Bathhouse row on one side of the street and the shops of downtown Hot Springs on the other.
After passing the first mile marker, the course
turns left at the Arlington Hotel to head onto Whittington Ave.
The route then heads west along Whittington around a small park and passes the
two mile marker.
The race turns back east on Whittington on the other side of the park and
continues ahead for 1/2 mile. These first 2.5 miles have been a long uphill section,
so gradual that many runners think the race has thus far been flat. The climb
is no longer deceiving as the runners now turn right to face a monster climb up
West Mountain in Hot Springs National Park. After a tough 1/2 mile hill, runners pass
the 3 mile and 5K markers and are rewarded with a flat and slightly downhill
section. Inexperienced Spa 10K runners will speed down this section thinking
the hard part is over.
The course punishes novice runners with another monster uphill section,
hidden from view by the course curves, which lasts over 1/3 of a mile and takes
the race past the 4 mile marker. The fifth mile is the course's true reward for
those who run smart in the first four miles. Runners can fly down the back of
West Mountain, out of the park and onto Quapaw Ave to the 5th mile marker. The
sixth mile is not as dramatic, but also features a nice downhill section from Quapaw
to Market Street, then back to Convention Blvd to pass the 6th mile marker. Only
a short, gradual downhill remains before finally crossing the finish line.
For further information, contact:
Cindy Baswell, Race Director