Little Rock Marathon

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Little Rock Marathon Shield

The Little Rock Marathon, started in 2003, is an annual marathon held in Little Rock, Arkansas. The event, which is traditionally held the First Weekend of March each year, is intended to encourage better health and fitness and to raise funds for Little Rock Parks & Recreation. The goal of the event is to hold a community supported and nationally recognized marathon that promotes tourism in Arkansas and showcases the superior organizational efforts of its staff, sponsors and volunteers, while attracting athletes of all ages and abilities. Participants come from all 50 states and 14 different countries.

The Little Rock Marathon is famous for the world’s largest finisher’s medal (According to Runners World). Race organizers insist the medals get slightly bigger each year. The 2015 marathon medal measured 8 ½ x 8 ¼ inches and weighed just over 3 pounds. Another unique feature of the Little Rock Marathon is their themes; the event has a different theme each year. Each year the theme is reflected in everything from the décor at the Health and Fitness Expo, race course areas, and post-race events to the huge finishers medal and all official merchandise. Many participants are also known to dress in costumes according to the year's race theme.

The Little Rock Marathon bills itself as "Arkansas' Race for Every Pace". With an 8-hour time limit for the Marathon and Half Marathon, it is very friendly for walkers and beginner runners. The Little Rock Marathon also offers a free, year-round Training Program for those interested in training for a race or improve/maintain their health and fitness.


The Little Rock Marathon is a USATF sanctioned event on a certified 26.2-mile (42.2 km) single loop course. The course, which starts and finished in Downtown Little Rock and also crosses over the Arkansas River, is scenic and includes many of Little Rock’s famous and historic landmarks. The very spectator-friendly course features plenty of entertainment and crowd support along the course. The race is filled with loads of southern hospitality and several unique features, such as the couch potato mile and the Lipstick Stop (So you can look good for your finish photo!).

It is the first race in the state to be transponder chip timed, and is also a qualifying event for the Boston Marathon. The Little Rock Marathon Course is described as relatively hilly. Running great Bill Rodgers once said "any marathon worth its salt has a few hills. Little Rock is a little salty." The largest hill is found early in the race with a number of smaller hills throughout.

The elevation change for the entire course is as follows:

  • Start = 270 feet (82 m) above sea level
  • Finish = 260 feet (79 m) above sea level
  • Highest point = 519 feet (158 m) above sea level
  • Lowest point = 246 feet (75 m) above sea level


Landmarks along the course include the Arkansas State Capitol, Little Rock River Market District, the Clinton Presidential Center, Governor's Mansion, MacArthur Birthplace/Military Museum, and Historic Little Rock Central High School.

Little Rock Marathon Events[edit]

  • Full Marathon

The Little Rock Marathon is a 26.2-mile running/walking tour through the historical sites of Little Rock. The course is certified by the UST&F.

  • Half Marathon

The Little Rock Half Marathon (13.1 miles) is run on the same course as the big race, but it is half the distance. The course is certified by the UST&F.

  • 10K Race

The Little Rock 10K (6.2 miles) will run with the 5K on the day before the Marathon/Half.

  • 5K Race

The Little Rock 5K (3.1 miles) will run with the 10K on the day before the Marathon/Half. This race is designed for individuals who want an introduction into running or walking without weeks of training.

  • Little Rockers Kids Marathon

The Little Rockers Kids Marathon is for children in 1st grade to 7th grade and gives them an opportunity to finish a marathon over an extended period of time. Prior to race day, participants run or walk 25.2 miles at their own pace and with adult supervision. The last mile is completed on the Little Rock Marathon course and finishes at the official Little Rock Marathon finish line.

  • Little Rock Marathon Health & Fitness Expo

The Health and Fitness Expo is the official kickoff of the Little Rock Marathon weekend. The expo is held at the Statehouse Convention Center. Exhibitors sell running/fitness items, give out samples, and distribute their products to participants picking up race packets. Admission is FREE.

Little Rock Marathon Training Program[edit]

Established in 2003, the Official Little Rock Marathon Training Program has helped thousands of athletes (runners, walkers, woggers) cross the finish line. The Little Rock Marathon Training Program is for those at any skill-level interested in starting a running/walking program, maintaining their base mileage, or train for a fall race. You do not have to register for the Little Rock Marathon to participate in the Training Program. The Little Rock Marathon Training Program provides a safe, proven program to all who want to become finishers. Training is free, but you have to sign up to get all the benefits. To sign-up, go to the Training Page on the website at *Little Rock Marathon.

The Little Rock Marathon Training Program is for those individuals wanting to:

  • Start a running or walking program
  • Improve your health
  • Reduce stress
  • Complete your first marathon or half marathon or achieve your personal best
  • Learn more about training safely and avoiding common running/walking injuries
  • Have fun and meet new people

Full Marathon Winners[edit]

Male Winners[edit]

  • 2003, Anatolie Vartosu, 2:36:53, Stamford, CT
  • 2004, Glen Mays, 2:34:30, Washington, DC
  • 2005, John Weru, 2:24:10, Mountain View, CA
  • 2006, Charles Kamindo, 2:19:48, Superior, CO
  • 2007, Przemek Bobrowski, 2:27:09, Poland
  • 2008, Tamrat Ayalew, 2:24:46, Marietta, GA
  • 2009, Augustus Mbusya, 2:20:41, Albuquerque, NM
  • 2010, Moninda F Marube, 2:29:40, Keller, TX
  • 2011, Mark Chepses, 2:24:07, Calle Sierra Morelos
  • 2012, Mark Chepses, 2:29:42, Des Moines, IA
  • 2013, Mark Chepses, 2:19:45, Des Moines, IA
  • 2014, Mark Chepses, 2:25:42, Des Moines, IA
  • 2015, Yao Long, 2:44:40, CHANGCHUN, JILIN

Female Winners[edit]

  • 2003, Joyce Florance, 3:20:25, Bossier City, LA
  • 2004, Patricia Langum, 3:17:40, Brooklyn Park, MN
  • 2005, Christy Nielsen, 2:58:45, Council Bluffs, IA
  • 2006, Claudia Camargo, 2:56:48, Danbury, CT
  • 2007, Maria Cleofe' Portilla, 2:47:12, Albuquerque, NM
  • 2008, Hellen Rotich, 2:50:33, Manor, TX
  • 2009, Leah Thorvilson, 2:44:19, Little Rock, AR
  • 2010, Leah Thorvilson, 2:48:28, Little Rock, AR
  • 2011, Leah Thorvilson, 2:45:51, Little Rock, AR
  • 2012, Leah Thorvilson, 2:37:26, Little Rock, AR
  • 2013, Hellen Rotich, 2:47:12, Manor, TX
  • 2014, Leah Thorvilson, 2:42:39, Little Rock, AR
  • 2015, Angie Zinkus, 2:59:57, Eads, TN

External links[edit]