The buzz of the Fort Smith Marathon from the past two years picked up right where it left off as over 500 runners participated in the third annual race.
Runners from all over the country came to experience the unique “Grit” themed race that Fort Smith offers. Runners participated in the full, half, and relay marathon throughout the day on Sunday, February 12, 2017.
The sun was shining and the wind was blowing for this year’s race, the nice weather brought out an abundance of supporters and sponsor’s for the downtown event.
Runners both men and women improved their time from last year, possibly from the nice weather. Full marathon winner Craig Adams, who took home gold last year, improved his time by almost five minutes. Ironically, the women’s winner, Katie Kramer, who was able to repeat her winning from last year improved her time as well. (Find results https://fortsmithmarathon.com/).
Adams said the weather did in fact play a key role in his run this year. The sun and wind play a huge factor when running 26.2 miles, Adams says. He has run at least 20 full marathons, the 2016 and 2017 races are the only ones he has won. Adams is a Fort Smith native who went to Southside High School and now resides in Bentonville.
The route did not differ much from the past two years, the race started and ended downtown. All the runners started out together then split up around mile 6. The marathoners and relay teams took the scenic route around Southside High School, through neighborhoods, onto Massard Avenue, then back to Old Greenwood Road to hook back up towards downtown. Half Marathoner’s took a detour route passing Southside onto Old Greenwood and through downtown.
The race not only drew a number of runner and walkers but also attracted many sideline supporters and hydration stations. Almost every corner and at least every quarter mile was a group of citizen’s cheering on runners or offering water, Gatorade and other assistance to those participating in the race. There was even a drumline performance near mile 22 on Old Greenwood Road.
For the third consecutive year, the Fort Smith Marathon was a major success. The event has seen a growth in participants both runners and volunteers each year and doesn’t seem to be slowing down.