One of them any things I love about running is the travel experiences it’s given me. Sometimes these trips take me across the country (this year that’s included Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Boston) but most of the time it’s different places around Arkansas. This past weekend running brought me up Hope, Arkansas and I was able to experience it with my son and my dad.
Hope is a little over 2.5 hours from my house so we opted to spend the night Friday night since the race started at 7:30. We left Searcy late Friday afternoon and picked up my dad in Beebe on the way. After we checked into our hotel we ate dinner at a really good local restaurant we found on Yelp that had great reviews- Tailgater’s Burger Company. There aren’t a lot of options in Hope but I’d definitely recommend this one.
We left our hotel around 6:20 Saturday morning and it was only a 10 minute drive to the race. We had plenty of time to pick up our race packet and warm-up. I actually ran my first mile warm-up with Anthony and then he stayed with my dad so I could do a little more. Race temps were typical August in Arkansas- hot and humid. I think it was only in low 70’s though (temp and DP) which helped.
My race plan was to stay in the 5:50-6:00 min pace range. I’d run this course once before in 2016 and ran a 6:00 min average (18:44 official finish time) so I had a pretty good idea what to expect. The course is mostly flat and it’s a bigger race for Arkansas- 400+ runners.
There were a lot of high school teams so I spent most of the first mile catching up and then passing high school students who went out too fast. By the end of this mile I was third female and could see first and second within 20 seconds in front of me.
Mile 1- 5:56. I really wanted to keep my overall average under 6:00 so I kept pushing. I wish it felt easier but warm races really make me work for it and this was no exception. Just before the mile 2 marker I passed the second place female. Just one more female to go…
Mile 2- 5:59. I kept looking ahead but the first place female was maintaining her lead. I wasn’t gaining on her at all and I was definitely running out of steam.
Mile 3- 6:03. A few seconds slower than I wanted but I was able to pick it back up on the final stretch.
Mile 3.1- 5:39 avg.
Official Time- 18:40 (2nd OA)
As soon as I finished I congratulated the 1st and 3rd place female- easy to do this when it’s a close finish and then I went back to find Anthony. Despite the heat this was one of his better 5ks. He finished in 24:45. Once he was settled near the finish I went back again to find my dad. He was about a half mile out by the time I found him and I had to jog just to keep up with his speed walk!
He finished in 35:44.
I had planned to run a long cool-down after the race before the awards ceremony and thankfully Carli (the overall female winner) was up for some extra miles.
After the awards ceremony we went back to shower and check out of our hotel. My dad was really wanting some good coffee but the closest coffee shop was in Arkadelphia which was on our way home so we started heading back. We actually found another really good restaurant where we ate lunch called Slim & Shorty’s in Arkadelphia.
Then we got our coffee. A must for any road trip- even the short ones!
All in all a fun mini trip (24 hours in total) and very memorable. So glad I got to do this with my dad and my son.
Next up- another 5k!! But not for 2 weeks… Taking a short racing break for the rest of August so I can gear up for everything planned in September.