The Run Bentonville Half Marathon is a fun run that loops out and around the town. The last 4 miles of the course wandered through a system of trails that provided a bit more eye candy than a simple road race. The weather on this particular day was not cooperating. The weather at race start was 25 degrees and snowing. This is my second trip to Arkansas and my second time in some of the coldest weather I have ever experienced during a run. If you’re curious, just check out the the pictures from the last trip to Mississippi where I flew in and out of Little Rock. Why Arkansas? Why?
This is the second time that I’ve ran back to back half marathons. Aside from the fact I couldn’t feel my face for two days (weather related), it was particularly easy! I am sore and I think my toe nail might come off, but as I write this on the following Monday, I’m not feeling bad! The last time I did this was when I ran the Hamptons Half Marathon and the Oceans Run Half Marathon in the same weekend in 2011.
The Adventure Starts
This trip was a bit last minute. I flew from San Diego to Tulsa, OK where I rented a car. Then, I drove to Bentonville, AR, ran the race on Saturday and then jumped back in the car to drive to St. Louis. I ran the second race Sunday morning, returned the car and flew home. All in all, 488 miles driven, 56 total hours elapsed, 3 states, 2 planes, 2 races, and some bitterly cold April weather.
The weather in the midwest in April is splendid right? Not so much. The race on Saturday (this race) was 25 degrees and the race on Sunday (Go! St. Louis Half Marathon) was 31 degrees. This amounts to roughly 25 degrees below average each day. In the plus column, I got upgraded for free to a E-class Mercedes Benz which made the 488 total miles driven a bit easier to swallow.
Home of Walmart
In case you didn’t already know, Bentonville’s claim to fame is that it is the headquarters of Walmart. As a result, it wouldn’t be much of a trip without me visiting a Super Walmart for supplies right? Turns out the Super Walmart in Bentonville is just the same as the Super Walmart in our home town. Super massive, super confusing with a ton of super strange folks buying super cheap stuff. My wife Amy would be happy however, I got organic bread and low sodium peanut butter for snacking on during the trip. And loads of water and gatorade.
As you may or may not know, every race provides some sort of goodie bag. Inside you typically find race flyers, some samples of sunscreen, perhaps a small protein bar sample and other race items. But, usually its 3-4 items. Since this race was sponsored by Walmart? Check out the stuff in the goodie bag (See picture). Also, I think I got a “women’s” themed bag because I had panty liners in mine and a women’s head band. Oh well, beggars cannot be choosers.
I woke up the morning of the race and peered out the window. Snow. I followed my normal pre-race routine but this time layered on the clothes, wore a beanie and gloves. I even brought those little hand warmers that you sometimes see people use when skiing. I got to the race a few minutes early and cranked the heater to stay warm while I waited.
The race went off per usual but for the first 8 miles the entire field spent significant time dodging ice fields and slipping and sliding on the hidden ones. Around mile 10 I made slight miscalculation and planted my right foot right on the top of a metal grate. I had squared up on it but to no avail, the foot flew out from under me. By the graces of God I landed squarely on my left foot. I didn’t eat it, no rolled ankle and a fresh dose of adrenaline to keep me going for the final three miles.
The final miles were through a park and along a beautiful stream. No doubt I would have appreciated this section much more if the weather was 20 degrees warmer. Oh well, AR, check the box!