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arkansas-marathon / 12 October 2021 / 0 Comment

Arkansas Marathon Runners Lounge

The lack of viable hotel rooms meant that there was nowhere to clean up quickly in order to come back and enjoy the October Daze festivities. The lack of open, sit-down restaurants meant that there was nowhere for runners to gather to rest and engage in friendly comradery with other runners. It led to many runners commenting that they would be unlikely to return for future races.

The 2021 marathon was a step in the right direction. First Baptist Church graciously allowed runners who wished to shower to use their facilities, giving them a quick and easy location to wash off the remnants of the race and return to downtown. Stirling Roastery set up a runner’s lounge in the old Shears building with a television for watching football and free coffee. Casey’s provided free pizza and donuts for the runners, while Stirling Soap provided free beer and other alcoholic beverages for runners in the lounge. Tables and chairs were also provided by First Baptist.

The result was that the runners stuck around. As they crossed the finish line, race volunteers directed them to the runner’s lounge. At one point, all five tables were full and there was standing room only. Some runners stayed and laughed and chatted with other runners for over an hour, and many returned multiple times throughout the day to grab a beer and watch some football.

Most took time to express their gratitude that the runner’s lounge was set up for them, and how welcome it made them feel. In the end, more than a few remarked that they would be back next year, which is always one of the ultimate goals. Growth of the Arkansas Marathon and of October Daze is a major plus for the town of Booneville.


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