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Got the grit to run the 2016 Fort Smith Marathon?


Got the grit to run the 2016 Fort Smith Marathon?
Voted “Favorite Race of 2015”?by the readers of this magazine, the second Fort Smith Marathon is set for Feb. 14. But those were readers and voting is easy.

Runners who attempted or even conquered the tough, 26.2-mile race and its demanding elevation changes might not use the word “favorite” to describe the experience. But plenty of them are returning, according to the race’s organizers. The race also includes half-marathon and relay divisions.

The USATF-certified course designed last year remains essentially the same. Runners will pace themselves through historic downtown, beautiful neighborhoods, paved park trails and rolling terrain.

Proceeds will support the construction of more such trails systems through Park Partners of Fort Smith Inc., a non-profit community organization.

Race registration is open until Feb. 13 at the website fortsmithmarathon.com. Entry fees include a long-sleeved, cotton T-shirt, timing chip/bib and race packet, which has complete race information including lodging choices and details of all the activities and entertainment surrounding the race.

Get involved in the Fort Smith Marathon without running a step

It will take the whole community to make this marathon as successful as the first – and cement a tradition for years to come.

Volunteer!
Folks are needed from days before the race until after the runners toast their finish. Course set-up and crews start the day before, dropping off equipment. Others will set up the barricades, cones, signs and aide station supplies starting at 6 a.m. on race day and tear down the course after the runners pass.

The registration process takes staff. Help assemble or distribute race packets on Friday, Saturday and Sunday of race weekend.

Traffic control volunteers keep runners safe from street traffic from about 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. at many locations across the course. 150 volunteers are needed for this crew.

Food & refreshment helpers are needed to assist OK?Foods with prep and service.

Staff will offer water and food on the course and pass out warming blankets and finishers’ medals at the finish line.

General clean-up. The Fort Smith Marathon will load up and store its equipment for next year. Many hands are welcome.

Connect and volunteer on the race Facebook page.

Sponsors and Donors
Major sponsors for the Fort Smith Marathon put their hands up early – Mercy, OK Foods, Zero Mountain, Baldor, Sparks Health System, Arvest and many more, plus community partners such as the City of Fort Smith, the Fort Smith Police and Fire Departments, Sebastian County Sheriff’s Department, the city and county parks departments, Western Arkansas Runners and JayMax Timing and others.

But Samantha Cole, race director, is still welcoming financial and in-kind sponsors at many levels of contribution. Sponsors will be recognized on race signs, banners and T-shirts and receive live acknowledgement at the start/finish line. Invent a custom sponsorship, she suggests – there are plenty of amenities to offer to runners and spectators that can display a sponsor logo. Contact Cole about sponsorship at 479-719-3730 or samantha.cole@mercy.net.

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