Saturday, November 19, 2016 • Hot Springs, AR • Course Map
You’ll run nearly all the way to the top of West Mountain inside Arkansas’ Hot Springs National Park at the all-new Summit Challenge Half Marathon, which makes its debut at this year’s Spa Running Festival on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, part of an event that has featured a 10K and 5K race for the past few years.
Runners are set to start the race at the corner of Convention Boulevard and Palm Street in downtown Hot Springs, a city of about 35,000 nestled here in the Ouachita Mountains and named for the numerous hot springs found throughout the area, which have drawn visitors from all walks of life for more than a century.
From there, they’ll head west along Convention and north on Broadway for a brief stretch before turning onto Central Avenue, which will then take the field into Hot Springs National Park, the oldest unit in the National Park Service (it predates the dedication of Yellowstone National Park by about 40 years).
This stretch of the run unfolds past the park’s historic Bathhouse District and then through Whittington Park before heading onto the roads that climb up to the top of West Mountain, a stretch toward the summit that gives the half marathon its name as the “Summit Challenge.”
Once inside the park, runners will climb the summit not once but twice — they’ll reach the top along West Mountain Summit Drive around the half-way point of the race, then descend down the mountain to Prospect Avenue before turning around the head back up the mountain again.
After that, the course heads back down the mountain a second time, with the last couple of miles unfolding along Quapaw Avenue and Market Street before bringing runners in to the finish line along Convention Boulevard.
Race Weather & Climate
Located near the edge of the Ouachita National Forest in central Arkansas, roughly 55 miles southwest of Little Rock, Hot Springs typically sees its second-wettest month of the year in November, which has brought record temperatures here as low as 14ºF (in 1976) and as high as 86ºF (in 1984).
On race day (Nov. 19), the average low is 39ºF and the average high is 60ºF.
- 7:00 AM – half marathon
- 8:00 AM – 10K, 5K
- 9:30 AM – Squirt race
Course Time Limit
3 1/2 hours
- $45 for the half marathon, if registered by June 30, 2016
- $50 between July 1 – September 30
- $55 between October 1 – 31
- $60 after October 31
To reserve your spot in the 2016 running of Hot Springs’s Spa Running Festival Summit Challenge Half Marathon, 10K or 5K race, register online at RunSignup.com here.
Official Race Website
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