FAQ

EVENT:
Spa Running Festival

DATE:
Saturday, November 18, 2017

START TIMES:
1/2 Marathon: 7:00 A.M
10K: 7:45 A.M.
5K: 8:00 A.M.
SQUIRT: 9:30 A.M.

WHERE?
The races will start/finish on Convention Boulevard in front of the Embassy Suites hotel.

HOW FAR ARE the RACES?
The 10K is obviously 10 kilometers.  For the metric system challenged, that’s a wee bit more than 6.2 miles.
The 5K is half the distance of the 10K.  That’s 5 kilometers. That’s a wee bit more than 3.1 miles.
The half marathon is 13.1 miles.  This is approximately half of the distance traveled by Pheidippides, a Greek messenger, who was sent from the battlefield of Marathon (get it?) to Athens to announce that the Persians had been defeated.   The legend holds that he ran the entire distance without stopping and burst into the assembly, exclaiming "we have wοn" before collapsing and dying.  Please do not exclaim “we have won” nor collapse upon crossing the finish line of the half marathon.

IS THE COURSE(S) CERTIFIED?
The 10K course is USAT&F certified, #AR16025DP, and sanctioned.  The 5K and ½ Marathon courses are not certified.

PACKET PICKUP FAQS

WHERE AND WHEN IS PACKET PICKUP?
Hotel Hot Springs & Spa - 305 Malvern Avenue

(3pm-7pm on Friday before the races)

DO I GET A SHIRT?
Do you get a shirt?  Now what kind of rinky-dink event do you think we’re putting on here?  Of course you get a shirt.  It’s a really nice technical shirt with a very cool design on front and, as an added bonus, a display of the race sponsors on the back.

IS THERE JUST ONE PACKET FOR A TEAM OR PACKETS FOR EACH INDIVIDUAL?
Each team’s bibs will be grouped together. It is up to the team to decide if one person will pick up the entire team’s packets or if each member is responsible for their own.  NOTE:  All team member packets will be packaged together. Each team member must register online prior to November 17 to be considered a member of the team.

DO YOU ALLOW RACE-DAY REGISTRATION AND PACKET PICK-UP?
Sure.  We’re not snobby like that.

DO YOU MAIL OUT PACKETS?
No, we do not mail out packets.  We are snobby like that.

DO YOU ALLOW REFUNDS OR TRANSFERS?
We do not allow refunds or defer registrations to future years or transfers to other participants.  C’mon … proceeds of the races go to our (3) benefactors:  Teen Challenge of Arkansas (located in Hot Springs), Friends of the Park to continue the Hot Springs Greenway Trail, and scholarships to local high school seniors.  

We do allow race participants to transfer to another event category if done by November 7 or transfers to other participants. There is a $5.00 transfer fee. Race participants that registered online can handle the transfer by following the steps below.  If you registered offline, by mailing a paper form then contact the Race Director by completing the Race Contact Info question found under the Race Info menu tab.    

  1. Sign in to RunSignUp
  2. Go to your Profile
  3. Click My Registered Races
  4. Click Manage Registration next to the registration that you would like to transfer your event for
  5. Click the Transfer Event menu item
  6. Click the Start Transfer button
  7. Select your new Event from the Event Drop-Down
  8. Agree to the Waiver and click Continue complete the registration for the new event.
  9. Any difference in registration fee will be applied.

NOTE: In order to protect our participants and insure a safe event, each individual participating in this event must be officially registered under his or her own name with accurate personal information.  Failure to do so will void the registration and prohibit participation.  Registration entries and race numbers cannot be transferred to another person under any circumstances.  Registration fees are non-refundable in all cases regardless of inability to participate or event cancellation.  The race director reserves the right to cancel the event because of weather, natural disaster or other unforeseen circumstances which pose a significant danger to the participants.

WILL THERE BE AN EXPO?
Yes - there is an Expo on Friday in conjunction with the Packet Pick Up.

WILL EVENT MERCHANDISE BE AVAILABLE?
Yes, we will be selling event merchandise online through the event E-Store. Click here to visit the store.

RACE DAY FAQS

RACE DAY PACKET PICKUP
Race day packet pick up will be at the lobby of the Bank of the Ozarks Arena (near the start/finish line).

HOW IS THE RACE TIMED?
The races use a disposable timing “chip” that you put on your shoe.  The chips make a nice keepsake and do not have to be collected after the race.

CAN I WEAR HEADPHONES, BRING MY DOG, OR PUSH A STROLLER?
While for safety reasons we discourage the use of earbuds and headphones, we do not impose a ban on such devices. But if you’re wearing headphones, how will you hear the crowd cheering at the finish line?
Animals are not allowed on the course unless they are assisting visually impaired participants.
Because the safety of all participants is a priority, strollers of any kind are not allowed in any of the events for the race.

WHERE IS THE BEST PLACE FOR FAMILY AND FRIENDS TO CHEER?
Due to local programming and contractual restrictions, the event will not be televised - so watching from the comfort of your living room is not an option.  The Start/Finish Line (near the Embassy Suites Hotel) or anywhere along the route on Convention Blvd is a good place to watch and cheer all 3 events.

IS THERE A TIME LIMIT ON THE EVENT?
There is a 3 ½ time limit (7:00 – 10:30 am) for the half marathon course for all participants. If you have not completed the course within this time, you will be moved to the sidewalk to complete the course. This is for your own safety and security on race day. The Hot Springs Police Department may open sections of the course to let vehicles cross when there are large gaps in the participants and it is deemed safe. Participants must maintain at least a 16:00 minute per mile pace to make the course deadline.

IS THE 10K COURSE HILLY?
Really?  It goes up a mountain. Yes, it is hilly.

IS THE ½ MARATHON COURSE HILLY?
Yes. It is even more hilly than the 10k.  It goes to the summit of West Mountain, down the mountain and then back up to the summit of West Mountain again. This is a very challenging course.
View the Course Maps with elevation charts.  

WHY THE SAME MOUNTAIN TWICE?
The mountains surrounding downtown Hot Springs are within the National Park boundaries and fall under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service.  At this time, the National Park Service has provided approval for the Spa Running Festival courses to include a single mountain so the Half Marathon was incorporated into the traditional 10k course on West Mountain.

ARE WALKERS ALLOWED?
Yes, walkers can participant in the 5K event.  If you register as a walker, you must walk (have one foot on the ground at all times) the entire race.  Walkers are not allowed to participate in the 10K or half marathon.

HOW MANY RUNNERS DO YOU EXPECT?
We estimate 600 runners to participate in both the 10K and 5k.  The ½ marathon will be capped at 350 runners.

DO YOU HAVE A GEAR CHECK AREA?
Yes. It’s called ‘your car’.  Parking is so convenient that a gear check is not needed.

WHAT TIME DOES THE SPA SQUIRT START?
The Spa Squirt starts at 9:30 a.m.
Do the Kids run all together in one race? No, the kids will be grouped in the following age groups: 2-4, 5-6, 7-8 & 9-10. 
The 9-10 age group will run the 1-mile distance (1/2 mile down and back on Convention Blvd.) and, subsequently each group’s distance will be shortened according to the age.   

WHERE IS THE SPA SQUIRT STARTING LINE?
The Spa Squirt starting line is located in front of the Embassy Suites on Convention Blvd.

AWARDS

ARE THERE AWARDS?
Yes, we give out awards. Really cool awards. We will provide awards to the top 3 finishers for each gender for the Half Marathon, 10K and 5K Run for each age group, as well as for Masters, Grand Masters and Senior divisions. Also awards will be presented to the top 3 finishers for each gender in 10-year age groups for the 5K Walkers.
All Half Marathon finishers will receive a commemorative medal.

WILL THERE BE A POST RACE CELEBRATION?
There is a Finish Line Festival at (where else?) the finish line of the race.  After you make your way through the finish line coral, go left into the Finish Line Festival where you can enjoy some soup, pizza or other snacks as well as some Mountain Valley Water or a cold brewski (ages 21 and up).

MEDICAL AND EMERGENCY

WILL THERE BE A MEDICAL TENT?
No, there will not be a medical tent on site; however, paramedics from LifeNet will be on hand to assist all participants if needed.

WHAT IS THE DISTANCE BETWEEN AID STATIONS?
Aid stations will be located as noted on the race maps.

Water station at the far end of Whittington Avenue (near the Weyerhaeuser office)

Water/sports drink station on the mountain where the turn is made to the summit

Water station on Prospect when you turn off of Flint

IS THERE A SPORTS DRINK AT THE AID STATIONS?
There will be a sports drink station at the turn to go up to the summit.  The other stations will serve only water.  But this is not your normal, everyday water.  This water consists of molecules that contain two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom connected by covalent bonds.  Okay – that part is normal.  But this water is Mountain Valley Water straight from the thermal fountains of Hot Springs. That’s special.

PARKING

WHERE CAN I PARK ON THE DAY OF THE RACE?
Unless this race is way more popular than anticipated, there is ample parking in the Convention Center parking lot which is across the street (Convention Blvd.) from the Embassy Suites.

DIRECTIONS TO THE EVENT?
From 1-30: Coming from the northeast – exit 1-30 onto US 70W (exit 111). Take US 70 (E Grand Ave.) – 20 miles into Hot Springs and turn right onto Convention Blvd. The parking lots will be on the right.
Coming from the southwest: exit 1-30 onto US 270 (exit 98B). Take US 270 (Malvern Ave.) – 18 miles into Hot Springs and turn right onto Convention Blvd.
NOTE: Convention Blvd. will be closed after 6:00 am so go past Convention Blvd. and turn right on Spring Street; then turn right on Palm Street. This will bring you to the 2 parking lots across from Embassy Suites.   

WHERE CAN I PARK FOR PACKET PICKUP?
You can park anywhere adjacent to the Hotel Hot Springs.

IS THERE A HOST HOTEL?
The Hotel Hot Springs & Spa offers a discount to participants and is the host hotel for Friday’s Packet Pick-up and Onsite Registration from 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm.

The Embassy Suites has also partnered with the Spa Running Festival to offer a discount for our participants.

The Arlington Hotel and Spa also offers a discount for our participants.

ARE THERE LANDMARKS ALONG THE RACE COURSE(S)?
Landmarks?  You’ll be running thru the middle of a National Park – of course there are landmarks. The 5k and 10k courses go down Central Avenue in front of Bathhouse Row. They take you by the famed Arlington Hotel up to Whittington Park.  The 10k and Half take you up and over West Mountain where you can enjoy the fall foliage.  These courses also go into the historic district of the city.  You will be on the same ground where legends have walked …. President Roosevelt, Babe Ruth, Bugsy Malone, Dick Gladden.
Half – add a trip up to the summit of West Mountain where you can see the duck (wink, wink for the older Hot Springs generation).  And then you get to go back up to the summit of West Mountain for a second look.

WHAT IS THE AVERAGE WEATHER ON RACE DAY?
Does it really matter?  Just walk outside the morning of the race.  If it’s warm, wear short sleeves.  If it’s cold, wear gloves.  If it’s raining – well, you’ll get wet.

Day: Nov. 21
Sunrise: 6:51 A.M.
Sunset: 5:05 P.M.
Avg. High: 62°F
Avg. Low: 40°F
Record High: 77°F
Record Low: 23°F

IS THERE CHILD CARE?
Can your children hand out water bottles to runners?  If so …  sure, we can ‘watch’ them.
No, we do not offer child care.

HOT SPRINGS FAQS

WHAT OTHER THINGS ARE THERE TO DO IN HOT SPRINGS OVER RACE WEEKEND?
If you think the race events aren’t enough, you can learn about other events by contacting the Convention and Visitors Bureau of Hot Springs (1-800-SPA-CITY) or visit their website www.hotsprings.org.