Spring officially arrived last week, clocks moved forward an hour a couple of weeks ago, and even the daffodil blooms signal the end of a somewhat harsh Winter; but for many runners the true harbinger of Spring is the Spring Fling 5K in Cabot, Arkansas. Currently one of the links in the chain of the Arkansas Road Running Club of America (ArkansasRRCA) Grand Prix Series, the race has been an early Spring feature in Arkansas since 1996.Here comes Spring!
The race is organized by the Cabot Country Cruisers running club, a strong group that has many runners at races throughout the state. Starting on a side street behind Cabot High School, the race passes an elementary school before taking a few turns through a nearby subdivision, making a small loop, and then heading back to the high school. The finish line placement is great for spectators and cheering as it sends the runners down a short ramp and then onto the school track for three-quarters of a lap to the line. Runners get to finish the 5K in front of fans, friends and families being cheered on through to the finish line.Sprinting out the finish.
The race is chip timed by Mac’s Race Timing and he pulls out all the stops for this one. As runners get close to the finish they cross a mat which tells the announcer the runner’s name so it can be announced it just before they cross the finish line. This year announcer duties fell to Kristen Garrett: Saline County Strider, running enthusiast, and all around great cheerleader. As more runners finish there are more people to cheer on the rest of the field as finishers and friends take to the sidelines, supporting other runners.Warm-ups.
One of the highlights of the morning was the kids run, held about an hour after the race start. Before the start they were led through warmups on the football field including one legged hops and other fun. The younger kids ran two laps around the field and the bigger kids ran three. The facial expressions of many of the kids told a story, sometimes it was a story of pain and agony (possibly a little feigned drama with those faces), sometimes it was a story of great fun, and sometimes it was a story of strength and great form as we watched some of the kids push themselves through the run with flying feet and strong arm swings.And they’re off…
Spring in Arkansas can be hit or miss weather-wise and this day was a hit: perfect temps, sunny skies and little wind made for an enjoyable morning. If you have a chance to get to this wonderful 5K next year, take it. Also, next up in the Grand Prix Series is the Capital City Classic 10K just two weeks away.Bling
We’ll post a link to the results when they are available. Watch our Facebook Page for almost 1000 photos later today.