Bill's Quilt.

2012 Capital City Classic 10k

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It was this kind of day...
It was this kind of day...

For those that didn’t make it out to the Capital City Classic 10k, you missed a great way to spend a Saturday.  With the temperature in the 40s, runners and volunteers wore long sleeved-shirts and jackets.  Albeit chilly at the start, I knew the temperature and the course would be in every runner’s favor.  This would be a day of personal records (PRs).

The Capital City Classic 10k was held at Two Rivers Park at the confluence of the Arkansas and Little Maumelle Rivers. The route has virtually no hills and only a few turns.  If one is looking to run a PR at the 10k distance, this is one of the best options in Arkansas.  This was evident as runners came from every corner of Arkansas, in addition to 7 states.

A flat and mostly wide course.
A flat and mostly wide course.

The race has been through a few name changes in its 33 years of existence. However, that has not deterred the quality of the race.  Unbeknownst to many, the current race director, Bill Torrey, has been at the helm for over 20 years.  Bill’s impact is one of the reasons the running community in central Arkansas flourishes.  Thanks, Bill!

As the seventh race in the Arkansas Grand Prix series, running clubs around the state were well represented.  Running in the Grand Prix series offers one the opportunity to run races across the state, but also to establish relationships as you run into other runners quite often.

Not much shade on the course.
Not much shade on the course.

Jake Johnson from Sherwood, AR, came blazing down the final stretch winning with a time of 32:36.  Maxwell Sawyer, representing the Conway Running Club, was the first Grand Prix finisher.  Little Rock Roadrunner Imari Dellimore finished third.

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Leah Thorvilson claimed fifth overall breaking her previous 2009 course record finishing with a 34:58.  Melonvine Strider Aimee Larkin and Little Rock Roadrunner Tracy Tungac finished second and third respectively.

The fun wasn’t over yet.  The next race featured the future of our running community.  Bill rallied kids together for the 1-Mile Kids Run.  Just before the start a deer dashed across the road.  Bill sure knows how to add excitement to a race. Watching the kids run with enthusiasm and determination brought smiles to spectators as well as proud parents and family members. Here is a quick video of the start of the 1-mile Kids Run.

Positive vibes resonated throughout the park as runners shared stories about having great races.  A good reason to run a fast time at a race is for…the food.  I’m not kidding!  There were a variety of goodies, but the hit was pizza.  Gearhead Outfitters, a local store for the outdoor enthusiast, couldn’t distribute pizza fast enough to the awaiting hands.

Having an appreciation for history, Bill was presented with a quilt made from past t-shirts.  Polly Russell did a good job and the quilt is a great way to preserve memories.  Not all races must supply medals.  Some race directors make the awards personal.  At the awards ceremony winners received a nice print that was painted by Jessica Torrey, Bill’s daughter.

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Bill's Quilt.
Bill's Quilt.

Looking ahead, the Grand Prix runners have Hogeye this weekend.  Ultra runners are tapering for the Ouachita 50 in 2 weeks.  While a couple runners went on to finish long runs, others relished in the success of the morning.  For some it may have been their first race or first 10k.  Maybe they were volunteering, cheering or supporting friends.  Either way, the experience was classic. More photos on our Flickr Page.

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Thanks again Nicholas Norfolk for covering this event.

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