It was a cold, grey February morning. The ground was wet from recent rains and the cold air felt like it was holding the dampness all around you. A slight breeze was blowing through Cadron Settlement Park along the Arkansas River in Faulkner County just outside of Conway, Arkansas.
The trails at Cadron Settlement Park were the site of the fifth race in the 2012/2013 Arkansas Trail Running Series. These short runs between 3 and 5 miles give runners a chance to experience running on something other than pavement. Running trails is a pure experience that demands your attention. Rocks, roots, quick turns and severe elevation changes keep athletes focused on the next foot fall. Let your mind wander to problems at work, responsibilities at home or other distractions and a runner can soon find his or herself face down in the dirt, or worse. The reward for concentrating on the run manifests itself in a clear mind and some burnt calories.
The Cadron Trail Run starts at the park entrance with a bit of pavement before heading off-road and across a curved wooden bridge. After a short uphill to a ridge line, runners disappear from the music, cheers, cowbells and commotion of the start/finish area. After just over 2 miles of running, participants come back through the start/finish area before heading back out on the second and final lap. This is a wonderful opportunity for friends, family and volunteers to cheer them on.
Young Zackary Rail finished first with a time of 27:07 for the 4.2 mile run this year beating his 2012 time by 8 seconds. Matt Pickard took second place at 28:28 and Zackary’s little brother, Jason Rail, got third with 29:35. Matt told me he’s a little worried that the Rail brothers would push him to third in the coming years. All are from Conway, Arkansas.
Overall for the women, Krista Baily of Heber Springs came in first at 36:34 with Amanda Garner of North Little Rock in 38:01 and Faith McDaniel of Little Rock at 40:36 for second and third, respectively.
As always, DLT Events put on a great race complete with a grand finish line and hot dogs and chili to help fight off the cold. The final race of the series is coming up on March 17th at Cedar Glades Park near Hot Springs. Full results are already posted on the DLT Events website.
We have lots of photos on our Facebook Page
Here is some fun video from the event this year.