The Arkansas Running Klub has held this 5K race in North Little Rock on Labor Day weekend dating back to 1982. In the early years, the race was known as the Twin City Bank (TCB) 5K and held in Burns Park. Martin Fulk and Diane Marshall won the inaugural running in 1982. Mike Clark set a then Burns Park course record in 1983, clocking a 15:15 finish. Diane Marshall won again in 1983 and 1984, setting the Burns Park female course record in ’84 with a 17:55 time.
The TCB 5K joined the Grand Prix Series in 1983 – the second year of operation for both the race and the Series. After a change in sponsorship, the race was known as the Mercantile Bank 5K from 1996 to 1999. In 2000, the race course moved out of Burns Park to the North Little Rock Riverfront/Argenta area. The name was also changed that year to the ARK Fast 5K – reflecting the new course’s flat topography. Minor tweaks in the course and name continued in the 00 decade as the race was subsequently known as the River Run 5K (2003), Riverfront 5K (2004-05, 2010) and the Clear Mountain 5K (2006-2009).
A source of stability amid the changes in name and course is the race’s affiliation with the Arkansas Grand Prix Series. The ARK 5K has remained part of the Series (always on Labor Day weekend) every year since 1983. Along with the Spa 10K which also joined in 1983, the ARK 5K has the longest run of any race with the Grand Prix Series. The race has often served as an Arkansas State Championship event and was selected as the RRCA National Championship 5K in 1987.
DIRECTIONS: From I-430 take exit 12. Heading south on I-430 go left (east) on Crystal Hill then right on Northshore Drive. The Elementary School will be on the right hand side of the street. Heading north on I-430 go right (east) on Crystal Hill Rd and right on Northshore Drive.
The course flat and fast run on the roads around Northshore and paved trails in Cook’s Landing Park.