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*USATF Course Certification #: AR19012WJT.
From I-30 take Exit 30 onto AR-Hwy 32/73, and proceed southeast into Hope. Drive ~1.5 miles, then turn right at the 3rd stop light onto US-Hwy 67 (3rd St). Drive west 3 blocks and take a left onto Fulton St. Drive (Hwy 174 ) south for 1/2 mile until reach Park Dr. Turn right and the start/finish area is right before park entrance. .
Address: 1251 Park Drive, Fair Park, Hope, AR
The Watermelon 5K was established in 1978 though in the first few years the race distance was 4 miles. The race has been part of the Arkansas RRCA Grand Prix Series since 1994.
Race starts leaving Fair park and going East on Park drive. Mostly flat with a few winding turns, then heading to Elm street going back north for two blocks lining up for the long straight away on Main.
Runners continue along Main St rewarded with a small gradual downhill until near the 1.5 mile point. Main St then moves gradually back uphill and the race route continues this gradual incline after making a right turn onto 16th street until just before the 2 mile marker.
At this point the course is gradually downhill until after the turn onto Grady Street, where the route levels off. The now weary runners will take Grady north to 7th Street where a left turn is made. The route angles to the southwest onto Park Dr. The road then turns back due west for the final straightaway. It is now time for the runners to begin their finishing kicks as the 3 mile marker and the finish line back in Fair Park are finally in sight!