During the month of March, you should fill out your March Madness bracket, beware the Ides of March, wear green on St. Patrick’s Day, relax during Spring Break, and participate in the Spring Fling 5k. Did I miss anything in March?
The Cabot Country Cruisers will put on the race on Saturday, March 23, 2013, at 8 a.m. for the twenty-third time. It’s the sixth Arkansas Grand Prix race and a good tune-up for the Capital City Classic 10k, which is two weeks later.
New race director, Nathan Castle was gracious enough to talk with me about the race and running in Arkansas.
[Nicholas] How did you get into running?
[Nathan] Athletics is big in Australia and I enjoyed it as a kid. I got out of it when I moved to the states. I started running again for a girl, which turned out pretty well, since I ended up marrying her. She got me involved with the running community in central Arkansas. Judy and Frank Massingill inspired my passion. I enjoyed all the people I met. That’s what kept me going.
[Nicholas] What was your first race?
[Nathan] Soaring Wings Half Marathon was my first race. I had a lot of fun with it. I was training for a full at the time. Being around the Grand Prix guys, they said it would be a good training run. It’s my favorite race I’ve ever done.
[Nathan] How did you become the RD for the Spring Fling 5K?
[Nathan] I’m getting to the point in my life where I’m looking for fulfillment. I’ve been looking for a way to give back. I’ve been bugging Annette about helping out. This year while we were doing the Inspiration Run she casually said I have a job for you, if I want it, and I said, “Sure anything you want.” I want you to be the RD for the Spring Fling. Okay, cool. I’m super happy to be doing it. I’m really trying to be involved in the running community even though I don’t run a lot of races. I do love the running community and the people in it.
[Nicholas] What’s the course like?
[Nathan] The trickiest part is coming down to the finish. The entry into the stadium is a tough part. The course is fairly flat. One reoccurring theme is it’s almost always drizzly or rainy either the day of or before.
[Nicholas] How many aid stations are there?
[Nathan] There is one aid station, but you pass it twice. The Go! Go! Girls will be there.
[Nicholas] Anything different this year as opposed to last year?
[Nathan] The Cabot community will be there to support as usual. We are changing up the awards a little bit. The focus will be the same. We will have a race just for the teachers. That is something new.
[Nicholas] Does the race benefit a charity or non-profit organization?
[Nathan] The race bonded with Cabot Public School District. The partnership is mutually beneficial to everyone. The support from the school district is great! We are almost inseparable now. We really enjoy working hand in hand with them.
[Nicholas] What are your goals for the race?
[Nathan] Focusing on getting the community more involved and embracing the race. The mayor and community leaders will bring more attention to it. I want people to notice the race and see the benefit it has on the city.
[Nicholas] How many people typically participate in the race?
[Nathan] A little over 300 people do it every year.
[Nicholas] How can someone register for the race?
[Nicholas] If you could say one thing about this race to convince someone to do it, what would it be?
[Nathan] It’s a great race for the community and we welcome everyone to come to run the race. The Cabot Cruisers are what makes this race great.
The Cabot Country Cruisers are a special club. After profiling them in February, I hope others have realized they are more than a running club. The Spring Fling is yet another way they give back to their community. The proceeds benefit the PE4Life Fund.
By participating in the Spring Fling 5k, you help them in their efforts to make Cabot a better place. Bring the kids, as there is a 1k fun run they can do. You may not like running, but between the cause, people, and post-race food, you will kick yourself if you’re not participating in the race. After talking with Brenda Ransom, Volunteer Coordinator, they have plenty of volunteers. That means you can come out and cheer, if nothing else. Last I heard registration was approaching 400 for the 5k and 100 for the 1k. It’s going to be lots of fun!
If you are unable to make it to the race, for whatever reason, consider being a Spirit Runner. No running is required and your donation will be put to good use. If you’re in luck, you may be able to score one of those famous t-shirts the Cruisers are known for.
For more information, visit the Spring Fling 5k website or contact Nathan Castle via e-mail or phone at 501-837-3921. If you need help on race day, look for the brightly colored shirts the Cruisers will be wearing. I saw the shirts. You won’t have any trouble finding them.
Special note: After the race, Go! Running will host John McDonnell, in the store for the only Little Rock book signing of his new book, John McDonnell: The Most Successful Coach in NCAA History. I recommend you pre-order a copy to guarantee yours. If you have time, drop by the store to meet the legend from noon to 4 p.m.