Overall Rating
Overall Rating (190 Reviews)
4.6
(190 Ratings)  (190 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.2
SCENERY
3.7
PRODUCTION
4.7
SWAG
4.5
Named as one of Runner’s World “Bucket List: 10 Great Marathons for First-Timers” in 2017, come fill your bucket at the annual Little Rock Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, and Little Rockers Kids Marathon. A race with personality, loads of southern hospitality, tons of caring volunteers, a running or walking … MORE
Local Historical Weather (Mar 01):
  2024 2023 2022 2021 2020
 
H (°F)  55  74  75  51  62
L (°F)  42  56  39  38  41
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Recent reviews

    Profile photo of Kurt Civilette
    kcivilette FIRST-TIMER '24

    In 2024 the weather was forecast to be unseasonably warm, so kudos to the race team to have the flexibility to move start time from 8am to 6am. It ended … MORE

    In 2024 the weather was forecast to be unseasonably warm, so kudos to the race team to have the flexibility to move start time from 8am to 6am. It ended up being fine. It stayed overcast and never got above 70. I liked the race a lot. There was a hilly section, but it was mostly flat. I like the way it took you by all the main sights, including the capitol, the governor’s mansion, and the Clinton Library. Lots of support and fans along the route. Southern races are fun because spectators will embrace the party atmosphere and put out food and drink for you(sometimes alcoholic drinks that you probably shouldn’t be indulging in the middle of a marathon) like it’s mardi gras!

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    5
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    divefin FIRST-TIMER '24

    The expo and race events are extremely well organized the group really knows what runners want. Crowd support is awesome the city comes out in droves to support the runners. … MORE

    The expo and race events are extremely well organized the group really knows what runners want. Crowd support is awesome the city comes out in droves to support the runners. Oh and the BLING is the most impressive medal 🥇 I have ever got BIG and beautiful.

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    5
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    edgewit FIRST-TIMER '24

    Medal. Like everyone says: It’s huge. And has a really fun, well-crafted design. It’s exactly what you want and the last thing you want hanging around your neck after running … MORE

    Medal. Like everyone says: It’s huge. And has a really fun, well-crafted design. It’s exactly what you want and the last thing you want hanging around your neck after running 26.2 miles. This year’s dinosaur theme saw a massive T-rex, with a smoking volcano and background dinos in a bedrock font.

    Aid Stations/Support. As with all races that start the marathon and half at the same time, there’s that distinct drop off at 13 miles where you realize how spread out everyone has gotten. It’s also in the second half that you experience more of the woodsy side of town (and more of the downhills) with a lot less cheering sections. It’s a nice changeup in the environment for me, but might not be for others. Aid stations were maybe 2ish miles apart and had water, powerade, Gu. One at mile 20 had PB&J that gave me life. Great support and a fun Jurassic Park Photo Op near the Governor’s Mansion.

    Difficulty. Rolling Hills. The website is pretty facetious about them, and from all vantage points, they don’t look like much, but they add up. You’re never climbing any real hills, but my mile 20, they were really breaking the momentum of me and everyone around me. Come mentally prepared. Otherwise, it’s a pretty smooth ride on paved streets the whole way.

    Uniqueness. The medal obvi. But as someone from out of town, the LR Marathon runs past a lot of the sights that are distinctly Little Rock. There’s the Governor’s Mansion, the Capitol Building, and Little Rock Central High School (whose history, if you don’t know, you should learn and stop by the LRCHS Visitor’s Center). You’ll also pass a variety of landscapes that showcase the terrains of Little Rock from downtown, to suburban, to the waterfront, to more woodsy areas. And the bridges! You really get to see the entire city.

    Tip: If you’re from out of town and you can, staying at the host hotel made this hands down the most convenient marathon I’ve ever run. The convention center (where the expo is held) is connected to the hotel, and the start line is right out the backdoor. And if you have a riverside room, you can even watch the events from your window. Don’t get me wrong, I love a trail run in the middle of nowhere as much as the next guy, but sometimes it’s nice to have the hardest part of the race be the race.

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    2
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    5
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    SlowJuan REPEAT RUNNER '24

    Whups, she did it again! Geneva (RD) has delivered yet another epic event. I'm not sure how she'll ever top the 2024 "dinosaur" theme, as hordes of runners descended on … MORE

    Whups, she did it again! Geneva (RD) has delivered yet another epic event. I’m not sure how she’ll ever top the 2024 “dinosaur” theme, as hordes of runners descended on Little Rock dressed in all manner of prehistoric finery; the Flintstones, cavemen (er, sorry, my bad) “people-of-the-cave-persuasion”, inflatable dinosaur suits, triceratops hats, stegosaurus plates, etc. Never seen as much leopard-skin in my entire life! Two of my favorite costumes were at the Mile 11 – Prehistoric Aid Station; a gentleman dressed as Dr. Grant riding an inflatable velociraptor and a lady in a full-body, orange & purple, dilophosaurus outfit. Talk about being committed to the role!
    The race staff had prudently moved the start time up to 6:00 AM in anticipation of humid/hot conditions by late morning, but unexpected cloud cover provided for nearly ideal conditions until well after noon. If you haven’t run the LRM, the racecourse takes you past several of Little Rock’s historic landmarks; across the river through North Little Rock, past the Cardinals’ ballpark, the Governor’s mansion, the Capitol, Central High School (a National Historic Site) and the Arkansas School of the Deaf, home of the Leopards! (Best. Mascot. Name. Ever!!!)
    Don’t let the flat-Earthers tell you that Little Rock isn’t hilly. You really don’t find level ground until Mile 19 with the dreaded out-and-back leg to Mile 23. And you better be ready to gear down and grind out the hill that starts at the Capitol (Mile 15) and doesn’t peak until Mile 17. It’s like an Escher painting gone bad; it just keeps ascending. The aid station at the crest offered water, Gatorade, and tequila shots. One-stop-shop for hydration and pain management. Definitely made rolling down the backside a lot more enjoyable … and fuzzy.
    The Mile 19 station was manned by the LR Parrothead Club, fully decked out in tropical shirts and hats. I must have looked pretty road-weary, as a Jimmy Buffet clone stepped up and asked if I could use a margarita. (Must be some kind of trick question.) I acquiesced and he sent me on my way with a tall, strong, Solo-cup-full of lime-flavored rum. (Just what I needed coming off the tequila shot.) Don’t exactly recall the turn-around point at Mile 21, but someone apparently helped me navigate it and reoriented me back towards the Finish. I passed on the “Lipstick Station” located 100 yards from the Finish Line as I was sure they wouldn’t have anything in their product arsenal that could possibly “save my face” after 26 miles.
    The entire day was just an all-round, well organized, festive event. Loved the triceratops-patterned socks I received from Blue Cross & Blue Shield at the Expo. I sprung for a tie-dyed, marathon hoodie in the swag shop featuring a tyrannosaurus. (RAWR!) And the marathon medals were absolutely the best yet; three pounds of dino-goodness! Thank you, Geneva & Co., for throwing the best 8-hour running party in the nation.

    “‘Ooh, aah!’ That’s how it always starts. But then later, there’s running and screaming.”
    -Dr. Ian Malcolm-

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    Profile photo of David Langer
    chaplanger FIRST-TIMER '24

    The organizational efforts of the Little Rock team were clearly seen in everything from the bib pick up, to the vendor support, to the indoor pre-race waiting area, to the … MORE

    The organizational efforts of the Little Rock team were clearly seen in everything from the bib pick up, to the vendor support, to the indoor pre-race waiting area, to the race itself. The way in which they weave the theme throughout materials, emails, decorations is so awesome! This year the Race Director adjusted the start time to 6:00 a.m. due to anticipated weather issues later in the day. I really appreciated this early start!

    Overall, a great race for me. Running through city neighborhoods on a mostly flat course was easy on the knees. Though crowd support was sparse, neighbors along the way were out and cheering on runners. One group on the route provided cups of micro-brewed beer. Another provided mimosas. A Church group was out providing communion on the run – bread and grape juice, another church was providing refreshments and a gentleman even had a Kleenex box handy for runners to grab a Kleenex! One final group was a neighborhood that decorated the street with dinosaur foot prints and provided refreshments and encouragement.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this one-of-a-kind destination race — and this year’s saucer sized Triceratops half marathon medal received my 2-year-old grandson’s seal of approval!!

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    5
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    KBoatwright FIRST-TIMER '24

    This was my first marathon (and never done a half before), so I don’t have much to compare it to. That said, this was SO MUCH FUN! The metals were … MORE

    This was my first marathon (and never done a half before), so I don’t have much to compare it to. That said, this was SO MUCH FUN! The metals were fabulous and as big as my head, so that was awesome bonus for a first-timer. There were so many fueling stations, spectators and just all the right race workers/ volunteers to keep the good energy flowing. You will want to make sure you don’t neglect hills on your training plan. There were several thrown into the second half – even final two miles – of the race. Nothing too bad though, and would definitely recommend this for first time marathoners! I will hopefully be back again in the future.

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    3
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    5
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    4
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    run27renee FIRST-TIMER '24

    Some hills, but not bad. Run by Central High School and Governor's Mansion. Excellent course support! I forgot to bring food - yes I know- but there was plenty on … MORE

    Some hills, but not bad. Run by Central High School and Governor’s Mansion. Excellent course support! I forgot to bring food – yes I know- but there was plenty on the course so that was amazing.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
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    enigma20 FIRST-TIMER '24

    They boast about having one of the largest finisher medals, and they didn't disappoint. When they placed it around my neck at the finish, I thought it was going to … MORE

    They boast about having one of the largest finisher medals, and they didn’t disappoint. When they placed it around my neck at the finish, I thought it was going to pull me down.
    The expo was at the convention center and was within walking distance of my hotel. It was quick and easy to pick up the race pack. They had all of the usual options as well as some race specific items such as hats, mugs and shot glasses. It was nice to see something different.
    Due to a hot forecast, the race time was moved from 8 am to 6 am. It didn’t get as hot as predicted, but I appreciated the earlier start time. It was very humid, but the temp stayed manageable in the mid 50s most of the time and cloudy.
    The race started behind the convention center. It’s nice that there was a good option to stay out of the elements until start time if the weather had been unfavorable. The lines for the indoor restrooms were long, but there were additional facilities outside. Luckily, I didn’t need to use any of them.
    The half and full marathons started together and were corralled based on predicted finish time. I had to provide a time to be able to get into B. Everything started right on time and the congestion was minimal.
    The course had plenty of fluid stations and was a nice tour of the city and surrounding areas. The areas where the half and full marathoners diverged was well marked. There was no doubt where I needed to go. There are definitely some hills. The total gain wasn’t a lot, but it’s where the hills are that made it challenging. The worst section is miles 15-18. There is an out and back section that seems like it lasts forever before heading back towards town.
    The finish had beer, chocolate milk, water in a reusable bottle and a few food options. They were offering pasta, but there was no way I would be able to eat that after a marathon.
    As stated before, the medal was huge and on theme. It dwarfs the rest of my medals. If you hang it, make sure you hit a stud on the wall. The shirt was nice as well.
    One thing that I appreciated was a nice place for spectators to wait. There were some breakfast options available nearby and they were able to wait inside the convention center until close to my anticipated finish time.
    Overall, it was a well done race.

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    ihaveabshere FIRST-TIMER '24

    Leading up to this race my expectations were high. I read that this was the best race in Arkansas and one of the best races in the US. Disappointed in … MORE

    Leading up to this race my expectations were high. I read that this was the best race in Arkansas and one of the best races in the US. Disappointed in the expo and communication on where to go on that. Dinosaur theme was weird to me. Was annoyed that the race was pushed up 2 hours because of “warm weather” but that actually worked out for me, so I could get back to my hotel and shower before I left town. Race day was good, I was in corral C and started the race right at 6, so that was a pleasant surprise. Other races I have done, never started on time and each corral took forever to start. The course was hilly, but not too crazy. The downtown scenery was nice and the transition to outside the city was interesting. There were lots of official and unofficial aid stations, providing water, booze, and snacks. The crowd support was awesome throughout the course. Very few areas with no support. Was annoyed by the two hills in the last two miles, but overall impressed myself with my time. Post race, lots of food and activities for the runner, but I left to meet up with family. Got my overly large medal and went home!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
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    4
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    5
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    pablopelos REPEAT RUNNER '24

    Best swag and greatest medal around, course is a little hilly but nothing too steep. Crowd support is outstanding. Will run this race again if only for the huge medals! MORE

    Best swag and greatest medal around, course is a little hilly but nothing too steep. Crowd support is outstanding. Will run this race again if only for the huge medals!

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    lindamartinez1 FIRST-TIMER '24

    I decided to do this race because of all the hype. Well the hype was real. The production is really organized. The shirt and medal are superb and I just … MORE

    I decided to do this race because of all the hype. Well the hype was real. The production is really organized. The shirt and medal are superb and I just love how we all started at the same time, no waiting around.
    I signed up and was terrified to find out about the course. I saw the elevation map and decided to add hills to my training. Still worried about the course map I decided to add 10 additional minutes to my goal time. The race has many pacers. So I decided to run with one of them and it was the best thing to do. My pacer kept me going and I guided me through the hills. When the hills were over around mile 19 I decided to take off and finished strong and I beat my goal time. Ladies do not forget to pick up your lipstick on mile 26!

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    GwenWest FIRST-TIMER '24

    This was a nice race. COMMUNICATION from the race team was good. The theme this year was dinosaurs, which I wasn't crazy about, but the production team did a nice … MORE

    This was a nice race. COMMUNICATION from the race team was good. The theme this year was dinosaurs, which I wasn’t crazy about, but the production team did a nice job setting the theme for the expo, a water stop and the after party.
    The MEDAL was very nice (though again, dinosaurs).
    The COURSE was hillier than I expected from the elevation map but wasn’t too challenging. I was surprised at how few water stops there were. There was one really big one that was decorated with the theme that was a lot of fun. There were also unofficial stops that had beer and mimosas which I thought was pretty cool. I was really glad I brought my own water.
    The WEATHER was absolutely perfect. It was upper 50s, cloudy, and a super light drizzle. Pre-race and after race are in the convention center which I’ve never had at a race before but liked it. Plenty of port-a-johns pre, after and during. It was nice to use a real bathroom in the convention center.
    The EXPO was good sized and had merch that you could buy if you forgot anything.
    AFTER PARTY was ok. They gave water away in a re-usable water bottle which I thought was nice. They had a plastic bag you could grab with a banana, and had a bunch of drinks you could grab. Pasta was the food they gave away. They did have beer you could grab in the food line but no “beer tent” where you or family could buy more. Overall a nice race. We really liked Little Rock too. It was a nice clean city, and everyone was super friendly.

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    kgladfelter FIRST-TIMER '24

    anticipated weather to approach high 70's they moved start time and cordinated this perfectly. Great attmoshere, with very enthusiastic runners. Local involvement was amazing. weather ended up perfect but glad … MORE

    anticipated weather to approach high 70’s they moved start time and cordinated this perfectly. Great attmoshere, with very enthusiastic runners. Local involvement was amazing. weather ended up perfect but glad they started at 6. Few hills made the course somewhat challenging however surprised it was only 550′ total incline. The swag including the large medal was amzing. production and support were very good. Strongly recommend running this race at least once.

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    mgavinellison1 FIRST-TIMER '24

    This race was COMPLETELY sold out in every event, and I know why. It is a very organized race! The communication is top tier, and everyone knows the medals are … MORE

    This race was COMPLETELY sold out in every event, and I know why. It is a very organized race! The communication is top tier, and everyone knows the medals are HUGE especially if you are chasing this bling. If you have not ran this race, do it. Hotels in the area are close by and are in walking distance, so you don’t get into the Marriott, do fret. Also, most of the hotel offer shuttles to and from the airport.

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    chrispstaunton FIRST-TIMER '24

    Overall, I loved this race, I thought it was really well done and the city of Little Rock did a great job of putting it together. The city of Little … MORE

    Overall, I loved this race, I thought it was really well done and the city of Little Rock did a great job of putting it together.

    The city of Little Rock has a very nice downtown area. Lots of hotels to stay at if you didn’t want to stay at the host hotel. I stayed less than half a mile from the race start. Good restaurants, the Presidential library and a few other things to do. Note: If you want to eat dinner ahead of the race at Bruno’s then get in line early! Huge line to get into the popular place on Saturday.

    Packet pickup and the fitness expo were spot on. Lots of vendors and booths to check out. Easy in and easy out for grabbing your packet. They were also giving away protein powder. As much as you could carry, some people were walking out with cases of it!

    Race day was simple and easy. Back to the expo location and thru the back door to the race start. The race was moved up to 6am from 8am due to the heat and humidity. The race crew handled that without a hitch. Emails well in advance, signs everywhere, people verbally telling you. They got the communication right!

    The race was not terribly hard. You first headed north across the Arkansas river across the bridge, loop and then back to the South shore. From there thru downtown to the East, back again, and through lots of different neighborhoods. You run past the Governor’s Mansion and a few other sites. I was hoping to go past the Capitol, but I think the Full did.

    Overall, the team put on a great race for us and made it fun and exciting. Lots of attendees and lots of crowds along the way to help pump up the running. I would definitely do this one again!

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    tsfinn23 FIRST-TIMER '24

    Very well run race - excellent logistics, especially if you stay at the host hotel. Volunteers are amazing and they do a great job on course making sure runners are … MORE

    Very well run race – excellent logistics, especially if you stay at the host hotel. Volunteers are amazing and they do a great job on course making sure runners are protected from traffic. Pockets of supporters as you would expect. The organizers were amazing in adjusting the start up to 6 am to protect us from the heat.

    The course was tough (I won’t forget you Hillcrest). Maybe it was the humidity and the hills combined – either way, I thought it was tough. Definitely not a PR course.

    The medal is as advertised and the post race food was really good.

    In all, a nice day experiencing Little Rock. I would definitely recommend,

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    carlson1128 FIRST-TIMER '24

    The music to begin and end was on point. Crowd support throughout was pretty good too. One of the churches even had run through communion available. Didn’t have a gel/goo … MORE

    The music to begin and end was on point. Crowd support throughout was pretty good too. One of the churches even had run through communion available. Didn’t have a gel/goo station but other than that the on course support was great. This would be a race that I’d do again.

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    samderusso FIRST-TIMER '24

    I loved this race! The race production is outstanding. You start and finish from the convention center so you can stay or get warm quickly. Everything was SO smooth. The … MORE

    I loved this race! The race production is outstanding. You start and finish from the convention center so you can stay or get warm quickly. Everything was SO smooth. The expo was fantastic and full of goodies. Gear check was smooth and easy. Everyone was SO nice and Little Rock was a fantastic little town. We really enjoyed exploring — take a trip to hot springs too if you can! (Soak in the baths for recovery there!).
    The course was great. It wasn’t too hilly at all and let you see a good chunk of the city. My favorite part was just before the finish, ladies hand you lipstick so you can glam up for the finish photo. Such a cute idea!! I loved this race, absolute 10/10 and truly a very well oiled machine. There’s plenty of hotels in the area as well within a short walking distance to the start line.

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    pablopelos FIRST-TIMER '24

    Nice and cool, one water station, great crowd, orderly start, fun run, decent spectators and very friendly police officers along the route. Will most likely repeat next year. MORE

    Nice and cool, one water station, great crowd, orderly start, fun run, decent spectators and very friendly police officers along the route. Will most likely repeat next year.

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    fancypants REPEAT RUNNER '23

    I’ve done the marathon 3x and the half 1x. I do it for the medal - my favorite! Best medal out there! It’s a hilly course with great crowd support. … MORE

    I’ve done the marathon 3x and the half 1x. I do it for the medal – my favorite! Best medal out there! It’s a hilly course with great crowd support. The weather can be sleeting/snowing or sunny and 70. It’s a surprise!

    DIFFICULTY
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