Spa Running Festival

Sat November 13, 2021 Hot Springs, AR 71901 US Directions
Frequently Asked Questions:
  1. When?
    All races will be held on Saturday, November 13, 2021. 

  2. Start times?
    Summit 2 Summit Half Marathon – 7:00 am
    Spa Running Festival 10K – 7:45 am
    Spa Running Festival 5K  – 8:00 am
    Spa Squirt Race – 11:00 am

  3. Where?
    The races will start/finish on Convention Boulevard in front of the Embassy Suites Hotel, address 134 Convention Blvd, Hot Springs, 71901.

  4. How far are the races?
    The half marathon is 13.1 miles. This is approximately half of the distance traveled by Pheidippides, a Greek messenger, who was sent from the battlefield of Marathon (get it?) to Athens to announce that the Persians had been defeated. Legend holds that he ran the entire distance without stopping and burst into the assembly, exclaiming "WE HAVE WΟN" before collapsing and dying. Please do not exclaim “WE HAVE WΟN” nor collapse upon crossing the finish line of the half marathon.

    The 10K is obviously 10 kilometers. For the metric system-challenged, that’s a wee bit more than 6.2 miles.

    The 5K is half the distance of the 10K. That’s 5 kilometers – a wee bit more than 3.1 miles.

  5. Are the courses certified?
    The 10K course is USAT&F certified, #AR13022DLP, and sanctioned.
    The Summit 2 Summit course is USAT&F Certified, #AR18027WJT and sanctioned.
    The 5K is not certified.

  6. Is there a time limit or an age requirement for the half marathon?
    There is a 4 hour time limit (7:00 – 11:00 am) so participants must maintain at least an 18:00 minute per mile pace to meet the time limit.  If you have not completed the course within this time, you will be moved to the sidewalk to complete the course. This is for your own safety and security on race day. 

    Also, you must be 13 years old to compete without an accompanying participating adult. 

  7. Do you allow race-day registration and packet pick-up?
    Sure.  We’re not snobby like that.

  8. Do you mail out packets or shirts?
    No, we do not mail out packets.  We are snobby like that.

  9. Do you allow refunds or transfers?
    We do not allow refunds or defer registrations to future years; however, participants can make changes to the race information, such as DOB, email address, phone number, etc. and can transfer to another event or to another runner through the Edit Registration tab which you will find on our website – .

    Through the Edit Registration tab, registered participants will be able to:
    • View or edit your registration by clicking the Participant Information tab
    • Edit your shirt size by clicking the Giveaway tab. All changes must be done by October 1.
    • Transfer to another event by clicking the Transfer Event tab. Transfers must be done by November 7.
    •Transfer to another runner by clicking the Transfer to Another Runner tab, must be done by November 7.

    For "How To" information click here. 

    NOTE: In order to protect our participants and insure a safe event, each individual participating in this event must be officially registered under his or her own name with accurate personal information.  Failure to do so will void the registration and prohibit participation.  Registration entries and race numbers cannot be transferred to another person under any circumstances.  Registration fees are non-refundable in all cases regardless of inability to participate or event cancellation.  The race director reserves the right to cancel the event because of weather, natural disaster or other unforeseen circumstances which pose a significant danger to the participants.

  10. Will there be an EXPO?
    Yes, we have an Expo at the Hot Springs Convention Center, Exhibit Hall D from 12:00 - 7:00 pm so allow some extra time to shop for your latest running gear or last minute race needs; plus several of our sponsors will be there. 

  11. How is the race timed?
    You will be given a custom IPICO shoe tag.  The tag will be numbered to match your bib number.  The tag has 4 holes for ties and makes it easy to affix to your shoe. The running shoe tags are waterproof and crushproof and are customized with the Spa Running Festival logo so alleviates the need for tag collection post-race. 
  12. What is prohibited…….can I wear headphones, bring my dog, roller skate, or push a stroller?

    While for safety reasons we discourage the use of earbuds and headphones, we do not impose a ban on such devices. Always be aware of runners coming up behind you and the inherent danger of running in the presence of vehicular traffic.  Animals are not allowed on the course unless they are assisting visually impaired participants. To ensure runner safety and to comply with liability insurance requirements, unregistered runners, unauthorized vehicles, bicycles, skateboards, in-line roller skates, baby wraps, baby joggers or strollers are strictly prohibited on the course. Any type of unauthorized support or pacing will not be allowed including, but not limited to from a car/vehicle (fluid bottles, splits, etc.) as such support would be considered an unfair advantage. Breaking these rules will result in ejection/disqualification from the race.   

  13. Where is the best place for family and friends to cheer?
    Due to local programming and contractual restrictions, the event will not be televised - so watching from the comfort of your living room is not an option.  The Start/Finish Line (near the Embassy Suites Hotel) or anywhere along the route on Convention Blvd is a good place to watch and cheer all 3 events.

  14. Is the 10K course hilly?
    Really?  It goes over a mountain, 2 miles to be exact; but you have recovery stretches between each hill and the last section is 1/2 mile all down hill.

  15. Is the half marathon course hilly?
    Yes. It is even more hilly than the 10k. It goes over two mountains, Hot Springs Mountain/North Mountain and West Mountain and you will be going to the Summit on each mountain. View the Course Maps with elevation charts on the Race Info tab of the homepage.

  16. Do you have a gear check area?
    Yes. It’s called ‘your car’.  Parking is so convenient that a gear check is not needed.

  17. What time does the Spa Squirt start?
    The Spa Squirt starts at 11:00 a.m.

    Do the kids run all together in one race? No, the kids will be grouped in the following age groups: 2-4, 5-6, 7-8 & 9-10.  The 9-10 age group will run the 1-mile distance (1/2 mile down and back on Convention Blvd.) and, subsequently each group’s distance will be shortened according to the age. 

    The Spa Squirt starting line is located in front of the Embassy Suites at 400 Convention Blvd.

    Awards are given to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishers for both boys and girls in each age group and given at the finish line.
  18. Awards and Location of Award Ceremony?
    The Award ceremony is close to the Finish Line area – walk right into Embassy Suites Hotel and Spa and all Award Ceremonies will be in the Grand Salon Meeting Room. As you enter Embassy Suites, walk straight back through the Atrium and you are at the Grand Salon.  

    * 5K Awards at 9:00 am
    * 10K Awards at 9:45 am 
    * Half Marathon at 10:30 am.

    Awards are given to the top 3 finishers for each gender for the Half Marathon, 10K and 5K Run/Walk for each age group, as well as Overall, Masters (40+), Grand Masters (50+) and Senior (60+) divisions.  The exception is the Half Marathon goes up to 70+ age group for both genders.

    All finishers in each event will receive a commemorative medal when they cross the finishing line.

  19. Will there be a medical tent?
    Yes, there will be a medical tent at the finish line and we have 2 ambulances thanks to our friends at LifeNet.  One ambulance is stationed at the Finish Line and the 2nd one is positioned off Prospect Avenue.

  20. Where will aid stations be located?
    5K:  Aid Station at approximately 1.5 mile.  
    10K: Aid Stations will be at 1.5 (water only), 2.2, 4.2 and 5 miles.
    Half Marathon: Aid Stations at mile 1.4, 3.4, 4.2, 5, 7, 8.6, 11 and 11.8. 
  21. Is there a sports drink at the aid stations?
    Yes, there will be water and Gatorade for the 10K and Half Marathon Aid Stations.

  22. Where can I park on the day of the race?
    Unless this race is way more popular than anticipated, there is ample parking in the Convention Center parking lot which is across the street (Convention Blvd.) from the Embassy Suites. You can also park behind the Convention Center and walk down Laurel Street (between Convention Center and Embassy Suites) and you are right at the entrance of the Bank of the Ozarks Arena. 

  23. Directions to the event?
    From 1-30: Coming from the northeast – exit 1-30 onto US 70W (exit 111). Take US 70 (E Grand Ave.) – 20 miles into Hot Springs and turn right onto Convention Blvd. The parking lots will be on the right. 

    Coming from the southwest: exit 1-30 onto US 270 (exit 98B). Take US 270 (Malvern Ave.) – 18 miles into Hot Springs and turn right onto Convention Blvd. 

    NOTE:  Convention Blvd. will be closed after 6:00 am so go past Convention Blvd. and turn right on Spring Street; then turn right on Palm Street. This will bring you to the 2 parking lots across from Embassy Suites.     

  24. Where can I park for packet pickup?
    There is ample parking in the Convention Center parking lot which is across the street (Convention Blvd.) from the Embassy Suites. You can also park behind the Convention Center and walk down Laurel Street (between Convention Center and Embassy Suites) and you are right at the entrance of the Bank of OZK Arena 

  25. Is there a host hotel?
    We have 3 host hotels, Arlington Resort Hotel and Spa, Embassy Suites and Hotel Hot Springs – for more information go to to view information.   

  26. Landmarks? 

    You’ll be running thru the middle of a National Park – of course there are landmarks. The 10k course goes down Central Avenue in front of Bathhouse Row. It takes you by the famed Arlington Hotel.  Around Whittington Park.  Up and over West Mountain where you can enjoy the fall foliage.  The course also goes into the historic district of the city.  You will be on the same ground where legends have walked …. President Roosevelt, Babe Ruth, Bugsy Malone, Dick Gladden.

    Half – add a trip up to the summit of West Mountain where you can see the duck (wink, wink for the older Hot Springs generation).  And then you get to go back up to the summit of West Mountain for a second look.

  27. What is the average weather on race day?
    Does it really matter?  Just walk outside the morning of the race.  If it’s warm, wear short sleeves.  If it’s cold, wear gloves.  If it’s raining – well, you’ll get wet. Avg. High: 62°F Avg. Low: 40°F Record High: 77°F Record Low: 23°F 

  28. What other things are there to do in Hot Springs over race weekend?
    If you think the race events aren’t enough, you can learn about other events by contacting the Convention and Visitors Bureau of Hot Springs (1-800-SPA-CITY) or visit their website

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