Annual Festival Brings Runners from 31 States

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The 3rd annual Bentonville Running Festival will bring thousands of people to the city’s square Saturday morning (April 6).

It has a little something for everyone one and aims to benefit the whole community. Originally the run was created by the Bentonville Convention and Visitors Bureau, to bring visitors and their cash to town.

"Our role is promoting the event because our goal is to bring people in from outside of the area to sleep in our hotels and eat in our restaurants so we created a destination event to do that to bring those people in from out of town," said Blair Cromwell, with the visitors burea.

Cromwell says they expect more than 3,000 this year

Tim Farmer with Bentonville’s Parks and Recreation Department says they have a race and distance for every age and skill level.

“There's a half marathon, there's a two person half marathon relay, there's a 5k and a 1k fun run for the kids and adults," Farmer said.

Proceeds from the running festival help the Parks and Recreation Department pay for numerous events throughout the year.

"Easter orchards, summer concert series, First Friday flicks and a few other programs," he said.

There wouldn't be a running festival without runners. This year Chris Knight will tackle his first half marathon along with his wife, Caitlin.

"It was my idea,” Caitlin said. “I'm the one that's always wanted to run a half marathon and I kinda rooked him in to it. We had a training group with our church that said if you want to start running that they would start training and so I thought that was the perfect chance to find a group to support us."

Knight says he and his wife have been training for months.
"The last mile is gonna be brutal,” he said. “It’s all uphill and so as long as I can make it without falling over dead, I think I’ll be good to go."

The race starts on the Bentonville Square at 7 a.m. Runners will come from at least 31 states to participate in the event.

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