FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) – Runners from all walks of life made their way to Fayetteville Sunday (March. 29) to participate in the annual Hogeye Marathon.
“I`ve lived in Northwest Arkansas for a long time, but never done the hog eye. So I am excited about it,” said Dan Carson, a runner who dressed up as Superman for the race.
Others, like Jennifer McGarrity, said they were giving the run a second try.
“It killed me last year, so this year I am going to try and do better,” McGarrity said.
Also participating in the event were many special needs runners, and their mentors.
Russellville’s Kaitlin Bounds said autism wasn’t enough to stop her from completing the marathon.
“I am so excited; this is the best thing that has ever happened to me. [The course] was a bit more hilly than I expected, but I am used to running on hills,” Bounds said. “I have done a hill climber, but this is the most hills I’ve ever done.”
Bounds said she had to undergo unique training to prepare for all the hills in Fayetteville.
“I had to do some biking to get my legs to unlock, because I locked up last race, and it kind of cost me a little bit,” Bounds said.
“We ran pretty regularly, and the students would run,” said Hobe Runion, a running mentor for some Special Olympics athletes. “ We are runners, so we run several times a week.”
Runion says the day was all about helping those students accomplish a goal.
“[We want] to motivate the kids. To help them accomplish something,” Runion said. “These Special Olympics athletes, they normally wouldn`t be able to accomplish this, there`s not too many of them that can say they ran a marathon.”
Monica McKinny says the energy was around both before, and after, the race.
“They [were] way excited, we are very excited, we are all excited,” McKinny said. “We think it is a great opportunity. It is absolutely sheer joy, and excitement.”
Runners of all ages, experience levels, and sizes were also on the course.
New York’s Vince Ferraro said this was his second marathon in Arkansas.
“I have completed at least one marathon in all 50 states,” Ferraro said. “This is my second one in Arkansas. I am running around all the states another time.”
Ferrero said cooler temperatures were welcomed, compared to the snow he had been training in at home.
“I still have a foot of snow in my front lawn, and a week ago It was zero degrees,” Ferraro said. “So, I came down to the tropics.”
Ferraro said beating the competition wasn’t his main goal, and time wasn’t a motivator.
Simply crossing the finish line was all he desired.
“I’m 68 years old,” Ferraro said. “The idea is to cross the finish line standing up under my own power.”