Fayetteville is very cool! Our primary draw to this area was to attend the US Trail Running Conference and participate in the Spartan Trail US championship races. But there’s so much more.
We camped at a new campground, Hog Valley RV & Treehouse Resort, just 10 minutes from downtown Fayetteville, which gave us easy access to the University of Arkansas, a great downtown area, and Kessler Mountain Regional Park, which is well known for its hiking and biking trails. Kessler Mountain Park is where we started.
We hadn’t been here an hour before we set out on the trails to explore where our races would be held the following weekend. The fall colors made for a spectacular hike. And check out those bike trails! We are certainly not in Prescott anymore!
We had a few good days during the week in which to explore Fayetteville, and we took in some live music at George’s Majestic Lounge, which seems to be the place in town. In the process we discovered a great new band, The Arcadian Wild. Check them out!
Then the rain began. It rained and blew and turned cold for three days. We enjoyed one day in the trailer just listening to the rain, reading, and hanging out.
By the second day we were ready to explore. Despite the weather we headed up to Bentonville where we visited last year. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is one of the most incredible art museums we’ve ever seen, and a rainy day was the perfect invitation to explore it again.
Luckily, the bad weather cleared for the weekend and our race activities. On Saturday we attended a conference for trail runners, which provided us with some new perspectives about the sport.
The big event was Sunday morning which greeted us with clear skies and cool but tolerable weather. I ran the 10K and while I wasn’t fast, I wasn’t last. It feels good to be able to take on challenges like this again after two foot surgeries last year.
Steve took on the challenge of the 50K, which is about 31 miles of running on trails. He’s done one race like this before, the Whiskey Basin Trail Run in Prescott which is 54 miles.
Still, the Arkansas hills, with many rocks, roots, and wet leaves proved to be a challenging event. He finished the course in about 7 1/2 hours and only suffered a skinned knee and some sore muscles. Now Arkansas is counted as another state where he’s finished a marathon or more. Only 27 more states to go! Next up is a marathon in Florida in a few weeks!