Locals to resurrect Gulley Park Cow Paddy Run

If you lived in Fayetteville during the 90s, you might remember a 5K race called the Cow Paddy Run, held annually from about 1989-2000 at Gulley Park.

After about a 10-year hiatus, the race is being resurrected by recent University of Arkansas graduate Max Mahler and student Ben Putman.

The two decided to bring back the Cow Paddy Run (fittingly) while out on a run together recently.

“We were out running, and we were talking about putting on a race,” Mahler said. “The Cow Paddy Run was the first race Ben and I did as kids, so we decided we wanted to bring it back.”

Mahler and Putman contacted Wade Colwell, the man who started original race, to see how he felt about someone resurrecting it. Colwell loved the idea.

“I think it’s wonderful,” Colwell said. “I’m honored that the event had an impact on them as kids, and I’m thrilled they’re bringing it back.”


The Cow Paddy Run originated as an annual fundraiser for amenities at Gulley Park, and Mahler said he wanted to continue the philanthropical aspect of the race this year.

“We decided on the Fayetteville Public Education Foundation,” Mahler said. “Both of us went all the way through the Fayetteville school system. We wanted to give back to the system that helped bring us up.”

The race will take place on April 22 (which is also Earth Day) at 6 p.m. There are two courses (a 5K, and a one-mile course) and custom-made trophies will be awarded for the top three finishers in each of the age categories, as well as for the top three overall finishers.

Mahler said about 100 people have registered for the race so far this year, but there is room for plenty more.

“We need enough people to give all these great trophies away to,” he said.

Gulley Park Cow Paddy Run

When:April 22, 6 p.m.
Where: Gulley Park
Cost: $15 for one mile run, $25 for the 5K
More: cowpaddyrun.com