Fayetteville launches racing series along public trails

The Fayetteville Parks and Recreation Department will dip its toes into the world of racing with a series of events beginning later this summer.

The Fayetteville Race Series will consist of several annual events that vary between running, cycling, and multisport activities.

First up is the children’s “Splash & Dash” event which combines swimming at the Wilson Park pool and running along the nearby trail system. Other events include races from the Bentonville square to the Fayetteville square, runs between select Fayetteville parks, a trail run at Mount Kessler, and a ladies-only duathlon at Lake Fayetteville.

“Our program will mark the inaugural establishment of what we hope will become an annual tradition for our community and the surrounding area,” said Tiffany Gaulke, recreation program manager. “In offering such a wide variety of activities, our goal is to inspire people to become more physically active and to further utilize and advocate for the gems we are lucky to call our parks and trails.”

Registration is now open for the first event. Registration information and dates for other events are listed at the series website.

Officials are currently seeking sponsors for each event. Volunteer opportunities will be announced soon.

For more information, visit fayetteville-ar.gov or call the Parks and Recreation Department at 479-444-3471 or 479-444-3463.

Splash & Dash

Who: Children ages 7-15
What: A short swim at the Wilson Park pool, followed by a short run along the city’s trail system.
When: 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 14, 2015
Where: Wilson Park pool, city trails
Details: Participants will be assigned a starting wave and waves will start every 10 minutes. Wave assignments will be based on participant age on day of race. Awards will be given to the Overall Boy, Overall Girl, and Top Finisher for each age. T-shirts and certificates will be provided to all competitors. Age groups are as follows:
7-8 years old : Swim 80 yards / Run a 1/2 mile
9-10 years old: Swim 120 yards / Run a 1/2 mile
11-12 years old: Swim 160 yards / Run 1 mile
13-15 years old: Swim 200 yards / Run 1 mile

Register Online: www.onlinesignup.org/fayetteville (Available June 1)

Square to Square Bike Ride (Bentonville to Fayetteville)

Who: All ages
What: A 30-mile ride along the Razorback Greenway followed by post-ride festivities that include live music, local food, and family-friendly activities. The biannual event will alternate between starting cities.
When: 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015
Where: Bentonville Square, Fayetteville Square, Razorback Greenway
Details: This ride requires pre-registration which includes a bicycle friendly backpack upon completion. Shuttles will be available from Fayetteville to the start in Bentonville before and after the ride. Post-ride shuttles will also include a drop-off in Springdale. Kids in tow or under the age of 8 do not need to register. Youth pricing is for 9-13 years old. Adult pricing is for those 14 years and older. Event T-shirts will be available for purchase at the finish line or in advance during the registration process.

Register Online: www.onlinesignup.org/fayetteville (Available June 12)

Run for the Parks!

Who: All ages
What: Races from select Fayetteville parks to Walker Park via the city’s trail system
When: 8 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015
Where: Lake Fayetteville, Gordon Long Park, Wilson Park, Walker Park, city trails
Details: The Long Race (8.5 miles) starts at Lake Fayetteville, the Medium Race (4.5 miles) starts at Gordon Long Park, and the Short Race (2.5 miles) starts at Wilson Park. Start times will vary per distance and shuttles back to starts will be available after the event.

Register Online: www.onlinesignup.org/fayetteville (Available Aug. 1)

Frozen Toes Trail Run

Who: All ages
What: A 15k trail run along the Mount Kessler trail system
When: 8 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016
Where: Mount Kessler trails
Register Online: www.onlinesignup.org/fayetteville (Available Oct. 1)

Ladies Du Fayetteville

Who: Ladies only
What: A duathlon (run/ride/run) around Lake Fayetteville.
When: 8 a.m. Sunday, May 22, 2016
Where: Lake Fayetteville Trail
Details: The runs will be 2 miles each and the bike will be 11 miles.
Register Online: www.onlinesignup.org/fayetteville (Available Dec. 1)

Other future events

May 14, 2016 – Square to Square Bike Ride (Fayetteville to Bentonville)
Aug. 12, 2016 – Splash and Dash
Sept. 10, 2016 – Square to Square Bike Ride (Bentonville to Fayetteville)
Nov. 20, 2016 – Run for the Parks!