Student crosses finish line at Little Rock Marathon
“To get an idea of how large it was, it took us 20 minutes to cross the start line to get going,” said Andrew Hall, a senior student at UALR majoring in mass communications, and a competitor in the 2013 Little Rock Marathon.
Hall was one of more than about 10,000 people participating in either the marathon, half marathon or 10 kilometer run March 3 in downtown Little Rock.
“It was almost 8:21 [a.m.] whenever we passed the start line. So there were 20 minutes of people standing to go before we even got to the start,” Hall said.
Hall said his family members encouraged him to participate in the annual event in which thousands of runners from all 50 states and several different countries around the world descend on Little Rock to compete in the 26.2 mile run.
“I have three older sisters,” Hall said. “They are all avid runners and they kind of urged me to do it.”
Hall said this was his first marathon run, but he’s had some experience running in the form of 5k (3.1 miles) races before deciding to run in the marathon.
“I had done little 5k’s here and there, but nothing as serious as a marathon,” he said. “But then, I discovered that endurance sports are kind of what I enjoy and like to do.”
Hall said the atmosphere was unlike anything he’s ever experienced before.
“The spectators were great. You would go 200 feet before you’d see someone else clapping or yelling for you. It was super supportive.”
“Everyone was there, you know, just encouraging and it was a really good time.”
Hall ran in what is classified as the open corral, a slot reserved for runners expecting to finish the race in four hours or longer.
“I really didn’t have a goal in mind for time, I just wanted to finish because I had- never before that- never really ran for more than like 11 or 12 miles at a time,” he said.
Hall crossed the finish line after five hours, 19 minutes and 57 seconds- good enough for a 1600th-place finish. The overall winner of the marathon was Mark Chepses, a native of Kenya, who finished the marathon in two hours, 19 minutes and 45 seconds.
“This year I kind of put running to the wayside because I’m an avid cyclist, so I didn’t run as much as I should have,” he said.
Hall said he intends to train harder for next year and go for a faster time. He said he’s also looking forward to getting back to cycling regularly and will explore competing in a triathlon.