Ed Anson, professor of history at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, is doing double duty this weekend by participating in the Little Rock Marathon 5k and half marathon races.
To promote fitness and health among students and employees, UA Little Rock is helping to sponsor 98 Little Rock Marathon runners in the 5k, 10k, half marathon and marathon categories. They’ll be wearing new maroon UA Little Rock t-shirts.
This will be the 12th year Anson, 71, of Little Rock, will participate in the half marathon. He hails from Brooklyn, New York, but claims Little Rock as his hometown since “I’ve lived here roughly eight times longer than I’ve lived anywhere else in my life.”
Anson is an avid runner who runs with his wife, Jeanne, and a group of friends every Saturday. He’s taking up the 5k as well as the half marathon so he doesn’t get left out of the excitement.
“My wife used to be the CEO of the National Center for Toxicology Research in Jefferson, Arkansas, so I run with a bunch of microbiologists,” he said. “I’ll be running the 5K on Sunday so I can compete with my wife and all my friends who are doing the 5K.”
To prepare for the half marathon, Anson runs two miles four days a week and runs four to eight miles on Saturdays. This past Saturday, he ran 10 miles.
Anson is hoping for sunny weather in the 40s (his self-described perfect running weather) this weekend, but acknowledges he is unlikely to get it.
“My goal for this year’s race is to finish in the top half. That’s my goal for every year,” he said. “I just hope it’s not going to rain or sleet as it has in the past. A nice sunny day in the 40s would be perfect, but I’ve done it in sleet and tornado warnings in the past.”
His final preparation for the Little Rock Marathon will be to have crawfish etouffee. Some runners have a night-before tradition of eating mounds of spaghetti or jars of peanut butter, but having the seafood dish at the Faded Rose Restaurant in Little Rock with his wife has become a favorite pre-race tradition for Anson.