Apart of one of the longest running festivals in the Natural State, the 39th Hope Watermelon 5K run, walk and Melon Mile is set to start Saturday, August 12 beginning at 7:30 a.m.

Apart of one of the longest running festivals in the Natural State, the 39th Hope Watermelon 5K run, walk and Melon Mile is set to start Saturday, August 12 beginning at 7:30 a.m. This year, the Watermelon 5K features some new and exciting things for numerous participants to run and walk for 2017. This year's Watermelon 5K is sponsored by Hilltop Healthcare. In addition, all race participants will receive a newly design t-shirt.

As tradition, the Watermelon 5K race event will have several unique awards in age groups for the overall top three male and female finishers in divisions such as Open and Masters, Walkers, and Wheelchairs. Awards also include the top male and female finisher in the Grandmasters and Senior age divisions. Awards ceremony will precede following the race by the Hope Fair Park Pool beginning at 9 a.m. At the conclusion of the ceremony, all race participants are welcome to swim in the pool with family members to enjoy a cool down and will receive a Hope watermelon.

Last year's 2016 overall male and female winners with winning times were Brian Sieczkowski of Maumelle with a time of 16:42.0 (chip time) and Tia Stone of Searcy with a time of 18:44.4 (chip time). The race featured a total of 299 male and female participants for 2016.

The Melon Mile, sponsored by Coffee Dental returns as tradition and will begin with a new starting time at 8:45 a.m.

Longtime Watermelon 5K race director Don Still is very excited about this year's event and looks forward to another large number of participants to participate. For decades, Hope has welcomed hundreds of people that's traveled from all across the Natural State to race in this his historic longtime event.

Each year the Watermelon 5K has featured some of the top runners throughout the racing industry and 2017 looks for more participants to run, walk to be apart and take their place in history for this annual festival race event.

Restrooms and showers will be provided to all race participants at Fair Park Pool swimming pool. Refreshments also will be offered. For more information, please contact Don Still at 870 777-1917 or email at still1@sbcglobal.net.

To sign-up and participate, forms are available at the Hope Chamber of Commerce office. Also, additional entry forms for participants can sign-up online at runsignup.com.

 

RACE HISTORY

The Watermelon 5K was established in 1978 though in the first few years the race distance was 4 miles. The race has been part of the Arkansas RRCA Grand Prix Series since 1994.

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION

The race starts on the eastern edge of Hope's Fair Park. After less than a tenth of a mile the route turns right onto 6th Street. Runners will encounter some gradual uphill on 6th St totaling a 30 foot rise. The race then turns right onto Main Street where runners will soon pass the one mile marker.
Runners continue along Main St. rewarded with a small gradual downhill until near the 1.5 mile point. Main St then moves gradually back uphill and the race route continues this gradual incline after making a right turn onto 16th street until just before the 2 mile marker.
At this point the course is gradually downhill until after the turn onto Grady Street, where the route levels off. The now weary runners will take Grady north to 7th Street where a left turn is made. The route angles to the southwest onto Park Dr. The road then turns back due west for the final straightaway. It is now time for the runners to begin their finishing kicks as the 3 mile marker and the finish line back in Fair Park are finally in sight.

 

WATERMELON 5K AGE PARTICIPANTS

MALE

0-9

10-14

15-19

20-24

25-29

30-34

35-39

40-44

45-49

50-54

55-59

60-64

65-69

70-74

75-79

80 and Over

 

FEMALE

0-9

10-14

15-19

20-24

25-29

30-34

35-39

40-44

45-49

50-54

55-59

60-64

65-69

70-74

75-79

80 and Over

 

FEES

Fees: $25 - 5K pre-registration; $30 - 5K late registration and race day; 5K: Kids aged 18 and under - $20 pre-race, $25 race day; $8 Coffee Family Dental Melon Mile, $10 race day.

 

REGISTRATION AND AWARDS CEREMONY

Make checks payable and mail to: Melonvine Striders Running Club, 1521 Sammy Circle, Hope, AR 71801. Awards ceremony will be held by Pool at approximately 9 a.m. For pre-registration, postmarked by August 11 and late registration will be taken the morning of the race at the front gate to Fair Park from 6 - 7 a.m. If you are unable to be present please make arrangements to have someone pick up your packet as there will not be any mailed out unless you can provide the cost of mailing. For more information, please call Don Still at (870) 777-1917 or email at still1@sbcglobal.net.