Go! Running with Meghan Lewis
If you are a part of the Little Rock running community, or have been to one of our Thursday night runs or Sunday trail runs, you have probably met Meghan Lewis. As soon as we met Meghan back in 2010, we knew we had to hire her to be on the Go! Team. Now she is the Manager of our little community running store and we wouldn’t have it any other way. We sat down with Meghan to ask her about her life in Little Rock and at Go!
Why did you start running?
I started running when I was 25. I grew up doing all sorts of outdoors activities with my family so being outside running just seems natural for me. And, at the time, it was a great way to take my mind off of things and de-stress. I really fell in love with running a couple of years later when I started trail running. I love hanging out in the woods, so running the trails is even better.
What brought you to Little Rock?
Before I came to Little Rock, I had just found out I was pregnant. My husband Nick and I were living in Oregon at the time, but we wanted to move to be a little closer to family in Memphis. A friend of Nick’s worked at a cycling company here in town and had a job available, so we chose Little Rock.
Tell us a little about running Go! Running (pun intended!)
When we moved to Little Rock, I knew I wanted to get a job at one of the running stores since I love to run. I heard about Go!, so I took my resume in and Erin called me that night to set up an interview. When I met Erin and Gary, we instantly clicked and I fell in love with them and the store. So I got the job! Gary and Erin are one of my favorite things about working at Go! And, I just love sharing running with other people in our community. I love my job.
How did you meet your husband?
We actually met through running! I was going to the University of Memphis getting my Bachelors in Fine Arts and met Nick through trail running. Our first date was a midnight run and then we went camping. Now, we have a 6 year old daughter, Nour.
What do you and your family like to do together?
We are an outdoorsy family. We run together and like going camping, going out for walks, hiking, canoeing, going to the trails, kayaking, or just anything outdoors. Nour and I also like to take photographs, garden, and paint together too.
What was your best run ever?
I truly do love running and I like to run whenever I get the time. In the heat, the snow, whenever! Every race is a different experience and a great way to explore different parts of the country.
What do you love MOST about running?
I don’t know how to describe it. Running began as something that was just mine, just for me, and a way to get away, decompress and de-stress. Running is just a part of me and who I am.
If you would like to meet Meghan, we invite you to stop by the store to chat with her. We welcome runners and walkers from all paces and walks of life. Come and be part of our running/walking community. Remember, every run begins with Go!
It’s a Full mOOn in the Ouachita National Forest
This Saturday is the 25th anniversary of the Full mOOn 50 & 25k, which is a race and as well as a celebration. The race is set on forest service roads in the Ouachita National Forest and the proceeds go to a good cause. “It’s easy to see why the Full mOOn is known as a good time that runners of all abilities look forward to all year,” said Gary Taylor, a many time Full mOOn finisher.” Starting in late in the evening, the balmy(!) weather, Susy’s unique pre-race instructions, running through the woods at night, and ending in a sudden oasis of light, music, food, and friends all makes this a run to remember. I love this race.”
The Best Night Run of the Year!
First of all, this race is no frills, fun and funky with an all night afterparty until 4 a.m. If you haven’t been to a night race with blaring music and disco balls, then you’re missing out on a really good time. The Full mOOn also brings it with food and drinks. Each aide station is like a golden corral buffet with water, gatorade, sodas, sandwiches, and even ice to put in your shirt or your bra when it’s 95 degrees outside. They bring in 300 lbs of ice just for the event! And, at the finish line, you will find a giant after party where there are people cheering you on at the finish line, music blasting, people dancing, and to top that, the Williams Junction Volunteer Fire Department fixes breakfast like bacon, eggs, hash browns, coffee, and pancakes until 4 a.m.
Photo credit: Arkansas Outside
Rocking Aide Stations
One of the best points of this race are the aide stations. According to race director, Susy Chandler, “It’s dark, hot, humid, and hilly as hell when you’re running then all the sudden you see disco balls and the aide station, which is a lot of fun and a bit of a relief!” Here, they have everything you need! Water, food, and aides to help with anything you need. Each aide station is staffed by an ultra runner who knows everything about running. If something is wrong, they will help you fix it. Susy also mentioned she loves how the trail race community is full of people who want to help. They want everyone to make it to the finish line, no matter what.
You won’t get lost, promise!
Are you wondering how they keep up with all the people running around the forest in the dark? 6 words sum it up: The Faulkner County Amateur Radio Club. The club mans the race and checks in at the aide stations to keep track of runners. They track all runners at three different points to make sure nobody gets lost in the woods. They can also radio back for help if they find anyone who is in trouble or can’t make it to the finish. To add to that, Go! Running puts the trail map on the bibs so everyone knows where to go. If you haven’t crossed the finish line by 4 a.m., a course sweeper will bring you back to the finish line.
Blind and Visually Impaired Division
We also asked what she’s most proud of about the race. Susy told us she is proud that the Full mOOn has a BVI division for Blind and visually impaired runners, which you don’t see a lot of in the running world. There are 3 runners in this year’s race in this division. How does this work? It’s easy! Each runner is assisted by a guide who tells them about the best place in the road to run and when another runner is ahead or approaching. This is such a wonderful thing! Special thanks to all the runner partners!
Sleep in on Saturday
We hope to see you Saturday at 7 for the race (be sure to sleep in as late as you can)! Registration is closed for this year’s event, but there are still volunteer opportunities available. If you need volunteer hours to get into a race or ultra miles for the UTS series, it’s not too late to sign up. Or, if you’re just ultra-curious or have friends and family that will be at the event, come party with us! You can visit the volunteer page or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Stick around for the Afterparty
One of the best parts of the race is the afterparty. And, with restrooms and showers on site, there is no reason not to stick around. Susy said one of her favorite parts of the race is at 2 a.m. where most of the 25k runners are finished and we’re still waiting on some 50k runners to finish. It seems like is a sea of sweaty runners, out in the middle of the forest, talking, eating, and sharing running war stories. And the talking is interrupted suddenly with an outburst of cheers when a runner comes across the finish line.
You don’t want to miss this race, even if you aren’t signed up. And if you are, Susy said to be sure to bring salt, a water bottle, and bug spray. And, if you don’t want a blister in the middle of your forehead, bring a bandana too! Look for Stacey Shaver at the aide station and give her a high five!
1 Mile Road Race Celebrates “Lucky” Seventh Year
We’re getting pumped for lucky 7th anniversary of the Go! Mile – one lap, one mile, one fast little race – this Saturday, June 17th! The gun sounds for the first race at 7am at the Clinton Presidential Center. The Go! Mile is the state’s only sanctioned one-mile race. This event is a Central Arkansas favorite because it’s an easy entry into running for novices, a family fun event and there’s a great amount of crowd excitement. Fellow runners, friends, and families are encouraged to hang out and cheer on their favorite runners.
“Go! Mile running festival is not just for seasoned runners”, explains Gary Taylor, Go! Mile Race Director and Go! Running owner. “We have something for everyone, and with seven different heats it’s a race for the whole family – whether you’re an experienced runner or brand new to the sport. In fact, we welcome and celebrate first-time runners with their very own heat – The CHI St. Vincent First Mile. The excitement explodes when the elite heat runs; it’s rare that you get to see nationally ranked athletes run close to a 4- minute mile.”
Why Run the Go! Mile?
A Race for Everyone in the Family – Beginning with The First Mile for first time racers, to 4 Age Group races just for mom, one for dad, for brother/sister, friends AND the little “mini- mile” for kids… Everyone in the family can run and watch each other compete.
High-Energy Atmosphere – Races go off very 20 minutes, so someone is always starting and finishing! The course is spectator-friendly with clear views of the whole mile race. Easily move from the starter’s gun to the finish line in minutes.
Exciting Elite Race Mile – Where else can you go to watch truly elite runners race? Excitement and speed build, as we end the heats with the fastest race of the day. Elite runners are coming from all over country. Prize money is awarded to the top 3 Male and Female finishers, so the race is indeed competitive!
The Kid’s Mini Mile – A fun run that celebrates and encourages fitness for kids 9 and under. The run is just 1⁄2 mile, and part of the adult Mile course, so participants will experience the same excitement of the finish line as the adult runners. All finishers of the Mini Mile receive a special kid appropriate award.
7 Heats – Starting Every 20 Minutes
The Go! Mile is an exciting chip-timed, one-mile road race – rare on both points. This one-mile course provides runners with a fast and fun race experience. Races include: The First Mile for novice runners of any age, open men’s and women’s races, an elite mile race and a kid’s mini-mile for ages 9 and under. Just like the feel of a real track race, there is a gun start, times are called out at the quarter mile, the halfway mark has a clock and a bell is rung to signify the last quarter mile to go.
Signed up yet? The 7-heat event is open to all levels of competitors and includes a “mini-mile” for kids only. Entry costs are affordable too: $20 to enter (with t-shirt is $35). Kid’s Mini-Mile entry is only $5, OR, FREE with you have a Go! Mile Adult registration. So the family is truly encouraged to join in. Runners can register online at www.gorunning.com/gomile, and www.arkansasrunner.com, or visit Go! Running in the Heights, 1819 N. Grant St, Little Rock. 501-663-6800. Registration will also be available at the Packet Pick Up: Friday, June 16th at Go! Running 10-6, and race morning at the course on Saturday, June 17th at 6am.
Race Benefits The Winston Penn Wardlaw Scholarship Fund
The Go! Mile proceeds will benefit the Winston Penn Wardlaw Scholarship Fund to help young men from every walk of life have the same outstanding opportunity to attend Catholic High School for Boys in Little Rock, Arkansas as Win did. Win Wardlaw was someone who truly gave so much of himself, and was actively involved in serving others and giving back. He embodied the community spirit of Go! Running. We are proud to donate the proceeds of this event to such a great cause.
After the Race, Take your Victory Lap!
Each runner will receive a wristband in their race packet. Wear and show your wristband at participating businesses and get special offers on entertainment, restaurants and shops in the area, just for running the race. Downtown Little Rock is rolling out the welcome mat, offering a family stay and play ‘Victory Lap Pass’ that includes savings and experiences at the Clinton Library, Museum of Discovery, Arkansas Arts Center, ESSE Purse Museum, Capital Hotel, Lost 40 Brewery, Boulevard Bread Company, and more.
The Victory Lap Pass
Special Thanks to the Little Rock Marathon for their on-going support. And BIG thanks to our sponsors.