Arkansas trail running

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 susy@fullmoon50k.com

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!

Nike ZoomFly, the #breaking2 shoe – ONLY at Go! Running

We are all fascinated with barriers, things that at the time seem impossible: going to the moon, climbing Everest, the sub 4 minute mile.  The latest of these in the running world is the sub 2 hour marathon.  A feat that will require a runner to run a 4:35 mile, 26.2 times!

Nike has set about this task with the ‘breaking2’ project. An elite team has been formed and everything from how marathon runners train to what they eat has been looked at and optimized. A key element is the shoes they wear for the sub 2 hour attempt.  Nike threw away the book and took a radical approach to building a shoe that they believe can improve performance by up to 4%. The ZoomFly just launched this month and the only place in Arkansas you can try these on and buy them is at Go! Running. Nike selected Go! as the place to sell these shoes because they knew with our heritage of racing, we could understand and explain the benefits of these ground breaking shoes.  Gary recently took these shoes for a spin. “They feel a little different when you first put them on”, he said, “but once you start running fast you can sense how they propel you forward. It’s pretty remarkable.” Be a part of running history, run in a pair of ZoomFly, only at Go! Running.

Breaking 2.

The Nike ZoomFly is unique because it is very different from any other shoe. This shoe was designed over a span of four years in the vision of running a marathon in 1;59:59 or less. The current record is held by Dennis Kimetto who ran his fastest marathon in 2 hours and 25 seconds in 2014. So Nike researched all aspects of running along with the design of this new shoe. How could they make a runner faster? Was it the running course, nutrition, optimal training, hydration, ideal weather conditions, or the sneakers? To conduct this research, they enlisted reigning Olympic Marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge, half marathon world record holder, Zersenay Tadese, and rising star Lelisa Desia to help them conduct research on every aspect of running while developing several prototypes of the best shoe ever. Now that they have arrived at the winning combinations of elements in this perfect new shoe, it was time to test out all their research.

Photo Credit: Cait Opperman for Wired

26.2 Miles in 1:59:59.

The test took place on a track in Monza with the three chosen runners who are involved in this project,  Kipchoge of Kenya, Tadese of Eritrea, and Desisa. Along with them, a hand picked group of all-stars for pacers as well as a Tesla to pace in front of the runners.  The race was set for 26.2 miles around 17.5 laps and all the runners were decked out in the most aerodynamic running gear and Nike’s new shoe. The pacers formed in a diamond of six pacers to shield each runner from the wind and they kept a 4.8km per hour pace, interchanging pacers when needed. There was also a team alongside the runners giving them a drink 7 minutes, staying beside them so they wouldn’t ever have to quit running. Although the race didn’t officially count against the previous world record holder, Kipchoge finished the Nike test marathon in 2 hoursand 25 seconds. Nike has officially changed the running game and they believe the 2 hour marathon world record can be broken.

Photo Credit: Chris Lawrence

Out Running or Outrunning? 

You can think of the Nike ZoomFly as one of the fastest everyday running shoes Nike makes, whether you’re outrunning the competition, or out running the neighborhood. And, it’s proven to take your running to the next level. Here is a list of product benefits:

Full length carbon infused nylon plate delivers a propulsive sensation.

Lightweight foam insole provides highly responsive cushioning

Flywire reinforced lightweight upper for secure speed.

Stefan Guest, a senior designer at Nike, said the design’s success is in its mixture of elements, or the geometries of this new shoe. Nike tested through several prototypes before hitting the perfect mixture of elements needed to design the perfect marathon shoe. The end shoe resulted in runners burning 4% less energy while running on the treadmill  and less foot soreness after running.

If you’re a marathon runner, we would love for you to stop by Go! Running and try out the Nike ZoomFly. And, when you get this cool new shoe and run the next Little Rock Marathon with your best time ever, you must come to the store and tell us all about it!

Keeping it Cool

Drink to Your Health. 

A runner’s nectar is water. And since yesterday was the summer solstice, we’re celebrating the official start of summer in a ‘keeping you cool’ way!  So this Saturday, if you’re out on our favorite River Trail, be looking out for some Go! Water Coolers we’ll be placing in some of our favorite spots where you may need a bit of a water break. 15 different prizes will be given to those who take the best cooler selfie and post them to our fb page will win some awesome prizes “keeping it cool” prizes! And, if you tag 3 friends, we will give you an extra entry into the contest. Prizes from our friends at Nathan, Scratch, Nuun and Go!!!

Be part of the fun and Win:

  1. Find a Go! Cooler along the River Trail.
  2. Take a selfie with the cooler (get creative and have fun!)
  3. Post selfie to Go! Running Facebook Page
  4. Extra entries? You bet – just Tag 3 friends in your photo.
  5. Look for winners announced Monday on Go! Running’s fb page.

 

Hydration Conversation

This week, we want to start a conversation with our community about water, so let’s talk about the facts. You probably know that 60% of the human body is made up of water. When you don’t get enough water, it affects every cell of your body. For runners, it’s important to replace the electrolytes and nutrients you need to train and compete. We seek to carry some of the best hydration products and nutritional products runner’s need. Our prizes for this giveaway are our friends at Nathan, Skratch, Nuun and Go!!!

Skratch offers no-nonsense sports drinks that are non-GMO, gluten free, dairy free, vegan, kosher, and delicious! Nuun leads the way in portable hydration that are designed to support your hydration needs on a daily basis. And Nathan leads the market in creating performance driven products to help you have your best run.

Look for Go! on The Arkansas River Trail

We talked water, so now let’s talk about our favorite subject, running our beautiful state. If you haven’t ran the Arkansas River Trail, you’re really missing a remarkable time. This trail is one of the greatest perks of living in our community. You can run, walk, bike, or stroll down this adventurous trail and choose to explore all 21 miles of the trail, or pick your favorite part because there are several really cool things to see along the Arkansas River.

21 Miles of Summer Fun

A great place to start the trail is at Pinnacle Mountain Park. From there, you can cruise down the hill through Pinnacle Valley to Maumelle Park where you can hike, fish, camp, or even play a little basketball. Next you will run into Two Rivers Park, which offers over 1,000 acres of wooded wetlands that you can explore and where you will often find deer grazing. From there, cross the Two Rivers Bridge and a few miles down the river trail path you’ll meet up with the Big Dam Bridge, which is the longest pedestrian bridge in North America, spanning 4,226 feet ad towering 90 feet above the Arkansas River. Here, you will come to a “fork in the road” where you can choose to travel either the Little Rock side or the North Little Rock side of the Arkansas River. Both are beautiful.

Little Rock Trail:

If you travel down the Little Rock side of the River, you will run into Murray Park where you can have a picnic, go to the dog park, play soccer, practice archery, go fishing, and even canoe! Next you can watch the golfers as you cruise by Rebsamen Park to Downtown. Stop by Riverfront Park to cool off at a splash pad or play at the park before you make your way to the RiverMarket District. Here, you can find a bunch of great places to stop in and grab a snack, or you can find some family fun at the Nature Center or the Museum of Discovery. Or the amazing Clinton Presidential Library.

Photo Credit: www.littlerock.com

North Little Rock Trail:

If you opt to travel the North Little Rock side at the Big Dam Bridge, you will find Burns Park where you can go to the dog park, fish from the pier, go camping, visit a historical log cabin or train caboose, ride at the amusement park or BMX track, or even play a round of disc golf. Past this, you will find Emerald Park and Big Rock Quarry where you can hike up a trail leading to the bluffs for a great view of the city skyline and the river. Run by the USS Razorback as you make your way towards the Argenta District of North Little Rock. Here, you can grab a bite to eat or even get some refreshing fruit at the farmer’s market before you make your way to the North Shore River Walk Park. After the park, you will pass the Junction Bridge where you can cross the river, or you can go under I-30 to get to the Clinton Presidential Park Bridge, which will lead you back to Little Rock and the Clinton Presidential Center.

This trail is truly wonderful, and we hope you can get out to explore it and Go! Running this weekend. We look forward to seeing all your creative cooler selfies and family fun you have on the trail and will be featuring some of them on our Facebook page. And, if you’re wondering where to take a bathroom break on your newfound adventure this weekend, here are the best spots:

Bathroom Breaks:

  • Intersection of Two Rivers Park Road & County Farm Road
  • Maumelle Park
  • North Shore Riverfront Park
  • Burns Park near Victory Lake
  • Big Dam Bridge (NLR Side)
  • Murray Park
  • Riverfront Park

 

Photo Credit: www.arkansasoutside.com

Water Fountains on the Trail: 

  • Intersection of Two Rivers Park Road & County Farm Road
  • Maumelle Park
  • Pinnacle Valley Restaurant
  • Two Rivers Bridge
  • North Shore Riverfront Park
  • Burns Park near Victory Lake
  • Big Dam Bridge (NLR Side)
  • Murray Park
  • Riverfront Park

Bike Fix Station: 

  • Intersection of Two Rivers Park Road & County Farm Road
  • Two Rivers Bridge
  • Under the Main Street Bridge
  • Burns Park near Victory Lake
  • Big Dam Bridge (NLR Side)
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