Little rock arkansas

Running Through the Community: The Little Rock Marathon

It could be a new trail, a dog park, a kid’s playground, or maybe even helping to find a cure. And when you lace up those shoes and enter that race, you may be having a much bigger positive impact on your community… simply by running a race. We wanted to share some of those impacts – a few you may not expect! So over the next year, you’ll be introduced a little of the “back story” on some pretty familiar races.

So set a goal, Sign up for a race. And look at our community soar.

Since the Little Rock Marathon is right around the corner, we caught up with one of the Chicks in Charge – Gina Marchese, and she had some fun things to share! Read on… and don’t forget to join in the race on March 3rd and 4th!

Photo Credit: Little Rock Marathon

The Little Rock Marathon benefits Little Rock Parks, but what does that mean exactly for our running and walking community?

The Little Rock Marathon produced our first race in May 2003, and has contributed over 1 million dollars into our parks system, helped build an amazing, growing running community through free training, and annually provides about a 5 million dollar economic impact on Central Arkansas. Whew. So Thank you for running!!

Tell us about one of your favorite projects that has made a difference for the running community. 

A little know face, is that we were part of the original group of communities that starting Global Running day in connection with New York Road Runners. It began as ‘National Running Day’ and then it caught on globally.  We love being part of this and proud Go! Running is there, too.

The LRM Medal is famous… Tell us how it all began!

We started off with a standard size medal. Geneva and I ran another race in Texas and Geneva did the marathon and I did the half marathon. We got the same medal except for the wording, and we both looked at each other and said, “we can’t let that happen at our race.” So we got on the phone and changed our medals the very next day.  We chose to GO BIG in Little Rock. As the years went on, (Geneva designs our medal and I am her focus group), we just kept enlarging the size to where we now have the distinction of having the largest finisher’s medal (that we know of). Runners World endorsed it. Thank you Bart Yasso!

Adding the LIPS!

At our 10th year, we added lips!  I have a lip fetish, all kinds of lip stuff, so Geneva put it on the medal and we cracked up and have stuck with it ever since. We call it our race director’s kiss to all our finishers! 

When did you decide to do a Medal Unveiling?

Oh, the early days of YouTube. We decided to unveil our medal and have a little fun with it, so we decided to do the unveiling at a press conference.  The very day of first unveiling, Little Rock had an ice storm and the city was in lock down – so NO press conference, of course! But Geneva and I made it to the office and were determine to do something so we did a video on our phones, Kevin Clay (our video guru) uploaded it to YouTube, our video went viral and the rest is history as we say! We now do everything on social media.  We say we put the FUN back into the medals. Now people run for the medals and we love that and do just the same. This year’s is lots of fun… and sealed with a kiss. Wishing you all the best of luck and lots of fun along the way. Come join us.

Getting to Know Team Red White and Blue

We all know someone who has served. Or is serving this great country! Thank you. THANK YOU. We celebrate veterans for their love of our country and willingness to sacrifice for their fellow Americans. If you want to support your running veterans – consider getting to know Team Red White and Blue!  Ultimately, the aim of Team RWB’s community-building program is to bring veterans together with civilian citizens in a way that enables them to establish authentic friendships.

Go! Running loves supporting this amazing group. What a better time to hear from a few of these wonderful runners.

Lisa Palicki Webb, a runner for Team Red White and Blue, shares us her love of camaraderie. “My favorite thing about Team RWB is the unconditional camaraderie and team spirit that the Eagle provokes. We can be anywhere at any time, and when someone sees the Eagle, there are words of encouragement and shout outs to kindred spirits. It’s a warm, proud feeling of belonging to a group with a beneficial purpose.” She also added. “My favorite thing about working with veterans is being close to those who have served and made a difference for our country. It gives me comfort to somehow be a part of their nurturing and growth outside of the service. My husband is retired Air Force. He served 24 years, so I have a special bond with the military community.”

Everyone is welcome to be a part of Team Red White and Blue, from civilians, to active military, to veterans. This is what drew Lisa Gunnoe to Team Red White and Blue. She said, “Team RWB encourages not only inclusive membership, but also inclusive leadership. Anyone can become a leader in Team RWB and Team RWB will help that leader grow in essential leadership qualities which help that leader not only in their volunteer role in Team RWB but also in their home life, church, community, any interaction with another person. All of these relationships can become improved with the leadership qualities available to learn through Team RWB volunteer leadership. Team RWB is a hands-on organization. Awareness is good, but then what? Team RWB answers that question by being where the veterans are and encouraging them to make connections in their communities through physical fitness and social activities. Lets roll our sleeves up and get to work along side our veterans to enrich all lives.”

Since US veterans are some of the most highly trained in the world, they have skills worth emulating. Lisa is honored to be able to work with veterans. She goes on to say, “Our veterans are humble. Most often when you thank a veteran for their service they don’t see themselves as heroes and they are a bit uncomfortable with the attention. Veterans have so much to teach us. In the way Team RWB is structured those veterans are given the opportunity to teach those lessons.”

Thank you to our veterans and Team RWB. Want to join the “eagles?”  It’s free to join and there are no fundraising requirements. You just have to show up! www.teamrwb.org

 

Be Safe, Be Seen, and Brighten up the Night

The weather is getting cooler, which means Fall is upon us and it’s just the best time of year to get out and run. THIS SUNDAY November 5th is the daylight savings time change…  – “Fall Back”. That means it will get darker earlier in the evening and will still be dark in the morning, too! As runners, we need to be thinking about Fall Safety. Our motto year ‘round, but especially for fall is ‘Be Safe & Be Seen’. And, there are an array of things you can do. Outside of wearing reflective gear (shoes and apparel), you can find other sources to help you “light up the night”. Headlamps and other lights and true reflective night apparel (vests/shirts) are truly a must. Drivers are more distracted than ever – so protect yourself!

To help get us ready for the ‘fall back’ week coming up –

All week long at the store we will have “Light Up” specials – up to 20% off your favorite “be safe/be seen” products.

We also have visibility specials going on to get you ready for the brighten up the night event and keep you safe this fall. Get 10-20% off on lights, bright apparel, and more! Come into the store to check it out. We will have surprises for you all week long!   AND, you can enter to win one of our great prizes.
JOIN US – BRIGHTEN UP THE NIGHT- Sun Nov 5th, 6pm. 
Event: Brighten up the Night – day light savings time fun run/walk.
Place: Two Rivers Bridge
Time: 6pm
Enter to Win: Prizes from all our “light partners” – Amphipod, Petzel and Nathan!! (must be present to win)
Demo: Petzel will have some fantastic headlamps you can demo.

SAVE THE DATE:
Run Smart, Stay Safe – Self Defense Tips and Tricks
Date: Monday Dec 4th, 6pm-7:30pm
Location: ATA World Headquarters, 1800 Riverfront Dr., LR
And, to continue the spirit of being safe, we are partnering again with ATA Martial Arts for a a second self defense class. The first one was amazingly successful and FILLED with tips to stay safe. The room was packed and we walked away with actual things you can do to be smart and stay safe. Seriously… don’t miss out on this. We’re going again. Be prepared to get up and practice how to protect yourself. Stay tuned on Facebook for the details.
The Go! Breakfast Club

The Go! Breakfast Club – 

It’s the end of a long run; sweat pouring, feet pounding, and stomach growling. Your body says you’re finished, but your appetite is just revving up.

Since September is Better Breakfast Month, we asked a few of our family of runners to share their favorite post run breakfast or recovery meal – something that gets them through and/or what they treat themselves to.

Here’s what they had to say:

“I like to make a recovery breakfast: omelet with lots of chopped onions, peppers and mushrooms and sometimes feta cheese.” Lisa Mullis

“After a long run I immediately crave a good Pale Ale or IPA. When we run downtown we all like the Sausage, egg and pepper jack on an everything bagel at Andina’s Coffee Shop on 3rd St. My next go-to is an omelet and pancakes from either IHOP or Cracker Barrel. Then when we run from the heights I like the b-fast pizza at US Pizza brunch with a Bloody Mary.”Chris Ho

“One of my favorite breakfasts after a good run is a slice of gluten free, Salba Chia sandwich thin (toasted) with avocado smashed on it, and topped with a slice of tomato, a few leaves of spinach, and the tofu breakfast strips from the no meat athlete cookbook. As a vegan, I love that I get a good bit of protein to help rebuild my muscles with no animal byproducts or meat. I like to bake enough tofu strips for a few days to be able to make it a fast breakfast.”Andi Stracner

“My favorite post-run breakfast is scrambled eggs with avocado and a big cold glass of 2% milk. And when the need strikes, I add wheat toast.  Yum.”Monica Ritchie

“A killer long run for me is a fast, hilly 30 mile run in the National Forest.  Because of the distance to get there I have to be creative in finding things I can carry in my cooler that won’t spoil before I get finished.  I try to ensure that I have a good source of protein and healthy carbs.  Usually that is a wrap with avocado, lettuce, tomato, and a chickpea burger with fruit on the side or a quinoa salad either homemade or purchased from a specialty grocer and a good craft beer.  My theory is that I can splurge on a little junk food after a long run but I typically don’t because I honestly enjoy the healthier stuff.  Every now and then I do crave a cheeseburger and I almost always indulge when the mood strikes.”Stacey Shaver-Matson

What is your favorite post-run meal? We know something just popped into your mind. So share it! We’d love to hear from you. Drop a comment below or on Facebook.

‘Walk a Mile in Their Shoes’ – Shoe donation drive the month of September 

Give Your Running Shoes New Life 

The fall weather is on the way, school has started and with that, we begin to look in our closest to pull the warmer gear forward.  And right in front of you are a line of running shoes on the floor. Wondering what to do with your old used running shoes? Donate them. Bag up your running shoes and bring them to us!

Since we opened our doors in 2010, Go! Running has been recycling running shoes to those in need. We collect them every day of the year, but each year, we bring attention to the need to help others with  ’A Mile in Their Shoes’,” which is an annual month-long running/walking shoe donation drive, inspired by the understanding that even if you’ve run the last mile in a pair of running shoes, these shoes still have a long life and can go to someone in need to live out the rest of their miles.

Special Thanks to the gals who got it all started: Mary Wells and Sarah Olney –

We have to give special thanks to two amazing Little Rock Road Runners, Mary Wells and Sarah Olney, who started recycling running shoes in their garage to help others. They shared their passion, time and community need, and when we opened our doors, we offered to help. What started out as a drop off location has turned into a daily community-giving program. Today, we give to as many groups in need as possible: Our House, CASA, The Van, Homeless Shelters and other charities contact us when they are in need.

Help a Child – NEED Kid’s shoes.

The shoes we need the most are kids shoes. Over 13 million children are living in poverty in America and don’t have access to new clothes or shoes to go back to school. And there are many kids in our area who need help. So instead of throwing those shoes away or putting them in a yard sale, donate them to a great cause. It could make a child’s day! We believe in helping others, and the shoe drive is one way we can do that. Let’s help others in need in our community. We can’t fill this need without you!

Running Shoe Recycling and Donation Drive

What: “A Mile in Their Shoes”

When: All September

Where: Go! Running, 1819 N Grant St, Little Rock

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!

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