Pine Bluff CASA Half Marathon set for Saturday


The Pine Bluff CASA Half Marathon, a fundraiser for the Pine Bluff CASA Women’s Shelter, will be held at 8 a.m. Saturday.

This is the second year for the half marathon, and the event has expanded by adding a 5K run/walk that begins at 8:15 a.m. and the CASA Kids’ Race that begins at 10:30 a.m.

The Golden Lion Stadium parking lot will be the site of the race day festivities. Race participants, volunteers and spectators will enjoy music and, weather permitting, a bouncy house from D&H Jumpers. The CASA Women’s Shelter will host a pancake breakfast in a heated tent. Pancakes and coffee will be free to race participants and volunteers, and spectators may also enjoy the breakfast for a nominal charge.

The number of preregistered participants has already doubled from last year’s race, with runners coming from 11 states and all over Arkansas to run the fast and flat USATF certified course, according to an event spokesman.

The half marathon will start on McFadden Road, next to the Torii Hunter Baseball & Softball Complex. The course will go through the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff campus on L.A. “Prexy” Davis Drive, east on Pullen Street, and through Saracen Landing. The course will then turn into Regional Park, where runners will pass the Delta Rivers Nature Center, the amphitheater, and enjoy the Enchanted Land of Lights and Legends display before circling around the RV park. The return route will pass Harbor Oaks Restaurant and golf course, circle the softball fields, then head back to UAPB via Pullen Street and L.A. “Prexy” Davis Drive. Runners will circle Golden Lion Stadium and finish on the parking lot of the stadium. The course will remain open until noon. Traffic control will be provided by the Pine Bluff Police Department, Pine Bluff Fire Department, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and UAPB Police Department.

All half marathon finishers will receive a commemorative race medal. Awards will be presented to the overall first, second and third male and female half marathon winners. The awards are one-of-a-kind glass pieces, handmade by James Hayes of Hayes Art Glass in Pine Bluff, and they can be etched with the name and date of the race if desired. Prizes will also be given to the overall male and female 5K winners, as well as the top three males and females in age groups in the half marathon and 5K. CASA Kids’ Race participants will receive a participation medal, and the overall girl and boy will also receive a trophy.

Registration for the races and additional information can be found on the race website at www.casahalfmarathon.org. Participants can register online through Friday and in person on race morning at the stadium parking lot. The entry fee for the half marathon and the 5K includes a gender-specific short-sleeve tech shirt with the race logo. Race packets and shirts may be picked up at the JRMC Wellness Center in White Hall today and Friday during regular Wellness Center hours, and at the race site on the morning of the race.

Race donors include Pine Bluff National Bank, Jefferson Regional Medical Center, and Simmons First at the Platinum level; Pine Bluff Sand & Gravel — Gold Level, Central Moloney — Silver level, and Smart Automotive, Trotter Ford, Strong Manufacturing, Beth Marris, Bill and Julie Bridgforth, Amy Boast Cahill — Bronze level. Other donors include AT&T, Shepherd Florist, Harbor Oaks, Sissy’s Log Cabin, The Light House, Watson Chapel Picture Frame, Vision Salon, Laura Parrish – Scentsy, Robyn Thornton, the Junior League of Pine Bluff, McDonald’s and Brenda’s Portable Toilets.

Organizations, groups and individuals that want to volunteer at the event can contact the race director at pbcasahalf@live.com or 870-540-4911.