Tyson Foods of Springdale announced Monday (Nov. 14) an agreement to become the presenting sponsor of the Hogeye Marathon and Relays, an annual marathon, half marathon, 4-person relay, 5K run/walk and kids’ marathon.
The company also announced the primarily Fayetteville-based event is moving to Springdale. The marathon will start and finish on Emma Avenue, according to a company news release.
The 41st annual event, historically held on a Sunday, is scheduled for Saturday, April 8, 2017.
“This is an exciting opportunity for the Hogeye Marathon to partner with a local company that shares our goal of building a stronger and healthier community,” Race Director Tabby Holmes said in the release. “We appreciate the support we’ve received from the city of Fayetteville over the years and hope this announcement will build on the strong foundation the marathon has established because of that relationship.”
Holmes believes moving the event to a Saturday will draw more regional participants and volunteers churches and civic organizations in Springdale and throughout Northwest Arkansas.
“Bringing a high-profile event like the Hogeye Marathon to downtown Springdale is exactly what we envisioned when the revitalization project began,” Springdale Mayor Doug Sprouse said in the release. “Tabby, the runners and the countless volunteers have successfully turned the race into a nationally recognized event. The Hogeye is the oldest marathon in Arkansas and we hope to build on that legacy.”
The new course will take runners past the city’s five major parks and, as in previous years, will include a portion of the Lake Fayetteville Trail. The course will be run primarily on Springdale streets, but sections will run through Johnson and Fayetteville and a small portion of the 26.2-mile course will take place on the Razorback Greenway.
A record turnout of 2,000 runners participated in the 2016 marathon
“This announcement is just another step toward our goal of bringing people back to Emma Avenue,” Tyson Foods Vice President Linda Wray said in the release. “There is an exciting future in store for downtown Springdale, and we’re proud to be a part of it.”