The 45th running of the Arkansas Marathon and 10K in Booneville Saturday served as a homecoming for Matt and Tara Bishop.
Now residents of Kansas City, Mo., Matt Bishop was in town to run the marathon while Tara, the former Tara Taylor, was here to run the 10K.
For Matt Bishop, the 26.2 miles really may not be enough. Active in running since graduating from Booneville High School in 1999, Matt has covered that distance in Little Rock and Kansas City marathons, and more and there is a 100-mile run he’s planning to run in Scottsdale, Ariz.
"I know I can finish 26," he said. "I’ve run a couple 50-milers. I know I can run 26, I don’t know if I can run 100."
"You can finish it," Tara Taylor, also a 1999 graduate, insists.
For Tara, the 10K run was just her second competition, a couple weeks removed from the Plaza 10K in Kansas City.
A family affair, the 10K also drew Tara’s father, Craig Taylor of Booneville, who ran in a 10K for the first time in 2012.
A quality control manager at a food manufacturing plant, Matt finished Saturday’s race in 4:16:03.40.
Besides Bishop the marathon attracted runners from the state of Washington — Michael Nissen of Monroe, Wash., who won it — and runners from Florida, Oklahoma, Missouri, Texas and Colorado.
Joseph Bearss, of Colorado was marking Arkansas off his list in a quest to run a marathon in all 50 states. Also venturing to the city was Kim Howard of Mineral Springs, who was running his 50th marathon.
There were 19 total marathon runners, 17 who finished, but with the addition of a 5K this year the event drew over 75 total participants, with about 40 coming out for the shortest distance.
Still marathon and 10K participation was up by 10 from 2012.
The 5K and 10K events were completed in somewhat warm temperatures but marathon runners were subjected to a nasty thunderstorm before they completed the course along Highway 10 to Blue Mountain and back.