Cold, rainy weather did little to deter the spirits of volunteers during the fifth annual Fort Smith Marathon on Sunday.

Local residents turned out in droves to support the numerous men and women who were running in the event, despite the chilly air and persistent rainfall that was present throughout the day. Many of the volunteers gathered at watering holes located along the route, offering runners water, Gatorade and other refreshments as they passed by. They also cheered on  the runners, blasted upbeat music and waved signs emblazoned with words of encouragement to raise their morale.

Cristelyn Roebuck, chairwoman for watering holes for the event, said there were 24 officially sponsored watering holes throughout the course.

One of the early watering holes, situated just beyond the three-mile mark and sponsored by BancorpSouth, was located at Sagely & Edwards Realtors at 3101 Rogers Ave. The person in charge of this outpost was Megan Nichols, commercial loan officer at Bancorp South. Nichols said this was the company's third year to have a watering hole in the marathon at that location.

Nichols said BancorpSouth was checking the weather about a week and a half ago.

"AccuWeather said it was going to be 60 (degrees) and sunny, and then it just kind of slowly declined," Nichols said. "It's obviously a little more difficult when it's cold and rainy, but everyone showed up just like they said they would, and we're going to make the best of it, and enjoy it as much as we can."

Nichols said via Facebook Messenger the Fort Smith Marathon, Half Marathon and Relay Committee estimates the economic impact of the marathon on the area is slightly under $250,000. This is based on the number of participants who drive or fly into Fort Smith, stay overnight, eat and shop.

"I think (the marathon is) a wonderful way to show the beauty of Fort Smith, not even just the scenic beauty, but the way the community comes together, it's pretty powerful," Nichols said.

Another watering hole located between the 13- and 14-mile marks could be found at First National Bank of Fort Smith at 8225 Zero St. This also served as an aid station and relay exchange, according to a map provided by Roebuck.

The person in charge of the watering hole was Kodi Kendrick, teller at First National Bank. Kendrick said he was asked to take on this responsibility, and was excited about the opportunity to do so. When asked what made him excited to be out there, he responded with just the community.

"Fort Smith is where it's at," Kendrick said. "Fort Smith is always where it's at, so we're just happy to be here and glad to support everybody that's come not even from Fort Smith, but everybody around."

Located at 4300 Regions Park Drive between the 20- and 21-mile marks, Mercy Clinic Occupational Medicine — Regions Park also served as a place for a watering hole, aid station and relay exchange. Shirley Bearden, bariatric program coordinator at Mercy, said she undertook the task of operating the watering hole upon being asked because she is a runner, and so she knows how important it is to have them and the aid stations for those participating in the marathon, as well as to be supportive.

"We need these places for people to be out here and let them know that they're important and we're here for them," Bearden said.