The 51st annual Arkansas Marathon and October Daze events took over Highway 23 south and the streets of downtown Saturday.

In a lot of cases those running the roads and wandering the downtown needed no help with directions because they were right at home. Some of them literally.

Running her first full marathon, Danielle Walker of Booneville was the first female to finish the 26.2 mile trek from downtown to just past the Scott County line and back.

Before the race Walker, who has run several half marathons figured the hometown marathon — the Arkansas is the longest consecutively held marathon in the state — would be her first, and only time to go the long distance.


Who knows?

The 46-runner half marathon field, the largest of the four races, included Joe Haller of Magazine. It was the fifth half marathon this year and sixth overall since Haller got into distance running last year.

Haller said he got into running mainly to get into shape after he reenlisted in the Air Guard.

To train for the run Haller runs on treadmill in his home and by hitting the road.

“Reveille Valley road is a mile and a half of pavement and this week I got up and basically did a 10K Monday and a 10K Tuesday before work,” said Haller. “We’ve got several hills out there on that road and that helps out.”

He also runs with the True Grit Running Company in Fort Smith.

The 10K and 5K both also featured plenty of local runners as well, and it was the 5K where Booneville High School and Junior High School runners excelled as Austin Hill won the male division and Lexi Franklin and JJ Keatts were first and second in the female division of the race.

Obviously, a majority of the October Daze vendors and consumers were local folk and the car show included a gem from Darrin Bulger, but that wasn’t all.

At 2 p.m. recording artist Ryan Dart, a Booneville resident until the late 1990s who has three solo albums, entertained festival goers from the stage located along the west side of Broadway between Second Street and the alley that bisects the block between Main and Second.