Frequently Asked Questions




When is the 2020 Hero Half Marathon?

The 2020 Hero Half Marathon is Sunday, October 25 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Who organizes the Hero Half Marathon?

The Spark Foundation organizes and produces the annual Hero Half Marathon in partnership with the Fayetteville Firefighters Association. Spark is a nonprofit organization that strives to create a positive impact in the community by providing increased access to health and fitness education and opportunities. In addition to our annual race series, The Spark Foundation supports running clubs in local schools through coaching, curriculum and healthy snacks. The Spark Foundation supports pioneering projects around health and fitness through its keystone fund with Fayetteville Public Education Foundation as well as mini-grants for area schools and clubs. When you run, remember that you are helping NWA to build the habits for an active, healthy lifestyle.

Are you taking COVID-19 precautions this year?

Yes. You can find more detailed information here.

Is there a virtual option?

Yes, you may select to run in person or virtually when you sign up. If you change your mind, you change transfer yourself to the desired race through your Run Signup account. If you run virtually, you will have until Nov. 8 to complete your race.

I am a very slow runner/walker. Will I feel out of place?

You won’t feel out of place at all! Our races are planned for participants of all ages, paces and abilities.

Will I be able to receive a refund or transfer my race registration if I’m unable to participate in the Hero Half Marathon?

We follow the standard running industry policy for registration cancellations. All entry fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.

Are there any training groups?

Yes, our 2020 Training Program with Rise Physical Therapy and Sequoyah Performance Coaching is underway and registration is closed. If you are looking for adult running groups in the area, we highly recommend Ozark Trail Running Club, The Mustache Running Club, and, of course, Columbus House Brewery Running Club.

Will there be pace groups at this race?

No, due to COVID-19 precautions we will not have pace groups this year.

Will the course have a “sweeper”?

No, due to COVID-19 precautions, we will not have a sweeper this year.

Can I wear headphones?

Yes, but we ask that you keep the volume down at a safe level so that you can hear other runners or instructions from event personnel as well as from other trail users.

Can I bring my dog or run with a stroller?

Yes, well-behaved, trained dogs are welcome to join. Just be sure to keep your furry friends on a non-retractable leash of 5 feet or less and that you bring appropriate supplies to clean up after them.

Are there bathrooms on the course?

There will be limited portable toilets in the start and finish line zones. Closer to race day, we will check with the city to confirm what public restrooms along the race course are open and inform runners.

Will there be age group awards?

Yes, the half marathon will have results and awards for all top age group finishers.

The relay and quarter marathon will not have age group awards. Only runners who participate in person on race day will be eligible for age group awards. Runners who race virtually will still receive a finisher medal.

Is the shirt included in my registration?

Yes. Be sure to register by Sept. 25 to guarantee your shirt size.

When and where should I pick up my race packet?

Packet pickup will be hosted Monday-Saturday the week leading up to the race and arrangements for day of packet pickup can be made. Stay tuned for packet pickup location and times. If you live outside of Northwest Arkansas, we will work with you to get your packet mailed to you.

Can someone else pick up my packet for me?

Yes, in order for someone else can pick up your packet for you, they must show proof of your race registration.

Does the race have a gear-check?

No, we will not have gear-check for the 2020 Hero Half Marathon.

Where should I park the day of the race?

The half marathon ends at the Walton Arts Center parking lot, so you may want to park downtown in the City of Fayetteville's entertainment district. All public parking is free until 2 p.m. Additionally, there are paid lots available.

We will not be providing shuttle service this year due to COVID-19 precautions, so you will need to arrange transportation. The half marathon is a point-to-point race. Please note this and have a plan.

The relay and quarter marathon start and end at Lokomotion so you may consider parking at Lake Fayetteville.

There will be no parking adjacent to the start line zone. We will establish a drop-off zone.

I’m traveling from out of town for the race. Where should I stay?

We are partnering with Graduate Fayetteville to bring you a fun-filled Fayetteville weekend! Check out their website to reserve your room and email contact@mysparkfoundation.org if you have not already received an email with discount information.

How can I volunteer to help out during the race?

Thank you for volunteering to support our runners and The Spark Foundation! For more information, please email contact@mysparkfoundation.org.

Where will race results be posted?

Race results will be posted on this website and in the Facebook event.

How can I stay up to date with race information?

Follow us on social media: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We particularly recommend marking that you are “Going” on our Facebook event.

If I registered to run this year and then find out I can’t run this year, can I transfer my registration to next year?

No, race registrations may not be transferred to future Spark Foundation races.

Is the course USATF certified?

No, the course is not USATF certified but is officially measured using USATF techniques.

What kind of course support do you offer?

Due to COVID-19 precautions, we will not be offering aid stations this year. The race is self-supported, so runners are responsible for their own hydration and nutrition.

Will there be volunteers blocking traffic for runners?

No, this will be an open course. There will be NO volunteers coordinating traffic stops. Please use common sense and follow all rules of the road whilst running. Please see the map for the 3 road crossings, and note the areas of “open road.” There will be ample signage to direct you, but please review the map for yourself ahead of time.

Can my family and friends meet me at the finish line?

In an effort to practice social distancing and keep everyone safe, we ask that your families and friends not all gather at the finish line.

What happens if it’s raining on the day of the race?

The Hero Half Marathon will be held rain or shine. In the event of extreme weather (i.e. lightning), we will make the safest decision regarding delay or cancellation. Please note that the race registration fee is nonrefundable even if the race is modified or canceled. For any further questions, please email contact@mysparkfoundation.org.

Can I sign up on the day of the race?

There is no race day registration.

Who should I contact if the answer to my questions isn’t listed here?

Please email us at contact@mysparkfoundation.org.