- Hosted by the Chile Pepper Running Club
- Arkansas State Championship Race
- Stick around afterwards for great post race food and to watch the college and high school races
Directions to the Starting Line
Take exit 66 to Hwy. 112 (Garland Ave.).
Drive south on Hwy. 112 to the Chile Pepper parking signs.
Parking is located at Washington County Fairgrounds (right side of lot only),
Whittaker Equine Center, and Agri Park, which are all located on Hwy. 112.
Transit Buses will shuttle participants from the parking lots to the drop-off
point near the course from 6:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The drop-off point is
approximately ½ mile walking distance from the race start.
In 1988, Joe Fennel, Randy Rhine and Kelly O’Meara, the Fayetteville High School cross-country coach, were out running.
Kelly mentioned that his cross-country budget was $100. In the days before development programs,
there wasn't money for sports other than football and basketball.
Joe and Randy were shocked and decided to do something about it.
They created the Chile Pepper Running Club and from there, the Chile Pepper Run.
It was originally held in May and consisted of the 10K open run only.
In 1992 three northwest
Arkansas cross-country races were merged into a single event - the Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival.
The Chile Pepper is now one of the premier running events in America.
The Festival united the Chile Pepper Run, the Arkansas Invitational - the annual LadyBack and Razorback home meet,
and the Fayetteville High School's Purple Dog Invitational.
Now the Chile Pepper hosts approximately 3,500 runners and over 4,000 spectators
each year. A portion of the race proceeds continues to be given to the Fayetteville,
Springdale, Rogers and Bentonville high school cross country teams.
The Chile Pepper 10K Open is held on the University of Arkansas cross country course.
The course is a combination of grass, cinder and uneven terrain. The race consists of two and 1/2 laps on a path through the fields and woods
of Agri Park.
The race starts with runners lined up across a wide field in the northeast corner of the park. The racers battle for position as the field
starts to narrow close to a quarter mile into the race. Near the half mile mark, the course turns right and runners face a mild incline. The course then turns
right and two small downhills are crossed, along with the 1 mile marker. The course then runs next to a pond and around an open field before
passing the two mile marker and plunging into a heavily wooded section. Upon exiting the woods, runners make a quick turn, fly down a hill and
return to the starting area field to begin lap #2.
The second lap is the same as the first, except the uphills seem tougher and the distance seems greater as fatigue is setting in.
After finishing lap #2 and once again crossing the starting area field, the 5 mile marker is reached. Only 1.2 miles remain, but the opening
hill awaits as the runners must summit it for the third and final time. This third lap continues as the two before, turning right after the uphill for
two small declines. The lap is then cut short, routing the runners towards the finishing area. A nice downhill followed by a curve to the right put the racers near
the 6 mile point. After a wicked turn around a cluster of trees, it's just a classic dead straight away sprint to the finish line.
For further information, contact:
Jay Lewis, Race Director