The Mid-South Championship Marathon takes place on an open course.
This means that cars and other vehicles are allowed on the route. The reason for this is simple. The rural route is not a busy highway. However, the folks that live on the route have no alternate way to get home or go to town. Everybody knows that you got to go to town on Saturday!
We do our best to keep traffic to a minimum on Hwy 64B and Hwy 163. That being said, the vast majority of traffic on race day is that caused by runners’ friends and families wanting to cheer on their favorite runners/walkers. This traffic increases the risk of injury to runners and volunteers.
I recommend the following strategy to cheer on your friends and family while avoiding the race route.
Start. Park on Bridges Street. This street runs east/west and lies just north of the start line. There is a Church of Christ with plenty of parking. Watch the start and go get in your car.
Drive west to Hwy 1 (Falls Blvd) and Drive North on Hwy 1 until you intersect with Highway 64. You will see the Nationwide 9 Motel and Heartland Equipment Company. Turn right (east) and drive around 4 miles until you hit JB’s Steak House. You will see a golf course on your right. Park at JB’s and walk east until you hit the intersection with Highway 64B. You are now between Mile 4 and Mile 5 on both the Half and Full Marathon Route.
For Half Marathon folks we advise you stay here. The turn around is at approx Mile 6.55 so your people will be back in a bit.
Marathoners, after your folks go by, get in your car and do the following.CAREFULLY, get back on Hwy 64 and drive west back toward town. Continue on Hwy 64 thru the traffic light. Continue to the next traffic light. (Coachman Inn is on your left) Turn North on Hwy 1 toward Jonesboro. Drive North for 7 miles until you hit Vanndale, AR. Turn East on Hwy 364 (right). This takes you through Crowley’s Ridge and intersects Hwy 163 (The Race Route) Between Mile 11 and Mile 12. Park on Hwy 364 before it intersects with Hwy 163 and walk to the bottom of the hill and wait for your runner/walker. The Turn Around is at Mile 13, so they will be coming back shortly.
After this, I would suggest that you either go back to the Hwy 64/ Hwy 64B intersection or go back to the finish line and relax.
These suggestions keep you off the route, and allow you to cheer on your folks.