Page updated:

RRCA | Arkansas RRCA
WRA-Batesville | WRA Facebook

Latest Grand Prix Race:
June 21 Arkansas Runner 2 Mile
Next Grand Prix race:
Aug. 2 4-Mile Classic
Grand Prix links

Latest Challenge Series Race:
March of Dimes 5k
Next Challenge Series Race:
Aug. 2 4-Mile Classic

2014 Schedule | Standings

Back To The Future!

We're in the last days before the 36th annual 4-Mile Classic, our club showcase race and once again a championship event in the Arkansas RRCA Grand Prix. The bonus for a man or woman breaking the respective course record is up to $450 this year, growing by $100 every year until topped. (Men's record: Daniel Kirwa, 19:45.07 in 2011; Women's record: Leah Thorvilson, 22:50.16 in 2009.) Join the fun Aug. 2 with packet pickup and late registration 6-7 a.m. at Batesville City Hall on East Main.

If a sunny August weekend morning in downtown Batesville isn't enough, how about a warm summer evening in the heart of Cave City at the annual Watermelon Festival? Sign up for The Bethany Project Melon Dash 5k, 7 p.m. the following Saturday, Aug. 9. The race has a new course for its second year, starting at the Cave City Middle School. Last year's revival of the festival 5K was a big hit with slices of famous watermelon, a cookout, and plenty of atmosphere. And The Bethany Project appreciates the support! Mac's Race Timing Service and a couple of our Roadrunners managed a double-Melon last year, with the Hope Watermelon 5K the same morning in the Grand Prix. Mac's going for a double-double with the same calendar this year!

They Took The Fifth!

Many Roadrunners found a cool day made for a hot time on the Fifth — ramping up the energy on their holiday weekend in the fifth race in our Challenge Series, Saturday's March of Dimes 5K at Lyon College. Quite a few made their holiday refreshment a double, following up Friday's mostly downhill Firecracker Fast 5K in Little Rock with Batesville's opposite challenge. We heard several folks hit PRs despite the hills, including second-place finisher Kendall Townsley (who is just 13 and heading into eighth grade), and older kids Grady McMahan and Eric Sessums. Grady's PR carried him right to the top of his age group in the Challenge Series standings. Shout out to Kady Tosh for a great job carrying through to the finish with extra distance when she got separated from the pack and couldn't tell which way to go. Stuff happens, Kady: Good for you sticking to it! Kady leads her age group in the series.

Having A Blast!

The Roadrunners tore down the road to the awards stand at the Firecracker Fast 5K in Little Rock on the Fourth. Will Henry led the way in 19th place with a PR of 16:55.97, earning the first of our Firecrackers as a top 50 male or female finisher. Tristen Driver followed in 40th place, 38th male, though Will and Tristen each finished eighth and out of the trophy standings in their age groups. Bruce Oakley also got a Firecracker in 47th overall, 45th male, but fourth and just out of the trophies in 50-54. Shannon Box, 54th, 51st male, just missed a Firecracker nevertheless got the 50th and last men's Firecracker because they are awarded by gun place rather than the chip time used for trophies. He also got a plaque for third in 40-44. Logan Bishop earned a Firecracker as fourth female and a plaque as second in her age group, 63rd overall in 18:51.73. Betsy Tucker collected our sixth Firecracker as 49th female, 263rd overall, and grabbed a plaque for first in 55-59. Plaques also went to Linda Dale, first in 65-69 in 28:13.29 and Caliene Coop, first in 75+ as the oldest woman in the field. Her son-in-law Chris Ho took third in 35-39, 39th overall, 37th male. We had quite a contingent besides these, and you can catch up with them all from the full results here. Congratulations to the award winners and all of our finishers. That's a lot of hardware for our little group from among nearly 1,700 runners finishing the race.

Racing To Catch Up!

We hadn't updated the home page in more than a month, so let's put on our race face and make up some ground! The club has been well represented by the ladies in three Grand Prix events since our last update (click for results): Rock Run 8K, Go! Mile, and Arkansas Runner 2 Mile. The women are in seventh place in team scoring, just a few points out of sixth, yet with two fewer races than all of the teams in front of them. Betsy Tucker is third in Masters and Grand Masters and leading the 55-59 age group, Linda Dale is fifth in 60-64, Julie Roulier is sixth in 50-54, Michelle Huff is sixth in 45-49 with two firsts and a second in her three races, Beth Christian is sixth in 35-39, and Clara Nikkel leads 0-9 with four firsts and three seconds. Crystal Cossey has done well with a first and two fourths in her three races, while Jennifer Dorris, Rebecca Patterson, Amanda Nikkel, Suzy Oakley, Donna Johnson, Janie Barber, Regina Whiteside, Dana Dowell and Melanie Mathews have pitched in for team points despite some injuries and busy schedules.

The men have fielded a team less often and are in ninth place. Bruce Oakley stands one point out of fourth in Masters, is second in Grand Masters, and leads by one point in 55-59. Shawn Patterson Jr. is second in 15-19, while Tristen Driver is fifth and Will Freiert sixth with one race each. Tyler Bishop leads 20-24 with Will Henry in sixth. Rusty Hinges and Rick Farrar are one-two in 75-79. Shannon Box, Shawn Patterson Sr., Eric Sessums, Jonathan Dorris and Brian Yeager have also helped the team cause from time to time.

Closer to home, we had busy legs bringing home the bakin' at the Apple Pie 5K in Salem, come sailin' in at the ASU-Newport and Cintas Annual Portfest 5K, and showing senior spirit at the Sprint for Seniors 5K in Batesville.

Of course, that means our own Challenge Series is heating up, with four races completed. The men have not had a repeat winner yet, but Kristen Treadway won the first two among the women.

Youthful Enthusiasm

It's time once again for the Ozark Foothills Literacy Project Kids Splash and Dash (July 12). The bicycle portion of what has been a triathlon is being dropped from this year's competition, and an adult heat is being added for parents and older siblings who want to test themselves as our young friends do.

You have options that morning: Youth will also be served in Cave City with the inaugural running of the Turnbough Trail XC 5K to raise funds for the new Cave City High School cross-country team. The course is a grand example of the type, with a great mix of hilly woodland trail, grassy fields and gravel road.

Take your pick and support active youngsters and literacy or new runners at a local school. And add one more opportunity to the list: A fundraiser to help a Paragould family with heavy medical expenses after birth of a daughter 15 weeks premature. Genafer Foree tells us there's a "5K in Paragould on the Loose Caboose route at 8AM on the 12th." (Walker Family Walk Run, $20, Centennial Park, Paragould, 870-243-3829 or 870-450-9450.)

Latest Fashion

We still have club T-shirts available free to our members in men's, women's and youth sizes, and our last couple of racing singlets to deliver to those who ordered them ($25.18 each). Details on both are available in On the Road to Fashion.

Join the Club for 2014

Not a member? Have a running buddy or wannabe who's not yet a member? Spread the word and click one of the registration links above left to join the fun as we continue to promote running and fitness throughout our community! Register online or mail membership and other printable forms to: White River Roadrunners, 80 Reed St., Batesville, AR 72501.

Our Officers

2014 OFFICERS: Bruce Oakley, President; Suzy Oakley, President-elect; Rita Cooke, Secretary; and Rebecca Patterson, Treasurer.

Past Presidents
2013: Dwayne Dickey 2012: Davy Insell 2011: Jennifer Liles-Dorris 2010: Andy Buschmann
2009: Robert Barber 2008: Joe Pool 2007: Sandy Pool 2006: Ken McSpadden
2005: Rita Cooke 2004: Kay Hermansen-Pool 2003: Ken McSpadden 2002: Sam Cooke
2001: Joe Pool      

Page maintained by Bruce Oakley (
Last update: July 20, 2014