First Soaring Wings Marathon scheduled Oct. 24 in Conway

Organizers are putting the finishing touches on plans for the inaugural Soaring Wings Marathon planned 7 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, in Conway.

The event will feature a variety of activities, including the marathon, a half marathon and a two-man relay beginning and ending at Conway’s McGee Center, which has been the location for the half marathon the last seven years. The event features a USATF-certified course.

Registration for the full marathon will be limited to 500. The entry fee is $105 for online and $110 for mail-in. Online registration closes at midnight, Saturday, Oct. 17.

In addition to the running events, there will be an expo, Kids Run for Kids and a pasta party Friday, Oct. 23, at the Conway Expo Center and Fairgrounds. The free expo will feature a variety of vendors. Packet pickup will also take place during the expo.

Race Weekend Schedule

Friday, Oct. 23

  • 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. – Expo
  • 5 p.m. – Kids Run for Kids Half Marathon & Fun Run    
  • 6 – 7 p.m. – Pasta dinner with guest speaker    

Saturday, Oct. 24

  • 5:30 a.m. – Packet pickup opens
  • 6:45 a.m. – Packet pickup closes    
  • 6:55 a.m. – Wheelchair start
  • 7 a.m. – Wave start
  • 10 a.m. – Awards ceremony (inside McGee)
  • 1 p.m. – Course closes    

The Presenting Sponsor for the marathon weekend, which includes the marathon, expo and pasta party, is Crain Automotive. TLC Pediatrics is the sponsor for the half marathon and Kids Run. 501 LIFE is the official media sponsor. Hilton Garden Inn is the official host hotel.

Proceeds support Soaring Wings Ranch, a Christ-centered family and home that provides security, love and hope to children who need a chance. The staff meets each child where they are and challenges them to develop spiritually, intellectually, socially, emotionally and physically.

Soaring Wings is located on 195 acres in the Holland community, north of Conway. The half marathon has represented the single greatest fundraising event for the ranch.

The slogan for the event and the ranch is “Giving Children a Chance to Soar!”

Training programs, sponsored by First Security Bank, kicked off earlier this summer. More than 200 turned out June 27 for The First Mile, the kickoff celebration of the training program. The celebration, held at the Conway Regional Health and Fitness Center, featured the unveiling of the medals to be presented to participants.

Kids Run for Kids will be held 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23. It is dedicated to young up-and-coming athletes who want to try out the sport of running or walking, improve their health and run for kids their age who live at Soaring Wings Ranch. There are two parts to Kids Run for Kids: the Kids Half Marathon and “Fun Runs” for kids of all ages.

Kids Half Marathon  – A six-week endurance building running/walking program designed for children through sixth grade, kids run or walk the distance of a half marathon (13.1 miles) over the course of a six-week period led by a teacher, coach or parent. To achieve this goal, each child will need to have accumulated a total of 12 miles on their own by Oct. 23, and be ready to finish their own half marathon by completing their final 1.1 mile at the Soaring Wings Kids Half Marathon. This is not a timed event and there are no official winners. Mileage is based on adult supervision and the honor system.  

Participants need to download the Kids Half Marathon Mileage Log (at and bring the completed log with them on Oct. 23, showing 12 miles completed. As each child completes the final mile of the half marathon he/she will receive a finisher’s medal.

Fun Runs – There will also be age-divided fun run distances for kids of all ages (no mileage log necessary) and each child will receive a medal. If your child can walk, there is a race for them!

Registration is $10 and includes an event T-shirt and finisher’s medal.  

The pasta dinner will take place afterward at the expo center. Tickets are $20 for adults and $5 for children ages 12 and younger.

For more information, to register or to purchase pasta party tickets, visit