My Pulse News

Mena Arkansas News covering Polk County and the surrounding area

The CALL new host of Talimena 13.1 Run & Relay

By Trey Youngdahl

Christian non-profit organization The CALL in Polk County will be hosting the Talimena 13.1 Run & Relay to raise funds in support of foster care.

The marathon will be held on April 30, at 8:30 a.m. starting at Janssen Park and down Maple before turning left on Mena Street and continuing up the Talimena Scenic Byway to the Lodge.

There will again be an individual category, a four-person relay, and a 13-person relay. To register, applicants can inquire at or at Registration will start at 7:00 a.m. Runners will have four hours to complete the course. Pre-registration ends April 17.

Registration Prices:

Half-marathon individual:

  • $50 until April 17
  • $65 after April 18

Four-person relay 

(Package amount for all four team members):

  • $175 until April 17
  • $200 after April 18

13-person relay 

(Package amount for all 13 team members):

  • $300 until April 17
  • $350 after April 18

Please note, the relay team leader will apply for all team members. Do not sign up under the individual category if you are a team member. There will be three aid stations located approximately 3.2 miles apart. Each mile is marked on the route for the 13-person Team. There will be energy snacks, water, and sports drinks available. Local HAM operators and EMS staff will be on the course to assist with emergency and other needs. There will be snacks and refreshments at the finish line.

In previous years, the marathon was held by Polk County Developmental Center (PCDC) but has not been held since 2019. This race, formerly called the Rich Mountain Classic, was first run in 1986 and continued through 1990, using the Janssen Park to the Queen Wilhelmina Lodge race route.

In 1991, the Classic was renamed the Talimena Drive Half-Marathon. The course was run from the lodge to near the state line and back.

In 2014, the event was re-named the Talimena 13.1 Run & Relay. Gov. Bill Clinton and Attorney General Steve Clark were past participants in the race. 

The CALL has brought it back to life.

“This year was to get it started back in the public’s view,” The CALL program coordinator Renee Hendrix said. “Next year, we’re going to go big. All profits will stay in Polk County.”

Families recruited by The CALL make up over half of all foster families in the state. Since 2007, these families have cared for over 10,000 children, and created forever families for over 800 children. The CALL is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, funded by contributions from individual donors, churches, foundations and corporations. They provide their services to families and churches at no cost. This fundraiser is one of several they do throughout the year to provide their support. 

“Come out and enjoy the scenery,” Hendrix said. “You’ll be supporting a great cause.”

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