CHILE PEPPER CROSS COUNTRY FESTIVAL CELEBRATES 35TH YEAR, WITH TOTAL LIFETIME GIVING SET TO SURPASS $1,000,000.
The Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival, a beacon of the Northwest Arkansas running community, is thrilled to announce the dates for its 35th annual event: September 29-30, 2023. This year’s festival aims to reach a landmark milestone in philanthropic efforts, which if achieved, would make the celebration a truly exceptional event in its history.
Held at the University of Arkansas Agriculture Fields Complex, the festival brings together both local and national runners for a weekend of spirited competition. Events span across two days, kicking off with the Collegiate and Community 1 Mile races on Friday, followed by the Junior High, High School, and Community 10K races on Saturday.
Since its inception in 1988, the Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival has remained steadfast in its mission – supporting area high school cross-country programs. As the festival rings in its 35th year, the collective contributions are projected to cross the $1,000,000 threshold, marking a monumental achievement in the festival’s history.
“The Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival is about more than running; it’s about community,” said race director Ken Robertson. “As we prepare for our 35th year, we’re not just celebrating the miles we’ve run but also the impact we’ve made. Surpassing $1M in contributions to local high school running programs, we’re ensuring the next generation of athletes has the support they need.”
Renowned for its vibrant atmosphere and national-caliber competition, the festival has received high praise from the running community, including a past endorsements from the legendary University of Arkansas coach John McDonnell, and 1992 Olympian Reuben Reina. Both new and returning participants are invited to partake in this landmark year, experiencing firsthand the community spirit that has made the Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival an enduring tradition.
Quotes from the Coaches
“Being a part of the Chile Pepper family has allowed Siloam Springs to schedule an overnight meet with our top athletes. This is something our kids work for and look forward to each year. We also purchase team shirts for all our athletes, and shoes for those who can’t afford them. Without the support of the CP sponsors we would not be able to do these things.” – Coach Sharon Jones, Siloam Springs (AR)
“I am a Cross Country coach at Kirkwood High School near St. Louis, MO. We have been running at the Chile Pepper Festival for 5 years and I can honestly say it is one of the highlights of our season. The meet is very well organized, the competition is great, and everyone involved is very friendly and welcoming.” -Coach Joe Bartin, Kirkwood (MO).
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