Frequently Asked Questions

Who produces the Cow Paddy Run?

The Spark Foundation is a nonprofit organization that strives to create a positive impact in the community by providing increased access to health and fitness education and opportunities. In addition to our annual race series, the Spark Foundation supports running clubs in local schools through coaching, curriculum, and healthy snacks. The Spark Foundation supports pioneering projects around health and fitness through its keystone fund with Fayetteville Public Education Foundation as well as mini grants for area schools and clubs. When you run, remember that you are helping NWA to build the habits for an active, healthy lifestyle!

Will I be able to receive a refund or transfer my race registration if I’m unable to participate in the Cow Paddy Run?

We follow the standard running industry. All entry fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.

I am a very slow runner/walker. Will I feel out of place?

You won’t feel out of place at all! Our races are planned for participants of all ages, paces, and abilities.

Are there any training groups?

Several elementary and middle schools have running clubs that focus on preparing for the annual Cow Paddy Run. Contact your child’s school to see if these are active.
If you are looking for adult running groups in the area, we highly recommend Ozark Trail Running Club, The Mustache Running Club, and Columbus House Brewery Running Club.

Will there be pace groups at this race?

We will not have pace groups for any of the distances.

Is there a time limit for the course?

Yes, there is a 15-minute limit for the 1K & a 60-minute limit for the 5K

Will the course have a “sweeper”?

Yes, we will have a runner or cyclist making sure that everyone stays safe and finishes.

Can I wear headphones?

Yes, but we ask that you keep the volume down at a safe level so that you can hear other runners or instructions from event personnel.

Can I bring my dog or run with a stroller?

Of course! Trained, well-behaved pups are welcome. Just be sure to keep your furry friends on a non-retractable leash of 5 feet or less and that you bring appropriate supplies to clean up after them. We also ask that anyone running with dogs or strollers start near the back of the pack for the safety of all runners.

Can someone else pick up my packet for me?

Yes, in order for someone else can pick up your packet for you, they must show proof of your race registration.

Are there bathrooms on the course?

There will be an ample amount of port-a-potties at the start/finish lines.

When and where should I pick up my race packet?

Packet Pickup will be sent out via email and announced on social media.

Does the race have a gear-check?

There is no gear check available for the Cow Paddy Run. We suggest leaving items in your locked car or with friends and family that are spectating.

Where should I park the day of the race?

There are several paved and grass lots at Gulley Park that you may use. Our parking attendants will be there to assist you.

There is a large parking lot on the south side of the park (off Township). When these parking spaces are full, we recommend that runners park on the street in the surrounding neighborhoods. Sequoyah Methodist, and Parkside Preschool have also generously allowed the use of their parking lots. If you park in other church lots or businesses, you may be towed.

I’m traveling from out of town for the race. Where should I stay?

The Fayetteville Visitor’s Bureau, Experience Fayetteville, has great information on area hotels. We highly recommend Graduate Fayetteville, which is on the historic downtown square.

How can I volunteer to help out during the race?

Thank you for volunteering to support our runners and The Spark Foundation, please email

How can I stay up to date with race information?

Follow us on social media: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

If I registered to run this year and then find out I can’t run this year, can I transfer my registration to next year?

No, race registrations may not be transferred to future Spark Foundation races.

What kind of course support do you offer?

There will be water at the start/finish and 1 aid station on the 5k course.

Can my child run alone?

We highly encourage you to register and run with your children. As parents, you know best if your child ten years of age or older is ready to run on their own.

Remember this is a BIG event with lots of runners and volunteers at Gulley Park. Please be sure to discuss your family's plan for the day before you arrive.

Can my family and friends meet me at the finish line?

We encourage family and friends to join you for race day.

What happens if it’s raining on the day of the race?

The Cow Paddy Run is rain or shine! In the event of extreme weather (i.e. lightning), we will make the safest decision regarding delay or cancellation. Please note that the race registration fee is nonrefundable even if the race is modified or cancelled. For any further questions, please contact the race director at

Who should I contact if the answer to my question isn’t listed here?

Please email us at