Yo yo yo. A friend is interested in Arkansas Traveller as her first 100.
The course doesn't look particularly evil to me... but upon declaring her interest, several Arkansas folks wrote her to caution her that it was bad ass hard. The thing is, I'm not sure any of those folks have run it, much less other 100s.
Anyone done it? Feedback? And bottom line, reasonable for a first timer?
You'll ruin your knees!
I have paced/crewed for friends a couple of times and I have generally had a "meh" kind of impression of the course. There is a short single track trail section, otherwise, the entire race is run on 1) dusty gravel roads, 2) not-so-dusty forest service-type roads and 3) jeep roads. That said, the runners do talk about some tough footing on some of those less-traveled roads. Here is the report from the runner I crewed, complete with pics/vids to document his experience (I took a lot of the film).
The race is very well organized and staffed, lots of good care given to first-timers. Crissy and Stan F do a nice job putting the race on. I would not charachterize it as a lay-up 100 by any means. The rocks can be really hard on feet and some years the temps/humidity can get pretty nasty (was well up in the 90's the year they cancelled the Chicago Marathon due to heat!).
Here is my friend's report... (his first hunnerd...)
""...the truth that someday, you will go for your last run. But not today—today you got to run." - Matt Crownover (after Western States)