The World’s Biggest Party Half Marathon


Me and one of the prep students being silly at the mall

I have shared in many post that I work for Camp Barnabas which is a camp for kids and adults with special needs.  I love my job and I love this camp it is one of the most unique places on earth and also my home.  



A camper at our fall barnabreak which is a weekend of camp before the summer begins.

Camp has been and will always be a home for me and for so many others.  I was having a conversation with a dear friend tonight and she has been talking with an adult camper who is going through a difficult time and as Sarah has been talking to her, the camper measures every year by camp years and not the typical calendar year.  This is the true story for so many of our campers, volunteers, and staff members.   Campers leave camp and begin talking the next year of camp in the car rides home from their current camp experience.

Barnabas is such an amazing place where everyone belongs and in light of that one of the things that Barnabas always desires that any camper who desires to come to camp can do just that, attend camp.

 However, camp cost money, and many of our families are not in financial places to be able to afford the cost that comes with any camp.  Barnabas has a scholarship fund to help truly ensure that each camper can come to camp and be celebrated regardless of their families financial situation.

However, to have money in a scholarship fund you have to some how raise money and this year Barnabas ran down a new road to fund raise. 


The start of the race

We had the Worlds Biggest Party Half Marathon this year to bring in those funds. It was held in Springfield MO and we had people come from all over.  

People came from Kansas city, Fayetteville and the entire surrounding area of Springfield.  It was such an adventure.

We began planning in January and the race was in April…do any of you know how long you are “supposed” to spend planning a marathon?… a year… that’s right a year… and we did it in 4 months.  It was crazy and amazing!


half way through the crowd of runners starting the race


We have such an amazing team but mostly two lovely ladies Kylie and Mindy are the ones who really made it all happen.  They worked so hard on something that they had no idea what they were really doing but they rocked it.

It was amazing how it all came together in such a short amount of time and how much it exceeded out expectations.  We were expecting around 300 hundred runners to sign up for the race and by the morning of the race we had 462 runners!  It was incredible!  

This marathon was exactly whats it’s title says.  It was incredible.  Every mile marker there was a party happening, bands, people dressed up as star wars characters fighting with light sabers and all.


One of the bands at a mile marker


A group of our summer staffers at a mile marker all dressed up in skit closet items to cheer on the runners

There were so many amazing volunteers who made up the party teams.  We are so thankful for them and it was such an encouragement to the runners as they reached each mile to have people cheering them on and being silly.


A runner being encouraged by one of the party groups



Another racer getting encouraged by a party team

When racers crossed the finish line they walked into a huge party in Jordan Valley park with a DJ, games, a photo booth and even complete with jugglers.



A NWA family that came to run the race taking a picture at the photo booth in the park after the race.

It was beautiful to see all of the runners and their reasons for running the race for some it was simply another marathon to run that supported a good cause, and for others they were running for very specific reasons that were special to their own hearts. 





This race was the weekend after the Boston Marathon, and many runners ran for those in Boston, and all the racers wore blue and yellow tape crosses to honor them.

This year’s race was such an incredible success not just for Barnabas but for the runners and most of all our campers that will be coming through our gates this summer and summers to come. 

It was a beautiful event and you can expect that I will be talking about it next April and promoting the next race, so if you are a runner look forward to running.  If you love to party you can come and be a part of our party teams.


Check out more race pics and Barnabas Foundation information on facebook at

Check out the Marathon website at

Check out Camp Barnabas information at:

Photos taken by: Kara Wells, Sara Romans and Sherry Kettner and are the property of Barnabas Foundation. 

  • Sarea Clark

    What an awesome thing to participate in! Thank you for sharing!

  • Jessica Messer

    Wow this race looks like so much fun!! I hope that this marathon gains popularity and grows next year!!! Run for a great cause!! AWESOME!!

  • sherryk

    Thanks so much! It was such an amazing event!

  • Sherryk

    Thanks so much Sarea!