The Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival was created to bring together three Northwest Arkansas cross-country races under a single event. The Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival is now one of the premier running events in America.

Each year over 80 college teams and 120 high school teams battle for prestige and unique Chile Pepper themed awards. Additionally, 750 individuals participate in the Open 10k and 5K Fun Run plus the New Tom Lewis 1 Mile Pepper Dash on Friday Night. The event is held at University of Arkansas' incredible off road course and all runners are invited to enjoy a Hot Mexican food feast following the race.

In 2016, the Chile Pepper celebrated its 28th year and hosted approximately 6,500 runners and over 6,000 spectators the weekend of October 1st, 2016. The support of sponsors, runners, and athletes has contributed more than $500,000 to Northwest Arkansas cross-country programs. $56,000 was donated to area programs in 2016.


Schedule Saturday-September 30th, 2017

General Public / Individuals

  • Chile Pepper Open 10K 7:15 a.m.
  • Chile Pepper Open 5K 8:45 a.m.
  • Awards - Chile Pepper Open 10K 9:05 a.m, 5K Open 9:30 a.m.

Students / School Teams

College / Open*

  • Men's Collegiate (10K) 9:30 a.m.
  • Women's Collegiate (5K) 10:20 a.m.
  • Awards - Collegiate Men and Women 11:10 a.m.

High School & Junior High

  • Senior High Boy's "El Caliente" (Varsity-5K) 11:00 a.m.
  • Senior High Girl's "El Caliente" (Varsity-5K) 11:30 a.m.
  • Senior High Boy's Open (5K) 12:15 pm.
  • Senior High Girl's Open (5K)  1:00 p.m.
  • Awards - Senior High School 1:45 p.m.
  • Junior High Boys (5K)1:45 p.m.
  • Junior High Girls (5K) 2:30 p.m.
  • Awards - Junior High School 3:15 p.m.



One day in 1988, Joe Fennel, Randy Rhine and Kelly O'Meara, the Fayetteville High School cross-country coach, were out running. Kelly mentioned that his cross-country budget was $100.00. In the days before development programs, there wasn't money for sports other than football and basketball. Joe and Randy were shocked and decided to do something about it. They created the Chile Pepper Running Club and from there, the Chile Pepper Run. It was originally held in May and consisted of the 10K open run only. The Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival was created in 1992 to bring together three northwest Arkansas cross-country races under a single event - the Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival, which is now one of the premier running events in America. The Festival united the Chile Pepper Run; the Arkansas Invitational, the annual Lady'Back and Razorback home meet; and the Fayetteville High School's Purple Dog Invitational. Now the Chile Pepper hosts approximately 6,500 runners and over 6,000 spectators each year and is one of the largest cross country festivals in the nation. More than $500,000 has been given to northwest Arkansas cross-country programs. $56,000 was donated in 2016.  This year we're helping 14 different High Schools in Northwest Arkansas as we hope to expand the winning traditions.

Teams Registered as of 9/26/2017 at 10am:

Airline High School
Alamo Heights
Allen County Community College
Alma High School
Arkansas Arts Academy
Arkansas Arts Academy JR
Arkansas Arts Academy Penguins
Arkansas Tech University
Awty International
Baker University
Bakersfield HighSchool
Bartlesville Boys
Bartlesville Boys JV
Bartlesville Girls
Bartlesville Girls JV
Beebe High School
Belton Boys
Belton Girls
Benton High School
Bentonville High School
Bentonville West
Bergman Jr Boys
Bergman Jr Girls
Bergman Sr Girls
Bethel University
Bishop Kelley
Bishop Kelley - JV
Bishop Kelley - M
Bishop McGuinness
Blue Springs South
Blue Valley North
Bolivar Liberators
Boston College
Briarcrest Christian School
Broken Arrow HS
broken arrow jh
Bryant High School
Buffalo High School
Cabot High School
Carl Albert High School
Carl Albert High School Girls
Casady School
Cave City High School
Central Arkansas
Central Arkansas Christian
Central Baptist College
Central High School Springfield Mo
Central Junior High
Charleston High School
Christian Brothers University
Cnetral Arkansas
College of the Ozarks
Colorado School of Mines
Conway Christian eagles
Conway High School
Conway Jr. High
Cookson Hills Christian School
Creighton University
Crowley's Ridge College Men
Dallas Baptist University
Deer Creek High School
Dover Jr. Boys
Dover Jr. Girls
Dover Lady Pirates
Dover Pirates
East Central University
East Newton
East Texas Baptist University
Elkins High School
Episcopal Collegiate School Boys Open
Episcopal Collegiate School Cross Country
Episcopal Collegiate School Girls Open
Eureka High School
Eureka Springs Highlanders
Evangel University
Farmington Jr. Boys
Farmington Jr. Girls
Farmington Sr. Boys
Farmington Sr. Girls
Fayetteville High School
Fayetteville Purple
Fayetteville White
Fort Smith Southside Guys
Fort Smith Southside Varsity
Fort Worth Boswell
Fort Worth Boswell 2
Friends University
Fulbright Junior High School
Genoa Central
Gentry High School
Gentry Middle School
George Junior High Cross Country
Green Forest High School
Green Forest Junior High
Greenbrier High School Girls
Greenbrier Junior High Boys
Greenwood High School
Greenwood Junior High
Haas Hall Academy
Haas Hall Academy Bentonville
Haas Hall Bentonville
Haas Hall Springdale
Har-Ber High School - Girls
Harding Academy
harrison high school sr girls
Harrison Junior High
Haskell Indian Nations University
Haughton High School
Heber Springs High School
Heritage High School
Hermitage School
Hollister High School
Hot Springs High School
Hot Springs High School Boys JV
Hot Springs High School Girls
Hot Springs High School GirlsJV
Hot Springs Middle School Boys
Hot Springs Middle School Girls
Houston High School Boys
Houston High School Girls
Houston Stratford
Huntsville, AR SR GIRLS
Huntsville, AR SR BOYS
Immanuel Lutheran Christian Academy
Indian Hills Community College
Jenks High School
Jenks JV
Jessieville High School Boys
John Brown University Men
John Brown University Women
Jonesboro High School Boys
Jonesboro High School Girls
Junction Hill School
KCE Lions
Keller High School - Blue
Keller High School - Gold
Kickapoo High School
Kirk Academy
Ladue High School
Lady Vikings
Lake Hamilton High School
Lake Hamilton Jr. High School
Lakeside Boys
Lakeside Girls
Lakeside High
Liberal Bulldogs
Liberal Bulldogs (Girls)
Liberal Bulldogs JV
Liberty High (MO)
Life Way Christian
Lincoln Christian
Lincoln Christian Girls
Lincoln Junior High
Lindenwood University
Little Rock Catholic
Little Rock Central
Little Rock Christian
Little Rock Christian Academy
Lockhart High School
Lone Jack High School
Lone Jack High School Team 2
Louisiana State University Shreveport
Lyman High School
Manila High School
Marietta High School
Marshfield High School
Maumelle High School
Maumelle Junior High
McDonald County
McDonald County High School
Melbourne High School
Melbourne Jr High
Melbourne Jr. High
Midwestern State University
Miller Grove
Mills Comets
Mills Comets - Jr. Boys
Mills Comets - Jr. Girls
Missouri State University
Monticello Billies
Monticello Lady Billies
Montrose Bluejays
Morrilton Devil Dogs
Mount Dora Christian Academy
Mount Dora Christian Middle School
Mount Saint Mary
Mount St. Mary Open
Mount St. Mary Varsity
Mountain Home
MSU Denver
Mustang High School
Norman High School
Norman North
Northwest Missouri State University
Northwestern Oklahoma State University
OKC Storm
Oklahoma Baptist University
Oklahoma Christian University Men
Oklahoma Christian University Women
Oklahoma City University
OKrunner (m)
OKrunner (w)
Ouachita Baptist University
Ozark Junior High Boys
Ozark Junior High Girls
Parkvew Cross Country
Parkview Arts/Science
Parkview Cross Country
Pottsville High School
Pottsville Junior High School
Prairie Grove
Prairie Grove High School
Pratt Community College
Pulaski Academy
Ramay Junior High Boys
Ramay Junior High Girls
Rogers Heritage Jr High
Rogers Heritage Jr High Girls
Sacred Heart High School
Saint Joseph Central High School
Salem High School
Santa Clara University
Sapulpa High School Boys Varsity
Sapulpa High School Girls Varsity
Sequoyah High School
Shawnee Mission East Seniors
Shawnee Mission East Varsity
Shiloh Christian School
Siloam Springs
Siloam Springs HS
Smithson Valley
Southern Arkansas University
Southwest Junior High
Southwestern Oklahoma State University
Springdale High School
Springfield Catholic High Schol
St. Joseph Catholic School
St. Mark's School of Texas
St. Mark's Varsity Boys
Star City
Stilwell High Girls
Stilwell Varsity Boys
Strafford Cross Country
Strafford High School
Tabor College Men
Tabor College Women
Tahlequah boys jv xc
tahlequah boys xc
Tahlequah Girls Junior Varsity
Tahlequah girls Varsity
Texas A&M Commerce
Texas High
Texas State University
Texas Tech Univ
The New School
Trinity University (Texas)
Turner Pool
UA - Monticello Men's XC
Univerisity of Arkansas-Fort Smith
University of Arkansas
University of Texas at Arlington
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
University of the Ozarks
Valley Springs Jr High Lady Tigers
Valley Springs JR High Tigers
Valley Springs Lady Tigers
Valley Springs Tigers
Van Buren High School
Van Buren HS
Van Buren JH
Vilonia High School
Vilonia Junior High School
Washington High School
Washington Junior High
Washtington Junior high
Wayland Baptist University
Webb City
West Fork
West Plains Middle School
West Texas A&M
Westminster Christian Academy
Westminster Christian Academy 2
Westmoore Boys
Westmoore H.S. Girls
Westmoore Senior Boys
Willard High School Boys
Willard High School Girls
William Woods
Williams Baptist College
Woodland Junior High