The Ultimate Training Run – The Frog Hill Half Marathon & 10K
This is a slightly smaller local race held in the city of Waynesville, Missouri which is located fairly central in the state of Missouri just north of Highway 44 and about an hour South-Eash of Lake of the Ozarks. I estimate about 200 people participated this past October 3rd, 2015. There are two races to choose from, a 10K and an extremely challenging half marathon.
This is a well-run race with chip-timing and medals given to all finishers of either the 10K or half marathon.
This race is sponsored by the Team 413 Gracerunner Ministries and the 413 refers to a verse in the bible, Philippians 4:13 which says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” That verse, along with http://www.Team413.org was printed on the back of the green t-shirt and a fun looking frog with the race name was on the front. The t-shirt sizes ran from small, medium, large and extra-large. The rest of the SWAG bag contains papers on various upcoming races in the area and a nice brochure about the historic city of Waynesville, MO which was founded back in 1843.
AID STATIONS –
There are an adequate number of theme based aid stations throughout the out and back course which feature water and Gatoraid. The end of the race was the best. In addition to bottles of water & Gatorade underneath a nearby pavillion were free grilled hot dogs, chips, soda and more Gatorade.
COURSE SCENERY –
This race offers a variety of running surfaces which each have their own unique scenery. There’s about 20% asphalt & paved road which starts at the school parking lot then onto nice section of downhill roadway which may lull the newbie Frog Hill runner into thinking they could be getting a PR with this race. That road then turns onto a fairly short stretch of running through the a section of the towns quant downtown before turning off onto the majority of the running surface which consist of a mixture crushed gravel and a dirt road. The race director had commented that there hadn’t been rain in a while so the trail type portion of the run may be harder than normal but I found no problems with the surface other than it was very dry and the few times cars drove by they would kick up clouds of dust. There’s a nice mixture of trees, rock formations and views of the Roubidoux Creek along this majority portion of the run. The run ends at a point about a mile and a half from the start at a local park which conveniently is hosting the Waynesville Frog Festival so there is plenty to do and see after the run as well.
EXPO QUALITY –
Packet pickup for this race may be done the night before the race at a local VFW or from about 7 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. the day of the race. I believe final registration was also available on race day as well for an additional $10 fee but the already low price of $45 was available online all the way until the night before the race, which is when I finally got around do signing up.
I picked up my race packet on race day and was pleasantly surprised to see complementary donuts, chocolate donuts and coffee available for all the racers. There was also a costumed frog walking around and available to all who wanted pictures.
The pickup was inside East Elementary School which provided some nice relief from the slightly chilly weather outside until the race started.
This race used tri-athlete style ankle timers which contestants were instructed to put on their left ankle. I’ve never used this type of timing system before but put it on over my sock and never noticed it was there.
ELEVATION DIFFICULTY –
This may be the part I love and hate the most about this run. Just before the 10K turnabout is an aid station where people were dressed up as ghouls, goblins & monsters which ….if you continue past this turnabout point – be forewarned because how those people look is going to be how you feel if you continue ….just beyond that aid station is Superior Hill and you must be MORE superior to conquor and continue! This is no small hill and for me, only the Pikes Peak Ascent in Colorado had a greater incline. This incline in Waynesville, MO goes on for MILES – well, maybe “just” a mile but it’s up and up and up …..I thought there was an end to it that I could see so I tried running up the hill but the hill didn’t stop …so I tried speed walking and the hill still didn’t stop ….it’s formidable to say the least.
This hill could make the Frog Hill Half Marathon the ultimate training run because there is NO WAY I would have pushed myself up this many hills of this magnitude on my own. My quads were lit up and on fire after Superior Hill and there’s still 7 or 8 miles miles to go AFTER you’ve fried your quads on that hill.
Parking was very adequate at the Elementary school parking lot.
RACE MANAGEMENT –
A runner by the name of Melissa Martinez is the current race director and did a superior job. She is very caring and responsive to the needs of the runners.