9 questions to discover a race : Frisco Fifty 50k Ultramarathon

25 Feb 2010 07:58
Jean-Loup Fenaux

Richard Johnson Richard Johnson has completed the 50 States Marathons, has completed ultras of 50 miles, 70 miles, and 100 miles, and has been directing local races for the past 10 years.

This is his 30th year of running and he has loved every minute of it.

Richard Johnson is the race director of the Frisco Fifty 50k Ultramarathon.

Hello, on April 17th 2010, you’ll be organizing the Frisco Fifty 50k Ultramarathon . Can you tell us where it is located?

The race begins in Willard, MO, on the historic Frisco Highline Trail.


This will be the 2nd edition of the race. Why was it created in the first place?

The Frisco railroad is an important part of Southwest Missouri history. The rail-to-trail project going from Springfield to Bolivar, MO, was completed a few years ago making it possible to run 31 miles from Willard to Bolivar, MO, in a very picturesque rural setting.

So, the 50K was created with an option for a marathon, a 10 miler, and a 50K relay.

What kind of route have you set up for the runners? How would you describe it?

The route is point-to-point, running generally north from Willard to Bolivar. It is mostly flat with a few rolling hills, net downhill, on a hard-packed crushed limestone base.

How many runners do you expect on Saturday morning? What type of runners do you plan to attract?

We expect about 50 ultra runners, 50 marathoners, 100 10 Milers, and 25 50K relay runners.

Do you organize other races during the Week-End? If so, on what distances?

Yes, the 50K Relay (any number of team members from 2 to 5), marathon, and 10 Miler.

At that time of the year, what kind of weather can we expect?

The weather should be excellent with an average low of 44 and an average high of 68.

Have you planned festivities around the race?

We are going to have refreshments after the 10 Miler and a cookout after the marathon and 50K.

The race finished, what advice would you give a runner who has never been to Willard before? A good restaurant, a fancy sightseeing?

The race finishes in Bolivar, MO, 25 miles north of Willard. Bolivar is a small town of 10,000 with a university, so there are several good restaurants.
Springfield, which is 6 miles south of Willard, has a population of 300,000 with a very wide range of activities including Bass Pro headquarters, Springfield Symphony, shopping, dining, Missouri State University, and the Wilson’s Creek National (Civil War) Battlefield.

In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of ahotu Marathons to make them register for the Frisco Fifty 50k Ultramarathon?

This is a flat, fast, easy, certified 50K that is both historic and scenic, and can easily become your 50K (or marathon) PR.

Thank you Richard