Whether you are a seasoned half-marathoner, or recently began training for your first event, the Frog Hill Half in Waynesville, Missouri is bucket list worthy. Missouri is home to over 50 annual half-marathons but the Frog Hill Half stands out in the crowd. In its seventh year, this challenging race is picking up steam and drawing more runners and their families.
Waynesville, the seat of Pulaski County, lies just north of Interstate 44 (Exit 156) and is approximately half way between Saint Louis and Springfield, Missouri. This makes travel to and from the Frog Hill Half a breeze.
This storied pavement has been revered by “roadies” since the cross country highway was decommissioned in 1985. Runners can truly connect with America’s past during this portion of the course. A small portion of Frog Hill Half retraces part of the route ran during the Trans-American Footrace in 1928.
Our list wouldn’t be complete without a mention of the race’s namesake. W.H. Croaker is an internationally famous landmark. Carved from an extra large boulder, the brightly colored green and yellow frog rock will silently cheer you on as you pass beneath during your descent into charming downtown Waynesville.
One portion of the course follows an antebellum road that is gravel and crushed rock. Don’t be lulled by the Ozark scenery as you pass by Roubidoux Spring and follow the river towards the historic Poor Farm. Superior Hill awaits you. This formidable challenge peaks just shy of a half mile and features a 9% grade. You will never forget completing this section of the course.
Area amenities make the Frog Hill Half a destination. Arrive early and explore Pulaski County’s 33 miles of Route 66, shop the antique stores and gift boutiques, learn the tragic tale of the Cherokee, and feast at unique dining spots. Stay late and discover stunning scenery while kayaking the Big Piney or Gasconade River. Nearby Saint Robert has multiple lodging accommodations that will fit any budget.
The race is organized by Pulaski County Health Center with a focus on the family. In addition to the half-marathon they offer a 10K the same day. The Leapfrog 5K takes place the evening before the featured race. All three race events end in Waynesville City Park where there will be activities for runners and their families.
The famous mountaineer, after being asked why he wanted to climb Mt. Everest, famously retorted “Because it’s there”. You are a half-marathoner and Frog Hill Half is waiting to be conquered.
If you prefer pedaling to running check out Nasty Pulaski Gravel Grind Bike Race!