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News.bytesNews.bytes Extra, issue 405

625 run in Bizz Johnson Marathon

Beautiful fall weather and ideal running conditions greeted 625 athletes who converged on the Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail in northeast California,  Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 10 and 11, for the annual Bizz Johnson Trail Marathon.

The organizer, Coastal Trail Runs, said 360 runners participated in the full 26.2-mile marathon, while two half-marathon runs attracted 188 and 77 athletes, respectively.  The full marathon follows the Bizz Johnson Trail from near the community of Westwood to Susanville, with the finish line at the BLM's Hobo Camp Day Use Area.   The trail is managed by the Eagle Lake Field Office and the Lassen National Forest.

A woman in the foreground and several people behind her grin widely and raise their arms as they finish the race
Runners are jubilant at the finish of the demanding race.

 A crowd of runners is bunched up on the trail among trees
The normally tranquil forest near Westwood is alive with excitement at the start of the full marathon.  BLM Eagle Lake Field Office Manager Dayne Barron (black shirt, white cap) is on the left, slightly behind and to the left of runner no. 160.  He finished the event in 3 hours, 40 minutes, 53 seconds.  That was 62nd overall and fourth in his age class.

Runners are spaced farther apart on the trail through the trees, as they pass a sign marking the Bizz Johnson Trail
Runners pass a Bizz Johnson Trail crossbuck at the Mason Station Trailhead near Westwood.

A man and three women, one smiling broadly, running on the trail
There was a celebrity in the crowd of athletes, as Grammy Award-winning singer Alanis Morrisette, no. 271, competed in her first marathon.  She was running to raise awareness about eating disorders, and spoke about her participation in the event in a recent edition of People magazine.  She finished the event in 4 hours, 17 minutes, 164th overall and eighth in her age group.

A collage of faces of men and women in the race
Marathons are about determination and accomplishment, as shown in these faces.

The marathon is a qualifying event for the prestigious Boston Marathon.  Organizers promote the course as fast and beautiful.

The Susanville community shows strong support for the event, with members of the local Rotary Club, Boy Scouts and amateur radio operators volunteering to staff aid stations along the course and provide other help.  Area motels, stores and restaurants also benefit from the tourism influx.

- Jeff Fontana, BLM Northern California District

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 405

Last updated: 10-21-2009