Since its 2004 inaugural race, the Bizz Johnson Trail Marathon has been attracting runners at all levels with its stunning California landscapes and laid-back setting. Most participants agree that the low-key setting of the Bizz Johnson Trail Marathon gives the race a comfortable, intimate feel that is unusually conducive to talking to and making friends with other runners- a trait lacking in big city races.
The Bizz Johnson Trail Marathon offers 26.2 miles of a nicely packed dirt road (hailed for being easy on the knees and feet) set against a backdrop of the California wilderness at its best. Additionally, the marathon is lauded for being one of the “fastest” trail marathons, as it is mostly on a gentle downhill slope that never gets steeper than a gentle 2% grade. Once a rail line for Southern Pacific Railroad (converted to a trail through the program “Rails to Trails” in the 1980s), the trail takes runners across 12 bridges and through several old railroad tunnels.
The Bizz Johnson Trail begins in the old logging town of Westwood, California and ends 26.2 miles away in Susanville, California (another old logging town). Runners do not, however, have to be concerned about lack of support or supplies- the marathon’s experienced organizers set up a well-stocked aid station every two miles. In addition to providing sustenance for the runners in the form of water, Gatorade, fruit, gels, energy bars, and First Aid kits, the stations are staffed with friendly faces that offer moral support to the front-runners as well as those in the back of the pack.
Taking place every year in autumn, when the landscape offers a particularly brilliant palette of color, the next Bizz Johnson Trail Marathon will take place in October 2009.