Saturday, September 23, 2023 • Gilroy, CA
The 47th Annual Mount Madonna Challenge is more than just a race; it’s a journey infused with history, a profound legacy, and a commitment to nurturing young talents. This iconic event had its inception in 1975, led by an eclectic group of runners, all spurred by one man’s profound love for running – Bill Flodberg. Bill’s remarkable life spanned 75 years, and he wore many hats with equal passion. He was a relentless runner, with collegiate experience at UC Berkeley and a long-lasting love affair with the roads and trails of San Martin and Gilroy. Even into his 70s, Bill continued to compete at a high level.
However, Bill’s impact reached far beyond personal achievements. He embraced his role as a Cross Country Coach at Gavilan College and contributed significantly as one of the founders of the Gavilan Joggers and Striders Running Club. His influence extended to the written word through his “Running Man” running column, where he inspired and guided others. Bill was also instrumental in organizing and directing several local races, including the Mt. Madonna Challenge.
Bill’s efforts to enrich the world weren’t confined to running. He was a tireless advocate for music and the arts, leaving a legacy that touched thousands of lives. The running community also benefited immeasurably from his exemplary guidance, encouragement, and advice.
In 2007, the South Valley Running Club took the reins of the Mt. Madonna Challenge from Bill, who could no longer manage the event. The running club assumed responsibility for the race, with a heartfelt mission to channel all proceeds into scholarships for local high school running athletes. For over 13 years, the running club fulfilled this commitment, awarding one to five scholarships annually to deserving high school seniors.
Over time, as is the fate of many organizations, the club faced challenges in sustaining support and participation for the race. Recognizing the need for fresh energy and renewed passion, they decided to entrust the race to someone who could reinvigorate it. In 2020, the race found a new steward in Jose Cruz, a local running athlete with a passion for the sport and a wealth of ideas for the event.
Under Jose’s ownership and management, the Mt. Madonna Challenge has been reimagined with a clear purpose. All proceeds from the race now contribute to the Mt. Madonna Scholarship, supporting local high school runners in attending the Max King Trail Running Camp. This week-long experience, running from June 26th to June 30th, is a blend of adventure, camaraderie, advice, exploration, and opportunities that can be life-changing.
The goal is ambitious: to provide 8-10 underrepresented kids from various local schools with the chance to partake in this extraordinary running camp. The Mt. Madonna Challenge, with Jose at the helm, carries forward the spirit of Bill Flodberg’s dedication and continues to shape the lives of aspiring young runners. Elevation gain, challenging terrains, and intense competition may define the race, but its heart lies in its commitment to nurturing the future of running.
Race Weather & Climate
Gilroy, California, is a charming city located in Santa Clara County, approximately 30 miles south of San Jose, one of the major cities in the San Francisco Bay Area. Known as the “Garlic Capital of the World,” Gilroy offers a delightful blend of small-town living and easy access to the urban amenities and job opportunities of nearby San Jose. Its prime location in Santa Clara County makes it a desirable destination for residents looking for a balance between suburban life and city access.
On September 23rd in Gilroy, CA, you can anticipate an average high temperature of around 80°F and an average low temperature of approximately 55°F. This date falls in late summer, with warm and pleasant weather. Rainfall during this time is typically minimal, with averages around 0.1-0.3 inches.
Mt. Madonna Challenge Half Marathon Race Results
- 2023 Mt. Madonna Challenge Half Marathon Race Results
- 2022 Mt. Madonna Challenge Half Marathon Race Results
- 2021 Mt. Madonna Challenge Half Marathon Race Results
Mt. Madonna Challenge Half Marathon Course Map
See the race route map for the Mt. Madonna Challenge Half Marathon course map here.
The half marathon start time is 8:00 AM.
To reserve your spot in the 2023 Mt. Madonna Challenge Half Marathon, you can use the registration link here.
Online registration is now closed for this race.