The Jon Francis Half Marathon
In the summer of 2006 the community of Stillwater lost one of its own: Jon Francis. Some of us had been fortunate enough to have known Jon as he grew up here in Stillwater and excelled as a student and athlete. Some of the rest of the community "met" Jon as the tragic events of his loss in the mountains of Idaho were recounted in our local newspapers.
Jon Francis was an outstanding young man. His life and subsequent loss have touched our town, and his family has established the Jon Francis Foundation (JFF) to honor Jon's life and legacy. JFF strives to make a difference in the world just as Jon did.
The "Magnificent Seven"
When Jon Francis entered Stillwater High School in 1997, he made Varsity Cross Country. Jon, a sophomore, was one of the top seven and at 15 years old was the youngest varsity runner. The 1997 Stillwater Boy's Cross Country Team had an awesome year. They went undefeated all season earning Conference and Section Championships.
The team won the Minnesota State Championship for a third consecutive year. They were voted by the sports' writers (USA Today/ Harrier Magazine) as National Champions (Ranked 1st. out of 23,000 High School boy's teams). A local sports writer dubbed them "The Magnificent Seven." Jostens created a "super bowl style" championship ring for the Stillwater Coach, Scott Christensen and the team.
The Magnificent Seven: 1997 Minnesota State High School and National Champions (Left to right: Coach Scott Christensen, Sean Graham, Luke Watson, Greg Wikelius, Chris Boldt, Jon Francis, Joel Solomonson, and Pete Prince)
Competitive running contributed to Jon's extraordinary character development and is a source of many of our memories of him. The Jon Francis Race is intended to bring together the running community and Jon's friends to celebrate his life and athletic achievements, and to provide an opportunity for the Stillwater community to honor a native son, one of its own.
Join us for this celebration of the life and running accomplishments of Jon Francis. The Stillwater Marathon and the Jon Francis Half Marathon will run on May 30, 2010, in Stillwater, Minnesota, along the shores of the beautiful St. Croix River.
Also, please join us at the Health and Wellness Expo on Saturday May 28 at the Water Street Inn. Visit the Jon Francis Foundation Booth.
David Francis, Jon's father, will be present to sign his book: Bringing Jon Home, the story of Jon's life and legacy and the unprecedented wilderness search to bring him home.