Headwaters of the Frio Marathon / Half Marathon / 10K

Headwaters of the Frio Marathon / Half Marathon / 10K supporting Hill Country Youth Ranch
Hill Country Youth Ranch

About Headwaters of the Frio Marathon / Half Marathon / 10K

The Headwaters of the Frio Marathon/Half Marathon/10K is a challenging run/walk event across the rugged and isolated terrain of one of the most stunningly beautiful ranches in the Texas Hill Country.

This event, held during Child Abuse Prevention month, highlights the vital mission of Hill Country Youth Ranch and Big Springs Ranch for Children which work to bring healing and restoration to children who have been victims of horrific abuse, abandonment and neglect.

The difficulties and obstacles experienced on the course are a metaphor for the “marathon” our children face daily; while the beauty and tranquility of our 7,050 acre ranch will impact and lift your spirit as it does the children who call this place home.


Event Schedule

Friday, April 5th

5:00 – 8:00 PM Packet Pick-up at Oma Bell Perry Community Center (bib, map, etc.)

6:00 – 8:00 PM Pre-event dinner at Oma Bell Perry Community Center

Saturday, April 6th

6:30 AM – 9:00 AM Packet Pick-Up & Breakfast at Ed Brune Gym

8:00 AM Gather at starting line for Announcements, Photos & National Anthem

8:30 AM Starting time for Marathon and Half Marathon

9:30 AM Gather at starting line for Announcements, Photos & National Anthem

10:00 AM Starting time for 10K

10:00 AM – 4:00 PM Activities for participants and families

11:00 AM – 2:00 PM Lunch at Ed Brune Gym

5:00 PM Course closing time

5:00 PM Texas BBQ Dinner at Oma Bell Community Center

5:15 PM Awards

5:45 PM Live Music - Exit 505 Band

8:00 PM Event Close


Starts at:  April 5, 2019 5:00 PM
Ends at:  April 6, 2019 8:00 PM


Big Springs Ranch for Children
10664 U.S. Highway 83 North
Leakey,TX 78873 USA


Tim Campbell

Are You One of the Special Few?

This is truly a special event, and we’re looking for a special kind of participant! We know this event is not for everyone. If you’re the kind of person who finds joy and fulfillment in physical challenges like marathons, half marathons or 10K’s, whether running or walking, AND have a heart to help abused and abandoned kids by supporting worthy nonprofits like Hill Country Youth Ranch / Big Springs Ranch for Children, you’re just the kind of person we're looking for! This is a fundraising event and each participant makes a commitment to raise funds to support our mission. It's no easy task, but is very rewarding. Our commitment to you is to provide a one of a kind experience. We've taken care of every detail to make sure this is one of the most memorable events you'll ever experience! The event is limited to 250 total participants. Plan now to join us for our 2nd annual event!

Lots of Choices for Participation

This is a timed event with three categories of participation:

  • Marathon runners and walkers
  • Half Marathon runners and walkers
  • 10K runners and walkers

The minimum age is 13 and there is no maximum age (last year our oldest participant was 77). You just need to be in reasonably good shape, train appropriately for the event you choose, and be realistic about your capabilities. Marathon participants have the toughest challenge with a generous 9 hours to complete the 26.2 mile course. Note to Marathon participants: You will need to finish the first half by 4:15 to progress to the second half of the course.

After signing up as an individual, you will be given the opportunity to form a team and invite family/friends/co-workers to join you on your run/walk and compete for the team fundraising prize.


Fundraising and Awards

Registration and Fundraising

The Headwaters of the Frio Marathon/Half Marathon/10K is a fundraising event to support Hill Country Youth Ranch and Big Springs Ranch for Children which work to provide healing and restoration to children who have been traumatized through abuse, abandonment or neglect.

There is a modest registration fee to indicate your commitment and help offset expenses. There is also a fundraising component for each participant.

We have established minimum fundraising commitments for each event category. The minimum for the Marathon is $750, the Half Marathon is $500, and the 10K is $250. The registration fees are equal to 10% of these amounts or $75, $50, and $25 respectively. These fundraising minimums apply to each individual who registers for the event.

Note: registration fees are waived for returning participants from our inaugural event last April. New participants can get your registration fee credited to your fundraising goal by inviting another participant to join you at the event. They can sign up individually or join a team you create. When your friend / family member registers for the event, your registration fee will be credited towards your fundraising goal.

What If I Don't Have Any Fundraising Experience?

For those with no significant fundraising experience, we've provided lots of coaching tips and information to make your fundraising engaging, fun and effective! If you follow the advice offered, we believe the fundraising minimums are very attainable. To access this information see the "Fundraising Tips" section under the Fundraising menu tab.

Where Does the Money Go?

The money raised through the Headwaters of the Frio Marathon/Half Marathon/10K will go directly into our Children’s Fund, which is our all-purpose fund ensuring the provision of essentials for our children – food, clothing, housing, and transportation – plus the basic amenities of holiday celebrations, weekly allowances, birthdays, recreational activities, educational adventures, and a wide variety of life enrichment experiences. With 110 children living with us at any given time, we need to raise $2,000,000 a year to supply these elements of a healthy childhood. That’s $18,000 a year per child, and it includes all the support services and personnel that go with these basics. About half of that amount is raised each year through operational grants, bequests, thrift store sales, and endowment income. The other half must come from individual donations and special events. It’s a tall climb each year, and we need your help to make it happen!


After registering as an individual, you have the option to start a team, or join an existing team. We encourage families, friends, co-workers, church groups, etc., to form teams and participate together. Please note that teams do not share a single fundraising goal; the team total is simply the combination of the various individual fundraising goals.


For those who want to go for even higher fundraising amounts, and join in some friendly competition, we have created a series of badges you can earn as you reach specific milestones. Everyone who meets the minimum goal earns the Fundraising Champion badge and books their ticket to the event. At 150% of the minimum goal you earn the Fundraising Overachiever badge, 200% of minimum earns the Fundraising Rockstar badge and at 300% of goal you earn the highest badge; Fundraising Superhero! We are so grateful for those of you who press on to raise as much as possible! We will feature all those who achieved each badge on special boards at the event and give out awards to our Rockstars and Superheroes. You can also earn badges and awards for promoting the event on social media and recruiting additional participants.


Each participant will receive a high-quality T-shirt, and a hand-crafted commemorative medallion.

Special prizes will be awarded to the top fundraiser, the top fundraising team, the top recruiter, and the top social media promoter.

Those posting the fastest times will receive top finisher medals and we will document every finisher’s time in their respective category. Medals will be awarded to the top 3 male and female finishers in each event in the following age categories: 13-19, 20-39, 40-59, 60+

    About Hill Country Youth Ranches

    Hill Country Youth Ranch is a non-profit charitable corporation licensed by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to provide long-term therapeutic care for abused and orphaned children at all levels of trauma and need.

    HCYR operates three campuses, all located northwest of San Antonio in the Texas Hill Country. All three campuses feature family-style homes, state-of-the art charter schools for grades K - 12, amazing recreational facilities, and spacious, beautiful grounds.

    Taking an individualized approach, HCYR offers a broad continuum of services, including residential treatment for severely traumatized children, family care for those who have stabilized, transitional living for young adults, and life-long family-based support for alumni.

    Thank you to our generous sponsors​

    Interested in becoming a sponsor? Please contact Tim Campbell, Chief Development ​Officer, at tcampbell@youth-ranch.org.