By KEVIN TWIDWELL
On June 9, some 300 runners will converge on the trails around Mt. Sentinel for the annual Pengelly Double Dip trail runs.
Run Wild Missoula, which puts on the races, hopes that 200 people will run the strenuous 13.1-mile long course and that another 100 will participate in the hilly but speedier 10k course.
The races are named after David Pengelly, a local mountaineer who loved and trained on the trails on Mt. Sentinel before he died in a mountaineering accident.
In addition to honoring David, Run Wild has announced that this year’s race is also a tribute to Micah True, better known as Caballo Blanco of “Born to Run” fame.
True, who tirelessly raised awareness about the Raramuri people of the Copper Canyon of Mexico, died on a trail run in the Gila Wilderness earlier this year. Some have rightly asked why a trail run in Montana – thousands of miles away from the Copper Canyon – is being used as a tribute to Micah.
The answer is simple: He loved Missoula, and Missoula loved him. Micah came to Missoula in 2010 and talked to some 400 Missoulians at the Wilma Theater about the Raramuri/Tarahumara runners of Mexico and about his Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon, the 50- mile ultramarathon he organized for trail runners he calls Mas Locos, to provide money and corn to the indigenous people of the canyon.
While in Missoula, Micah ran the trails of Missoula and made many friends while discussing his “Run Free” philosophy. For a wonderful history of Micah, please read this New York Times article.
In any event, Mas Locos around the world are dedicating trail runs to Micah’s memory, and Missoula’s PDD seems an appropriate Mas Loco run to pay tribute to someone who loved to run trails, the steeper the better.
Other fun stuff to know:
- Maria Walton, also known by her Mas Loco name of La Mariposa (the Butterfly), will be attending the Double Dip this year. She will run the race and will discuss the future of the Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon with participants.
- The long course is limited to 200 people, so early registration encouraged on the Run Wild Missoula website. There is no cap on the shorter course but early registration is requested to avoid long lines at the start. Race day registration is at 7:30 a.m.
- Both races start on the Kim Williams Trail at the University of Montana Riverbowl East Field. The long course starts at 9 a.m. and the short course starts at 9:30.
- Those who expect to take longer than four hours on the long course are encouraged to run the shorter race or to start at 8 a.m. and to carry water and nutrition. Those participants will get a finisher award but no official time.
- The finisher awards are glass growlers this year and are perfect for filling with your favorite beverage or for using as a piggy bank.
- Sponsor Sapphire Physical Therapy will be hosting a post-race barbeque where the race awards will be distributed. Sapphire will provide traditional meat and non-meat choices as well as other contemporary barbeque fare. In addition, the first 100 people to attend the barbeque will receive a very cool trail running-related gift. Massages and other services will also be provided to runners with sore dogs, legs, or other body parts.
- Other sponsors of the race are: Momentum Athletic Training (Momentum’s Kiefer Hahn holds the record for the long course); Trail 103.3 (Did you hear the cool radio spots?); Runner’s Edge (providing timing, aid stations, and awesome winner gifts); the faculty at Resources for Environmental and Occupational Health (REOH); Rocky Mountain Development Group (watch for RMDG president Rick Wishcamper on the course in costume); Hammer Nutrition (which provided nutrition on the course); and Garlington, Lohn & Robinson, PLLP (which provided lawyers on the course…you never know when you might need one).
- Why is a flying elephant the logo for the PDD? Originally, the PDD was going to be on Mt. Jumbo, so graphic artist Brad Lamson created the elephant logo as a nod to the famous Jumbo elephant. The organizers liked the logo so much that they kept it even after the course was changed to the Mt. Sentinel area.
Got questions? Email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy Dipping!
Planning to run the 2012 Missoula Marathon? Check out Eva Dunn-Froebig’s post about the marathon training program.
Stay in the loop with Missoula’s running community! Check out the Run/Walk It archives for more posts from Missoula runners and walkers.
Kevin Twidwell is a Missoula attorney and runner who participated in the 2010 Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon with Caballo Blanco.