Missoula All Women’s 5K Run on Diva Day, Oct. 8, 2011

By SUE FALSEY

For the fourth year in a row, the City of Missoula and Mayor Engen have proclaimed an early Saturday in October as Diva Day. When you go through all the reasons, the “whereas” this and “whereas” that, it all  distills down to a day to acknowledge and celebrate the central role of women in this Missoula – as family members, educators, students, business owners and workers, professionals and volunteers. This is the day to re-energize women’s bodies and spirits.

Run Wild Missoula has a 5K Run / Walk that is all women, all unique.  How many times do you have to tell runners not to wear high heels to a race?  How many races have chocolate at their water stops?  And dancing at the awards?  And a female fitness fashion show organized by Runner’s Edge?  We have more pink boas than sweatbands, and more color than a rainbowtrout.

How many races do you run with multiple runaway brides?  Or, where else could you visit in our tents with Skin Chic for a quick free makeover or eyebrow wax and then head over to Alpine Physical Therapy’s massage tables for a quickmassage.

The shirts from Exact Image are feminine, sweet colors, and something you’ll wear out and about, not just to sweat in.  The awards are unique, little Diva Ducks that would look great on any surface in the house and hide any dust that may accumulate as you run on your day to vacuum.

We’ve included a number of photos from prior years, as they tell the story of the race.  Neil Chaput de Saintonge, our official photographer,  shows us all at our best.   It is all about women coming together for fun and exercise, bringing their children for their own fun run, doing their best/ fastest pace or their zaniest/craziest good time (good time = fun/not a personal record).

We like to see the – FOP / MOP / BOP – front of pack, middle of pack and back of pack.  At the end, they are all smiling, maybe sweating, maybe not.  They will all be acknowledged and cheered for being there.

The chocolate at the water stop is goofy, yes, but really is something to raise eyebrows, laughs or horror, whatever fits each runner. I once did an All Women’s 10K race in Helsinki, Finland, with about 8,000 women, the Naisten Kymppi.  It now has over 18,000 women in theevent.

Their course had stops for groups of women (hosted by their husbands, boyfriends, businesses, friends, family) with champagne, cheese, wine, chairs, and music. The front runners skipped that part, but others lingered and lounged and celebrated.   Who knows, there are over 28,000 women in Missoula. Maybe we can become bigger than Finland’s event.

We are hosted and supported in a hundred ways by the Community Medical Center. On site announcing is by Mountain FM 102.5.  Runner’s Edge keeps us running, and Culligan Water keeps us hydrated.  Four Paws Veterinary Clinic  is also a big sponsor and full of racing enthusiasts, two legged and four legged (only 2 legs allowed on this course, though).

There will be great random prizes, as well as tables with information and activities from Community Medical, Skin Chic and others.  Community Medical Center is sponsoring kids face painting and a unique photo booth – you’ll have to check it out.   The Women’s Club is our chocolate sponsor and Peak Health and Wellness is our Zumba Dance partner.

Go to Run Wild Missoula for more information on the race and registration links.  Be there on Oct 8. Race starts at 9:30 so come early to register, or pick up your packet if you have already registered. Dress up, dress down, running shoes recommended.

Photos by Neil Chaput de Saintonge

Like this blog?  Chances are you’ll also like reading these:  Missoula Marathon 2011 – Bragging Rights to #5, Missoula Running Buddies, and When do you run? Be sure to leave comments in the Facebook Comment box below, and click the +1 button too–it’ll bring Missoula Marathon runners luck!

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Sue Falsey  retired from the National Education Association in Washington, DC  in 1999, and pursued a creative life as an active community volunteer and, ummm,  ski bum in Colorado.  She and her husband Brad moved to Missoula in 2005 and have been active in volunteer efforts for Run Wild Missoula, as well as skiing, biking, traveling, and enjoying many of the educational and cultural opportunities Missoula has tooffer.