Just Another Missoula 5K Race (or Not)

By SCOTT & DARA ROUSE

Here we sit, surrounded by berms of plowed snow and thinking of spring.

You might be thinking of going running but all this snow and ice sure makes it difficult. There are some races coming up, but there are plenty of 5K races in Missoula during the year. Why would you bother running one in February?

Well you’re in Montana, for one thing, so a little snow may slow you down but it isn’t going to stop you. And it’s the Catchem If You Can, which features the most unique 5K format in town, taking place on Saturday, February 11 at 9:30 a.m.

The most unique format you ask? It is a 5k, what can you do different? Well, we start the women three minutes before the men.

Guys, can you catch the ladies if they get a three minute head start?

Ladies, can you hold the guys off?

Hellgate High School Cross Country standouts Page Gilchrest and Adam Peterman

It was a fight to the finish between Hellgate High School Cross Country runners Page Gilchrest and Adam Peterman. Photo by Neil Chaput deSaintonge.

The format is a lot of fun and provided some spectacular finishes last year. Hellgate High School Cross Country standouts Page Gilchrest and Adam Peterman had quite the duel in the home stretch. We hope to have them back this year.

This year’s course has been modified somewhat in hopes of making for a better race. It starts on the Riverfront trail at the south end of the Madison Street footbridge.

The course will follow the trail west to California Street, north to the end of California Street where runners will turn east over the new footbridge and head back up the trail past Osprey stadium, under the Orange Street bridge and back to the start/finish area.

The new footbridge connecting the trail directly to the California Street footbridge has really expanded the running route options.

This year’s race will also feature chip timing provided by the Runner’s Edge. This will be the first use of their new timing system. Hopefully, we will get it broken in for them and not break it.

We will have this year’s event staffed with lots of Hellgate High School Cross Country team members. The race is a fundraiser for the team and they should provide a great race day atmosphere.

Anyone who saw them at the aid stations during the Blue Mountain 30K knows how enthusiastic they can be. They should be fired up because their coach and Missoula Marathon race director, Anders Brooker, and his fiancee, Meg Lerch, have agreed to run the race.

There should be a lot of rooting interest in whether Anders can catch Meg or not. I will make no predictions. We should have some other interesting match-ups to follow and we will try to keep those updated on the Run Wild Missoula Facebook page.

This is our second year as directors for Run Wild Missoula’s first race of the year. We hope to get the year off to a great start. There will be Big Dipper Ice Cream and and socks from the Runner’s Edge for all participants.

We also have collected a nice pile of prizes for the post-race prize drawing. What a better way to start out your race year than running the 5K with the quirky format that also benefits some of our communities youth? So, lace up them sneaks and come join us for the Catch’Em If You Can on Saturday, February 11th. It isn’t just another 5K.

Details, registration information, course map available at on the Run Wild Missoula website or email dara@runwildmissoula.org.

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Stay in the loop with Missoula’s running community! Check out the Run/Walk It archives for more posts from Run Wild Missoula and more Missoula runners and walkers.

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The Rouse family.

Dara and Scott Rouse, both native Montanans, met while attending the University of Montana. Married in 1981 they have two children, Bryn and Kevin. Missoulians for over 30 years both Dara & Scott are active in Missoula’s running community. Dara is a life-long runner while Scott struggles to call himself one. They are proud to serve as race directors for Run Wild Missoula’s Catch’Em If You Can 5k.