Missoula Marathon Festivities Bring Thousands to the Garden City

By LINDA McCARTHY

One of Montana’s largest events takes place this weekend (July 12-14, 2013) right here in the Garden City, as thousands of Montanans and out-of-staters will flock to Missoula to enjoy all our awesome city has to offer.

The Missoula Marathon will see more than 5,000 runners from all over the great State of Montana, from every state in the nation and from several foreign countries, as Run Wild Missoula has planned a weekend full of activities. It takes a strong committee of 24 individuals and 26 additional key volunteers to make everything happen, and Race Director Anders Brooker has the best team of exceptionally talented and committed individuals to care for the biggest issues and the finest details.

A cap of 1,500 racers will run the Marathon (26.2 miles) from the heart of Frenchtown to the heart of Missoula. The race commences Sunday, July 14 at 6am, and the end-of-race festivities (music, food, fun) will take place at the finish line on the Higgins Avenue Bridge. Nearly every hotel in town is full, and Sunday’s weather looks to be just right (low of 47, high of 87).

Photo courtesy of RunWild Missoula

Photo courtesy of RunwildMissoula

A full 3,500 Half Marathon runners will commence at Blue Mountain Road for a 6am start Sunday morning. Many of the half marathoners are Missoulians and others who live around the region.

Other Marathon activities include the Friday night Beer Run that starts at 6pm at the Iron Horse Brew Pub. Volunteer Pat Cross has coordinated a 3-mile run and a 5-mile run. The Missoula 5K will take place Saturday, July 13 at 8am with the start from the north end of the Higgins Avenue Bridge and the finish line in Caras Park. The Missoula Kids Marathon, slated for Saturday at 10am, will allow children in grades K-6 to finish the last part of the long race after logging miles over the last three months.

Other activities include the Marathon Expo & Festival, which takes place Saturday from 8am-4pm and will encompass race bag pick-up, vendors, food & beverages, entertainment and more. Additionally, Jeff Galloway, a 1972 U.S. Olympian, will be in town for the weekend’s activities and will be hosting a number of different lectures and events.

Missoula is sure to be full of runners and their families this weekend, and the Garden City will welcome our guests with open arms.  The Missoula Marathon was the 2011 Montana Tourism Event of the Year and was the 2009 Runner’s World Best Marathon in America. We are so grateful for the fine folks at Run Wild Missoula and the Marathon Steering Committee for all the efforts to put Missoula on the running map. Those of us at Make It Missoula wish all the runners, volunteers and other participants the very best for this weekend!

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LindaMcCarthyMissoulaLinda McCarthy has been a Missoula resident for more than 25 years and serves as Executive Director of the Missoula Downtown Association, a private non-profit, membership-based organization dedicated to promoting, supporting and enhancing the vitality of Downtown Missoula. She and her family live in the Farviews Neighborhood, and her husband, Tom Gallagher, is a computer science professor at UM’s Missoula College. Linda holds two degrees from The University of Montana and was the 2008 Montana Alumni of theYear.

 

 

 

 

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