Tuesday, July 10, 2007

26 Missoula Marathon Mile Markers

Take home a piece of the inaugural Missoula Marathon and help support next year's race by purchasing one of the 26 mile marker statues that will line the course, each designed by a Montana artist.

Missoula artist and gallery owner Dudley Dana spearheaded the project. A runner himself, Dudley had the unique idea of asking local artists get involved to design each mile marker, then offering the statues for sale after the race.

Artists began picking up their mile markers in early June and several have already arrived back at the Dana Gallery in downtown Missoula. Photos of each one will be posted on the Dana Gallery web site, www.danagallery.com. After the last runner has crossed the finish line, the mile markers will be collected and offered for sale on the web site. All proceeds go toward next year's Missoula Marathon.

Renowned Montana sculptor Joe Halko of Choteau was chosen to create the prototype and 26 plaster molds were sent to Missoula in early June. Some statues feature the lower half of a human leg, complete with a foot in a running shoe. Others are the ankle and shoe propelling forward off the ball of the foot. In the hands of Montana's talented artists, each will become exclusive memento of Missoula's first marathon.

Participating artists include Patty Corbit, David Wilson, Dirk Lee, Dudley Dana and Michael Bowlin. Sentinel High School art teacher Tim Nielsen reserved 14 of the mile markers, and has completed three himself. Sentinel students and faculty members are working on the other 11 statues.

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