Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Missoula All-Women's 5K is a Success

Run of the divas: Women take part in annual 5K By JAMIE KELLY of the Missoulian

For many participating in the Diva Day All Women's Run on Saturday morning at Fort Missoula, it was all about the costumes. Around 350 runners signed up for the run to honor women.

Pink bunny ears flopped around in damp autumn air, feather boas flapped in the breeze, and tutus bounced along as divas, prom queens and ballerinas put their best feet forward at Fort Missoula on Saturday morning.Nearly 350 women didn't let a fall drizzle dampen their spirits at the Missoula All Women's 5K run, an annual tradition formerly put on by the Blue Mountain Clinic.Now organized by Run Wild Missoula, the five-kilometer run this year was dubbed “Diva Day,” and the divas came out in their best colors, running to the beats of Blondie, the Talking Heads and Abba.

“It's good to have a friend to run with, to help push each other,” said Brenda Gagner, her face still damp with perspiration after an exhausting run. Gagner, of Missoula, ran with her friend Jennifer St. Goddard, both of them bank employees looking for a healthy diversion.Gagner sported a feather boa, as lavish and colorful outfits were encouraged - but not required - at the run.“It makes me feel beautiful,” said Gagner. “I don't get to wear it to work.”Not everyone was dressed with such flash. Many of the girls and women wore the distinctive Missoula attire of Patagonia and North Face vests.But for Theresa Noonan and her young daughter Zara, both running their fourth year in the All Women's 5K, the occasion was a perfect time hop to a different beat.So, both sporting bunny ears, mom and daughter skipped, bounced, walked and ran the route.“We did a little bit of everything,” said Theresa. “I love the spirit of all these women and girls coming together, getting exercise and being outside and having fun.”It was Zara's idea to put on the rabbit ears. Zara has a trunk full of outfits and costumes.“This is what she pulled out of her trunk,” said Theresa. “She's the fashion guru today.”

TOP 5 FINISHERS1. Megan Lerch, Missoula (19:37.9)2. Mary Thane, Missoula (19:38.6)3. Jenny Newton, Missoula (20:09.3)4. Rye Palen, Missoula (20:13.1)5. Lindsey Diefenderfer, Bozeman (20:27.5)

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