Friday, July 31, 2009

Sweathouse Half Marathon & 5-Mile Race Planning Underway

Our Montana summer has been beautiful and mild, allowing for perfect running/walking conditions. Although it seems as though this season has just begun, shortly it will be ending. This is a perfect time to train for the upcoming Sweathouse Half-Marathon on September 12. The route was created by Vic Mortimer, and includes scenes of trees, mountain ranges, and a few small creeks along the way. The paved roads incorporate gravel roads as well and a few strong hills. All in all, this run is centrally located and probably one of the prettiest in the Valley. Already, we are receiving registrants and requests for information. Each finisher of the Half-Marathon will receive a finisher's medal (who could pass that up?). In addition to the Half-Marathon, we are also including a Five-Mile Run. This run will be included in the prizes, but will not receive finisher medals. We have started looking for sponsors and have rallied up team efforts with the Victor Fire Department and a few local businesses. We have some great ideas coming down the pike for this run and hope to have them all fall into place. Whether you choose to run, walk, skip, jump, hop, or scoot, we hope you will join us for the fun on September 12.
- Nichole Unruh

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Finish Line

A couple weeks have gone by now, and I still really haven’t stopped grinning over how much fun I had the morning of the Missoula marathon. I wrapped it up in 1:47 or so, and I felt like a million bucks as I was crossing the finish line. The shoes ( held up throughout the whole four-month training schedule and came through for me on marathon day. The iPod ( was cranking out one winner after another. We couldn’t really have asked for much better weather, and the party at the finish line was pretty boss. Mental note: Find a way to bring a wallet next time so as to get a crack at that massage chair. Goals for next year: Do the full; where a silly hat.

Eva Dunn-Froebig, who’s sort of the Steve-Jobs-hipster-genius-manager-character of Run Wild Missoula, asked me a few weeks ago for a “testimonial” explaining why I became a member of the group. I told her it was for the discipline and camaraderie, etc. The truth, though, is that I joined Run Wild Missoula back in March in order to support my then-wife, who had trained for the half-marathon in 2008, but was sidelined with an injury just weeks before the run. Our marriage this winter was in a pretty rocky place, and I was really keen on finding activities that we could do together on a regular basis, the sort of things that would provide opportunities for growth. Training together for the Missoula Marathon seemed perfect.

We were only a few weeks in, though, when my wife decided she wanted to be divorced. Needless to say, I was pretty devastated. There was a sense in which I had been running primarily for her, and so I wasn’t sure initially that I’d keep it up or even stick around Missoula to run in the race come July. But I’d gone and joined the group. So I kept attending the training sessions twice a week, and I stuck with the additional days of running on my own time. It didn’t take long before those runs became pretty important to me, and hitting the pavement definitely helped me through a few lousy days this spring.

One thing that I really liked on race day was seeing all the signs and sidewalk-chalk notes that friends and family had left for runners along the route. Eva asked me the other week what I was running for. One thing I did while running those thirteen miles was to pick out a name from among those on the signs and then sort of mentally dedicated the next mile or so to that person. If the sign said, “Way to go Theresa,” I’d give her a mental high-five, then spend the next mile running for Theresa. If the sidewalk at mile 10 said, “Go Bob!”, I’d spend the next mile running for my man Bob. It was a good mental distraction.

I remember being kind of shocked when I saw the chalk marker saying I was already at mile 12. There was only one more to go?! I felt unstoppable right then, and the sidewalks along the route were more and more crowded with cheering well-wishers. A Weezer song I really like came on the iPod, and I sped up my pace. I know I was wearing a pretty big grin at that point, and it’s possible I pumped my fist a couple of times. For that last mile of the race, I stopped picking out names from among all the sidewalk signs and chalk-mark encouragements. The last mile I just ran for me.
-Brian Kevin

Thursday, July 9, 2009


For those of you who missed registering on-line with ACTIVE, you can still register for the Missoula Marathon, Half Marathon, Marathon Relay or Kids Marathon. If you live out-of-town you may register at the EXPO on Saturday 11th up until 6 pm.

If you live in Missoula or the surrounding area, you still have an opportunity to register in person at any First Security Bank location, REI or Runner’s Edge through tomorrow, or at the Expo on Saturday.

Also, don’t forget the Hellgate Village 5K taking place Saturday 11th at 5 pm. You can register for that on Saturday also.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Missoula Marathon Expo, free buses and local Farmers’ Markets

As a reminder to all local runners and a courtesy to our visitors from out of town, thanks to our local city bus company, Mountain Line, on Saturday, July 11, 2009 – the Missoula Marathon race package pick up and Expo day – all Mountain Line buses in Missoula can be used for free, all day. This service is available to everyone. So, whether you are running in any of the races or not, jump into a city bus to go to the Expo to pick up your Race packet and last-minute race essentials, and leave your car at home or at the hotel.

Also, while in Downtown Missoula on Saturday, check out our two local Farmers’ Markets. At both markets, farmers sell locally-grown products, and many vendors are certified organic growers, or at least grow and produce with environmental sustainability in mind. One of the markets is located directly adjacent to the Expo, the other is located just a few blocks down Higgins Street. They both are definitely within walking distance to the Marathon Expo. The two markets will be open-for-business from approximately 8 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and are worth a visit.

There is plenty to do and see during pre-race Saturday in Missoula, and you can still get enough rest to race strong on Sunday.

Vo von Sehlen

Weather for Sunday, July 12

The weather forecast for race day is typical weather for mid-July, starting in the low 50's and ending in the high 80's. It doesn't hit the high until mid to late afternoon, so when the race closes at 12:30 it will be closer to mid 70's. Get ready for great running weather and bring your sunblock.

To help you run a little faster, we have planted some mosquitos along the course. It's a happy healthy mosquito year in western Montana so we didn't have any difficulty finding plenty. In truth, there are only certain spots but when I was placing "marathon route" signs along the country roads I was able to find those pockets easily. For those of you who hate mosquitos but mosquitos love you, I'd suggest some repellent.
It's almost race day! Woo hoo!

Thank you for running.
Jennifer Straughan
Race Director