Saturday, February 27, 2010

Run for the Luck of It

Irish or not, just Run for the Luck of It!

On Saturday, March 13 at 11:15 am, excited runners, joggers, and walkers get to be a part of history in the making when they embark on RWM’s inaugural St. Patrick’s Day themed race, the Run for the Luck of It 5k. For those of you still on the fence about whether or not you want to participate in this race, jump off the fence already and register! Sure, this race obviously lacks the history of, say, the Riverbank Runs or the allure of, say, Bloomsday, but what it will not lack is good times, a funky course, post-race corned beef and cabbage stew, free beer, and an extra special musical surprise! You see, by participating this year, you will encourage the exhausted race directors to continue to strive to make this race into something legendary races are made of. The inaugural race will indeed set a tone and build momentum to create that race that makes people want to, well, race. Okay, if this is all sounding a bit dramatic, it’s supposed to!

Organizing a race, as we have come to learn, is a little dramatic. It is a lot of work and an enormous learning experience. It is emotional at times; however, one of the greatest emotions we have felt (so far) is that feeling of reward when we see those registration forms coming in. So help us to keep up our enthusiasm in our last hours before the race and register. And, if you really aren’t feeling a 5k right now, volunteer! We need those, too! Another emotion we’ve certainly been feeling a lot of lately is gratitude toward all of those who have been helping out along the way.

Now, here’s a little information about the race and the course, in particular. If you’re one of those detail-oriented people, you’ll recall the blurb on the registration form about the course being flat and fast and that you’ll cruise down Higgins to the University District and will return to the downtown area in front of Sean Kelly’s. Remember that part about enormous learning experience? Well, it turns out planning a course for a road race is something of an art form. In fact, “Race Course Design and Planning” could be a popular liberal studies course offering at UM. Needless to say, we’ve struggled with the race route for a variety of reasons (too many to list here and it doesn’t make for a good read). The race still begins and ends downtown, but we will be utilizing some sections of the Riverfront Trail and streets that, we think, never get utilized for such races. Also, the new course is not quite as flat as the original course, but trust us, it is still very manageable.

So Run Wild Missoula members, this is your call to action. Run for the Luck of It on March 13th! If you’re considering running the Missoula half or full marathon, this will be a great way to kick off your training program. Plus, you’ll get a fun beanie to keep your head warm during those, um, brisk morning runs.

If you can volunteer, please contact Jen at or Maggie at Thank you!
~ Jen von Sehlen

Friday, February 26, 2010

Run for the Luck of It Volunteers Needed

We need VOLUNTEERS! If you can help out, please contact either Jen or Maggie. Volunteers also will get a sham-rockin' beanie for their time.

Course Info: The race will begin near Pine & Ryman Streets. You will cruise down Ryman St. to the Caras Park/Carousel area and proceed onto the Riverfront Trail until merging onto Front St., then Broadway. You'll have lots of sidewalk and shoulder room as you make your way west on Broadway to the Downtown Lions Park and the California St. Bridge. After crossing the California St. Bridge, you will happily make your way back to the Riverfront Trail and continue on the trail until Orange St. After going through the tunnel, you will feel a surge of energy as you take the paved little hill up to Orange St. You will cross the bridge while staying on the sidewalk, cross over Front and Main Streets, then make your way down Woody to Pine St. Once you've made it to Pine St., open the throttle and attack that finish line! Then celebrate your accomplishments with a hot cup of stew from Sean Kelly's and a frothy Highlander beer, compliments of Missoula Brewing Company. (If you're one of those people who is well over 21, but has maintained a youthful glow, be sure to have an ID on you to prove your certified to consume beer.)

Running/walking with a stroller? You're more than welcome, but for the safety of all, please line up toward the back of the pack.

Wanna bring your 4-legged friend? Please don't! Please leave Fido at home, or in the car until after you've finished your post-race treats.

We can't wait to see you at the inaugural Run for the Luck of It! Thanks for running/walking!

Jen von Sehlen
Co-Director, Run for the Luck of It 5k
Saturday, March 13, 2010 - 11:15 am
(406) 531-8669

Thursday, February 25, 2010

New Merchandise for the Missoula Marathon Available Now

In order to show off our new logo (that you see in this blog), we decided we'd better get it on some new shirts! We have three to choose from, all purchased from Green Layer, the company that produced our finisher shirts last year. Your choices are:

Men's "Cloud White" long sleeve training shirt. It has our new logo on the front (left side) and on the back it says "Training for Missoula Marathon" $25.00

Men's and Women's "Midnight Blue" short sleeve technical shirt with the new logo on the front (left side). There is nothing on the back. $22.00

Men's and Women's black fleece 1/4 zip shirt with a handy dandy pocket
on the front, and of course our new logo. $55.00

They're all excellent quality and you definitely want one of each! To get yours, zoom on down to Runner's Edge in Missoula, or call 406-728-9297.

In the meantime, I'll set about getting some photos to put on the website.

Missoula Marathon Training Program Starts March 7

Get ready for the 2010 Missoula Marathon or Half Marathon with Run Wild Missoula's training program for anyone. You don't have to be a semi-professional athlete, former track star, 5 percent body fat or logging 30 miles a week to participate. All you have to be is someone who wants to complete the half or full Missoula Marathon on Sunday, July 11, 2010.

Class starts on Sunday, March 7 at 8 a.m. at Runner’s Edge, 325 N. Higgins Avenue, Missoula. The 18-week program costs $80/person or $55 for Run Wild Missoula members. Participants should come dressed and ready to run on the first day of class.

Download a registration form at or register online at, or register on the first day of class.

The class starts with distances as low as two miles. Beginners may run/walk. Those who have not run a step as of the first day of class will be encouraged to set a goal of the Missoula Half Marathon. On race day participants will have six and a half hours to complete the Half Marathon, so speed is not necessary.

With the training program participants receive:
• Coaching by Anders Brooker, Cross Country and Track Coach at Hellgate High School and Owner Runner's Edge
• Comprehensive Training Program for Full and Half Marathon Trainees
• Twice Weekly Group Runs on Sundays at 8 a.m. and Wednesdays at 6 p.m., meeting at Runner’s Edge, 325 N. Higgins Avenue, Missoula
• Speakers
• Nutrition Plan
• “Missoula Marathon In Training” hat
• Training Log & Informational Booklet
• Aid Stations every week
• Gels on long runs, the same brand used on the course of the Missoula Marathon and Half Marathon

The Missoula Marathon was recently named by Runner’s World Magazine readers the best marathon in the country. Run Wild Missoula expects the event to grow four-fold in 2010. Last year approximately 2,500 people participated in the Missoula Marathon, Half Marathon, Marathon Relay and Kid’s Marathon.

Run Wild Missoula is the non-profit running club which organizes the Missoula Marathon and a dozen other annual races, several training programs, seminars and clinics. For more information visit

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Karl Tyler Chevrolet is New Sponsor for Missoula Marathon

Karl Tyler Chevrolet is our new Missoula Marathon Course Sponsor. We're looking forward to working with them as we make the course better than ever. Thank you Karl Tyler Chevrolet!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Altitude and the Missoula Marathon

We are often asked the following question: Will Missoula's altitude affect my marathon running performance, especially if I am flying from a place at or near sea level?

So we went to our own University of Montana Health & Human Performance Dept. to get a real answer... one you can rely upon. After all, these guys will do anything as long as they can test it. Here's what they said:

Missoula, MT has an elevation of 3,200 feet, or 975 meters above sea level. An individual's VO2 max, or one's maximal oxygen consumption, decreases little until an elevation of 5,000 feet (1500m) is reached. Thus, the effect of altitude on decreasing marathon performance in Missoula would be minimal, if any.

However, the NCAA does provide time adjustments for collegiate athletes for distance running events in Missoula. By extrapolating the time adjustments for distances of 3000, 5000 and 10000 meter running events for men and women, an individual would be given a 2:07 and 2:36 time adjustment for men and women, respectively, for the distance of 42km.

The weather conditions in Missoula during the early morning in July are ideal running conditions, 50-60 degrees F and 20-30% humidity. This is a more favorable environment for running performance than sea level conditions if there is heat and humidity. Any minimal effects of altitude would be conteracted by the favorable environmental conditions, thus making performance comparable to sea level.

Don't let Missoula's altitude prevent you from running the race and don't worry about it negatively affecting your performance if you're planning on running the race! See you in July!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Are you an energetic, fun-loving, spirited runner with good sense of civic responsibility? Do you like to help other people reach their goals? Can you run with a smile and a purpose but not get distracted by emotion, sappy stories, and bathroom breaks? If so, you might be made of the stuff needed to join our esteemed Missoula Marathon PACER CORPS!

This established and esteemed group of do-gooders are the secret force behind the astounding success, comraderie, and fun that is the Missoula Marathon. If you think you have what it takes to lead a pace group of motivated goal-seekers to the finish line on time and without delay then please get in touch. If interested, just email PACER CORPS Coordinator, Dean McGovern at and give him your name contact information, suggested times that you can comfortably complete a marathon, and number one reason for wanting to lead folks to glory!

Pacers are tentatively being assigned to complete the marathon in the following times: 3:10; 3:20; 3:30; 3:40; 3:50; 4 hours; 4:15; 4:30; 4:45; 5 hours; and 5:30. Anyone registered for the marathon can run with, alongside, behind, or in front of any pacer group.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Is the Missoula Marathon Walker Friendly?

The short answer is, "Yes."

The long answer is that we are thrilled that the full marathon course is open ample time to permit walkers with a wide range of abilities (paces) to compete. Because our event is held smack dab in the middle of Montana summer, we start those walking the full marathon at 5 am.

Half marathon walkers start at 6, the same time that everyone else starts.

Because marathon walkers start at 5 am (to avoid the heat) we ask that you register accordingly. There is a spot for you on ACTIVE and on the registration form. *This is how we know your time! When you register as a walker, we automatically record your time beginning at 5 am!

PLEASE make sure you register as a walker so your time will be correct. If you are a race walker planning to finish in under 6 hours and DO NOT want to start at 5, please register as a runner. *The Missoula Marathon does not at this time have a separate award category for racewalkers. Runners who begin at the walkers only start time are disqualified.

Half marathon walkers do not need to register as walkers because they start at the same time as everyone else.

Questions? Of course not. But if you have some anyway, please contact Candace Crosby at

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Six and A Half Times

As of today we have six and a half times the number of registrations we had last year at this time. Our small but enthusiastic community is so excited that people want to come to Missoula and run our Marathon. We're ultra-preparing for your arrival, to the point that the registration update email that gets sent bi-monthly includes the Missoula Convention and Visitor's Bureau and the Missoula Downtown Association, who in turn send it out to all their members. We've got hotels, restaurants, Missoula International Airport (that's right... International Airport) retailers and anybody else who caters to our visitors watching the registration figures and planning accordingly.

What's also exciting is that most of the increase at this point is with the Full Marathon. Last year we had a huge increase in Half Marathon registrations, so it's fun to see the Marathon numbers on the rise to compete with the Half Marathon.

Register now... we love to see it on the report.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Glorious Pacers

People often don't expect that our relatively small event will have pacers, but we do. Not only do we have pacers, but in our three years every single pacer has shown up on race day, and every single pacer has gotten their group across the finish line on time. Pacers are the greatest of inspiration while on your way to that all-important goal. We won't post our pace times until we have the slots filled, but here is what we had last year:

3:30 (8:00 mile pace); 3:40 (8:22 mile pace); 3:50 (8:44 mile pace); 4:00 (9:07 mile pace); 4:15 (9:42 mile pace); 4:30 (10:17 mile pace) 4:45 (10:52 mile pace); 5:00 (11:26 mile pace)

We are planning on a few more slots this year, including 3:10 for the coveted Boston Qualifier time.

If you want to be a part of the volunteer pace team, please contact Dean McGovern at

"Is the Missoula Marathon a Boston Qualifier?"

Today's email question was, "Is the Missoula Marathon a Boston Qualifier?" The answer is, "Yes," and it's all thanks to the hard work of course director Courtney Babcock.

Now for the part that is more information that you asked for: Have you ever asked yourself what it means for an event to be a Boston Qualifier? I never did until we decided to put on our own marathon. What it means is that your marathon course is USATF Certified, and that someone is willing to go through an extremely precise process to obtain USATF Certification for the course. To give you an idea, it involves knowing the temperature of the pavement, the temperature of the air, the pressure in the bicycle tires which must be checked multiple times, obtaining a gauge that has been computed by Newton (okay not really but close and no, GPS is not more accurate), multiple conversations with USATF officials, drawings and graphs, and weeks if not months of time.

By the end of our inaugural year we had a far greater appreciation of what it means to have the stamp BQ.

We're glad we have gone to the effort, though, because lots of people do qualify for Boston at the Missoula Marathon, including a large number of our own Missoula athletes. Last year it was such a large contingency that they trained for and ran Boston together. It was pretty cool.

The moral of the story is, the next time you run an event that is a Boston Qualifier, thank the Course Director. They worked hard to get that certification for you. And for those of you shooting for that goal, good luck! We hope you make it at the Missoula Marathon!

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Missoula Marathon, Jimmy Fallon and Cell Phone Shootout

Out of the blue, the Missoula Marathon was approached by a writer on the Jimmy Fallon Show (an NBC program I'd like to point out since KECI-TV is a media sponsor of the Missoula Marathon and an NBC Affiliate) asking if we'd be willing to give away a registration to a potential lucky winner of their game, Cell Phone Shootout.

On Monday, February 1st the Missoula Marathon hit the big time on national television, with our logo being displayed in the wee hours of the night during Cell Phone Shootout. If you'd like to see our logo on the Jimmy Fallon Show as opposed to everywhere else, here is the link:

None of the contestants won our prize, free registration into the Missoula Marathon, but the writer asked if he can keep this prize up on the show for a number of weeks. This means you can still see it live for yourself if you wish.

If anybody wins the free registration and then actually shows up, it will be posted on this blog and we'll make sure the contestant gets the honor deserved when arriving for our event on Sunday, July 11th.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Scrumpy Jack Scramble, McCormick Park, Sunday, February 14, 9 a.m.

Start thinking about who your date is going to be for the Scrumpy Jack Scramble, a two mile by two person relay race on Sunday, February 14 at 9 a.m. Don't have a Valentine? No big deal. We'll set you up on race day. Proceeds benefit Hellgate High School Cross Country. Cost is $20 per couple or $10 per person. Register on race day at 8 a.m. at Currents or

Join Run Wild Missoula for a Running Film Event

Run Wild Missoula members usually see each other at training runs, races or Yoga for Runners. We thought we mix it up a little and offer you an opportunity to get together to watch a movie about—what else—running! The documentary film is called “Long Distance,” and follows Abiyot, an Ethiopian runner trying to re-launch his running career in the United States. With every aspect of his daily routine centered on his training, his footsteps not only dictate the rhythm of his life, but also become the pervasive rhythm of the film.

The 28-minute film is part of the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival and will play with three other short films on Saturday, February 13 at 12:15 p.m. at the Wilma Theatre. RWM members will receive $1 off admission to the film with their membership cards. (Regular admission is $5.) Be sure to pick up your brand new membership card at Runner’s Edge starting on Tuesday, February 9.

Don’t miss this exciting event for an opportunity to show Big Sky Documentary Film Festival goers how many runners are part of the Missoula community.