Sunday, February 27, 2011

Missoula Marathon – It’s A Team Thing

After Jen Straughan announced her decision to step down as the only marathon race director Missoula has known, it didn’t take me long to realize the most important thing Jen had done with her time as director… Build a great team!

Under Jen’s guidance the marathon grew from an idea to the USA’s Best Marathon. At the same time, the committee grew from who ever walked in the door next, the first year, to a diverse group of 40 or more hardworking, passionate volunteers. This is a group of committee members Jen had begged, pressured, tricked into their roll with the group. Most of them had no specific knowledge of their new found roll, but after a reluctant “yes” they dove in and have become experts in their position.

Jen was the perfect person for the job of getting the Missoula Marathon where it is today. She is passionate, hardworking, demanding and doesn’t mind asking for help, whether it’s from sponsors or volunteers. Now the legacy she left, the committee, will work to take the event to the next level.

If it wasn’t for the people involved in this marathon, there is no way I would have stepped into the roll race director of the 2011. Thanks to Jen for all her hard work and passion, but mostly want to thank her for surrounding herself with the right people. Those people are working as you read this… with the goal of putting on the best marathon yet!

Thanks Jen!

Happy Running

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

CONGRATULATIONS to our 2010 batch of 1200 Mile Club Members!

What an extraordinary accomplishment. Look for these members to be sporting flashy new embroidered arm warmers, last year's coveted prize for their efforts.

If you would like to be a part of this years crop of elite runners simply post your miles online under the 1200 mile club menu (its under the [Home]tab of the RWM website). The "add miles" icon is found at the bottom of the 1200 mile page. Happy Running!

1200 Mile Club 2010 Members:

Tim Mosbacher: 2,531.00
Pat Cross: 2,180.00
Vicky Mix: 1,902.50
Ken Ellis: 1,896.00
John Herring: 1,869.00
Vo von Sehlen: 1,850.00
Tammy Mocabee: 1,773.00
Sharon Sterbis: 1,703.50
Donna Ayres: 1,619.00
Julie Gilchrist: 1,566.40
Roni Lett: 1,562.00
J.B. Yonce: 1,561.87
Danelle Gjetmundsen: 1,540.00
Justin Grigg: 1,505.00
Rick Ryan: 1,452
Jim Ryan Jr: 1,329.00
Christine Everett: 1,279.00
Donn Livoni: 1,230.00
Janet Kenter: 1,230.00
Samantha Kitchen: 1,227.00
Spencer Wolny: 1,218.00
Jake Jessop: 1,213.00
Bridget Johnson: 1,208.30
David Anderson: 1,205.3
Nichole Corona: 1205.2
Ben Schmidt: 1,202.00
Glenn Govertsen: 1,202.00
Katie Spaid: 1,201.00
Kandace Kannberg: 1,200.01

~Kristina Hurley, 1200 Mile Committee Chair,

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Greetings Beer Runners

I hope the new year is going well for you all, and a big shame on you to any of the regulars that missed last week’s beer run from the classic Missoula establishment the Oxford. We had a nice run and, well let’s just say the Ox was fun, and a lot nicer than I remember it from my last trip through there.

Our recent activities have drawn the attention of Rick Ryan, a long time RWM member who moved away a few months ago, but he did send this email a few days ago that I wanted to share, (yes editor he gave me permission to use it in our newsletter):

“Now I'm really jealous!

I meant to email you about the Double Front run. The last Double Front I've had in the last 20 years was planned for an eight mile out-and-back for 2009 Boston training group on a Thursday. Kids were gone and Joanna was working;I was on my own for dinner, so I packed some money and headed over to DF for the chicken that I had not tasted in well over 15 years. It was great!

Good On Ya' for your beer runs. The Ox has always had a special place in my heart going back to my arrival in Missoula in 1971. "Stretch one with!" "One under the bridge!" "He needs them!" Great ordering codes that ring of Hobo lingo. I would love to join you if I could, but I get a treadmill instead. But good beer here still, so... just bitching a bit.

Keep up the good work!”
Rick Ryan

But enough living in the past, reveling in our glorious Beer Run History. Time marches on and, if we are going to keep making Rick jealous, we need a plan for February. So here it is: I started out thinking that February’s Beer Run should have a Valentine’s Day Theme, but then I got looking at the calendar..and got to thinking. “Feb 23 that’s a lot closer to Fat Tuesday than Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras is a bunch more fun than sitting round looking at roses and eating chocolates out of a heart shaped box.” Besides I’m not too good at mixing romantic locations, beer and running. But I can mix beer, beads, running and Mardi Gras.
~Your Chancellor of Libations, Pat

Monday, February 7, 2011

Straughan Resigns as Missoula Marathon Race Director; Brooker Named New Race Leader for 2011

After five years of service, Jennifer Straughan has resigned as the race director for the Missoula Marathon and Half Marathon. Straughan, one of the founding members of the Missoula races, will leave her post at the end of February to focus on her job and family.

Anders Brooker, owner of the specialty running store The Runner’s Edge and coach of the Hellgate High School Cross Country team, has been named as Straughan’s replacement for the 2011 races and will assume his duties as race director on March 1. The Missoula Marathon, Half Marathon and Kids’ Marathon are the flagship races of Run Wild Missoula, a non-profit organization devoted to promoting running and walking in the area.

In resigning, Straughan said she simply does not have enough time to devote to the ever-growing Missoula Marathon. “With the explosion in the Missoula Marathon's growth, the event simply takes far more time to manage than the 20-30 hours a week I currently put into it actively, plus the amount of time I spend thinking and planning,” Straughan wrote in her resignation announcement. “I won't give the Missoula Marathon anything but my best vision and my best effort, and with the success created it takes more time and effort than ever before. There are many exciting irons in the fire but they all need to be executed to their fullest -- not partway -- in order to maintain the Missoula Marathon's status as a nationally acclaimed event.”

Under Straughan’s direction, the Missoula races have continued to grow each year since the inaugural races in 2007. Last year, Runner’s World Magazine named the marathon the “Best Overall Marathon” in the country, prompting a record number of more than 4,500 runners to participate in the races. The marathon, which was recently listed as one of the 10 best marathons for beginners, also pumped more than $1.2 million into the Missoula-area economy, according to a recent study.

Brooker said he intends to continue Straughan’s good work and is looking forward to another record-breaking year. “The hard work, dedication, and passion Jen has brought to the marathon will be greatly missed,” he said. “She was the biggest reason it is one of the best marathons in the country. The Missoula Marathon committee and I will work hard to follow in her footsteps and will keep these races headed in the right direction. We are excited for another amazing race in 2011.”

Jean Zosel, the president of Run Wild Missoula’s Board of Directors, praised Straughan’s hard work and commitment to the races. “Jen has been involved with Run Wild Missoula and the Missoula Marathon since the beginning,” she said. “She is a visionary who was not afraid to dream big. She was able to put together a committee of dedicated runners who helped her achieve those dreams. In four short years, the marathon was voted best in the country and is still growing. We will really miss Jennifer and her boundless energy.”

Zosel added that she wants to assure the community and race sponsors that the races are in good hands with Brooker at the helm. “Anders and Jen will work closely together this month to pass the torch, and we all expect a smooth transition. Anders has been an integral part of the Missoula Marathon since he and Jen started planning the first marathon nearly five years ago. We have high expectations for another great marathon in 2011.”

This year’s race will be on Sunday, July 10. More information is available at

Thursday, February 3, 2011

View from the Back: Speed and Success

Jeff Galloway has said, “The only benefits of speed are for the ego; all the other benefits of running can be achieved at a slower pace.”

I won’t downplay the role of ego in our lives. The ego challenges us to improve, and measures the results. That’s a good thing. However, the ego can also set the trap of all-or-nothing thinking, defining success in limited terms. When it comes to running, the ego likes speed.

Many of us have some early success with speed. Personal bests get better with every race, even if we aren’t faster than others. However, all of us eventually slow down. We are tempted to stop because we will never win our age group or qualify for Boston. But first, let’s look at those other benefits of running.

Running—at whatever speed—brings fitness. Running helps maintain a healthy weight. Running stabilizes the emotions and enhances mental focus. It strengthens the immune system. It offers the opportunity for solitude, and the opportunity for social connection.

The community of runners is remarkably welcoming and supportive. Whether we are running with a buddy or reading the Run Wild Missoula newsletter, we are enjoying membership in that community. We have in common the joy of moving, the success of getting off the couch and out the door, the accomplishment of confronting the weather and overcoming the power of inertia.

On Monday February 7 at the Runners Edge (downstairs) at 7pm, we will have another chance to connect. If you are a slower runner or walker, come to the “Back of the Pack Meet and Greet.” We will be talking there about how we can build activities and opportunities uniquely designed to support you.

-Pam Gardiner, Leader of the Back

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Get the jump on Valentine's Day and “Catch'Em If You Can”

Ready or not, join us on Saturday, February 12th at 9:30 a.m. for the running of the first “Catch'Em If You Can” 5K. This race will feature a unique and exciting format with the women starting first and the men following 3 minutes later—a first for the Missoula running scene.

The race starts and finishes at the south end of the Van Buren St. footbridge, (Griz tailgate area) and will follow Missoula's beautiful riverfront trail. Participants will enjoy a post-race scoop of Big Dipper ice cream, a pair of socks from the Runner’s Edge, and will be included in a random prize drawing. This Run Wild Missoula event is a fundraiser for Hellgate High School Cross Country.
Entry Fees: $13.00 for Run Wild Missoula members or $15.00 non-members.
Download registration form at or register online at

Mail to: Run Wild Missoula, PO Box 1573, Missoula, MT 59806.

Must be received no later than February 8th, 2011.

Drop off in person no later than Friday, February 11, 2011 at the Runner’s Edge, 325 N. Higgins.

Race Day registration is Saturday, February 12, 2011 at 8:30 a.m.