Friday, May 20, 2011

Run Wild Missoula Member Profiles: Maureen Lympus & Pam Estill

This RWM Member Profile highlights running partners Maureen Lympus and Pam Estill at the Run for the Trees

Occupations: Dental Hygienist (M) and Clinical Nurse Manager (P)
Personality: Extrovert (M) and Introvert (P)
How long have you been running partners? We met last spring at the RWM/Momentum Trail Running Class.
What made you pair up? We have very similar speeds. On some days, I am able to push Maureen and on others, she pushes me.
What do you want out of running? I want to run and race hopefully into my 80’s. (M) To be strong and fit, both mentally and physically. Running is what keeps me sane. (P)
Who are your heroes? The women that are still running like Ethel, and the women that are so darn fast.(M) A local hero is Lindsay Corbin; I envy her strength, endurance, and speed. A life hero- I don’t know, there are many. I admire people with integrity and perseverance (P)
What one word or sentence sums you up as partners in running? Synchronicity

Editor’s Note: Thanks to Terry Stekly the newsletter begins a new series on member profiles. We hope that you will enjoy getting to know Run Wild Missoula members and we encourage you to say “hi” to them next time your paths cross.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

View from the Back - I Respect the Marathon

“The early mornings. The countless miles…. Somewhere along the line, the marathon became less of a competitive sport and more of a line item on a bucket list… next time you're toeing the line, respect the marathon”

The above is a portion of an advertisement that ran in various running magazines. The ad made me feel like I should be ashamed of my running. I put in countless miles, but yes, I could do better. I could run harder. Did I check off completing a marathon as a line item on my bucket list? Yes, absolutely. Should I be ashamed it took me over five hours? Should faster runners look down their nose at me?

I look more like a Shotputter, than a runner. To have a runner’s build I would have to lose forty pounds. But my body serves me well for sports I love. I love to downhill ski. I love to ride my mule. I love to ride bikes.

There are many things I’m more suited for than running. Do I love running? No. So why continue? Because I believe exercise is important. I think everyone should be respected for moving. I think completing a marathon, in 5, 6 or even 7 hours, is a huge accomplishment. Most people have never walked 26 miles in a day! I believe making the decision to exercise on a regular, recurring basis should be celebrated.

I run/walk because mentally that keeps me moving. Running helps me sleep at night. Running helps keep my weight down. Running keeps me in shape for the things I do love. So why train for a marathon or half? It is motivates me. You can’t fake a marathon. Thank you every marathon that is open for 7 hours. Thanks to the marathons that encourage all runners!
~Nancy Rusho

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Participants Wanted for Heat Acclimatization Study

I am working with a graduate student (Brianna Lui) on a heat acclimatization study this summer looking at seasonal changes in heat acclimatization.

Specifically, we are interested in the degree of seasonal acclimatization in wildland firefighters; however, we would like to compare their adaptations to seasonal acclimatization in regular, everyday people (Males only) in Missoula (ie. People that are not hanging out by a fire all summer long).

For the purpose of the study, we're calling these people "recreationally active individuals." Basically, it's anyone who may work throughout the week, and exercise at least 30 minutes most days of the week, but not more than about 10 hours of structured exercise per week - an example of "structured training" could be training for 1-2 hours of cycling/mountain biking/etc. per day.

We will do a maximal aerobic test and body fat test this month (May) and in August or September, as well as an exercise protocol in the lab one day this month (May) and one day in September; these times follow the summer seasonal changes as well as the wildland firefigthers seasonal occupation.

There will be a total of 4 visits: including a pre- AND post- summer maximal aerobic test (VO2 max) and body fat test (visits 1 and 4)!

The exercise protocol - visits 2 and 3 (once in May and once in August or September):
A walk for 1-hour at 50% of your maximal aerobic capacity in the environmental chamber at 110ËšF and 25% humidity on a treadmill. We will be collecting heart rate, core temperature, and skin temperature, so sensors will be used.

We will pay you about $100 for a total of approx. 5 hours of your time!

Let us know if you are interested and we can get you scheduled right away.

Please use reply all so that both Bri and I get the message.


Brent Ruby

Brianna Lui

Monday, May 16, 2011

Back of the Pack is Up and Running (at whatever pace)

The Back of the Pack (BOP) had a social and organization meeting March 21. The following ideas and action items emerged from that meeting:

EVENTS: BOP will hold monthly fun run/walks at different locations around the community. Events will be hosted by BOPers from the neighborhood; food and drink arrangements will vary.
• Our first event, April 22 at Maclay Flats, was hosted by Lisa Boothe, Randy Frazier, Rachelle McPhee, and Donna Bennett. About 20 people gathered for a 3-4 mile run or walk and socialized afterward over a potluck of colorful snacks.
• Our next event will be May 20, 7pm, Frenchtown Pond State Park. Hosts are Kevin and Carol Drake.
• Hosts have stepped forward and dates will soon be set for events in June (the Bitterroot), July (the Rattlesnake), and August (Bonner).

BUDDY LOCATOR: Sue Falsey set up a survey and sorted the results of our initial efforts to match interested BOPers by pace, schedule, and neighborhood. Results will be posted as a link from the BOP page on the Run Wild website.

BANDANNAS: BOPers would like to meet one another at group events. We decided on a bright green bandanna, which can be affixed and displayed in any number of ways. We have found a supplier, and are looking for sponsors so that bandannas can be provided free of charge.

CHEERLEADERS: Marathoners at the Back of the Pack are used to tired volunteers, depleted food supplies, and a general sense of missing the party at the end of a race. The BOP is organizing a special force of volunteers for the Missoula Marathon this year. We will provide fresh, enthusiastic cheerleaders at key aid stations and the finish line, and will make a point of providing fresh food that doesn’t look like dregs from the day before.

VIEW FROM THE BACK: Watch for articles aimed at slower runners and walkers in each monthly issue of Running Wild.

LAST BEST FINISHER: Last Best Finisher Awards were presented for the first time at the SuperFUNd Run on April 16. For a description of the award, see .

If you are interested in becoming involved with the BOP, drop me a note at
~Pam Gardiner, Leader of the Back

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Paris Marathon

On April 10, 2011 I completed the 35th edition Marathon de Paris. The actual journey began a week earlier. My husband Eivind and I flew into London on April 2nd. After traveling for more than twenty hours we finally reached our hotel. It was 12:00 p.m. London time. We were tired and my ankles were swollen. I knew if I laid down I would be out for the count and would miss the entire day. At 2:00 p.m. we decided to go for a short run to shake out our legs. Our hotel was directly across the street from Hyde Park. There are several amazing running paths. We did run but it wasn’t easy. The air was muggy and my legs felt like Jell-O. I was glad I had more than a week before the marathon. In London we did a lot of sightseeing and a lot of walking.

It was unusually warm weather and it only rained for a few hours on our second day. Eivind and I ran on three separate runs in Hyde Park. We spent several days in London and then took the

We arrived in Paris on Wednesday. The marathon was on Sunday. Once we got to the hotel the first thing I wanted to do was to check out the starting location of the marathon. The race started at Le Arc de Triumph on the Champs E’lysee, which was less than a mile from our hotel. My first glimpse of the Arc de Triumph was breathtaking! I couldn’t believe that in three days I would be running in the Paris Marathon. Over the next couple of days Eivind and I were typical tourists walking around Paris and taking pictures of everything.

The marathon expo was open Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The recommendation was to come early to avoid the long lines. I wanted to make sure that I had everything I needed for the race so I was at the expo Thursday afternoon. One thing that was different was that a medical release signed by a doctor was required before you were given your race packet. It could be mailed in ahead of time or brought with you. I had mailed mine the month before but I still needed to be check in. Once the medical certificate was verified I proceeded to the next stop, race packet pickup. I gave them my race number. They gave me my race packet. It was official! Race number 27063, Danelle Gjetmundsen, was registered for the Paris Marathon. As we made our way through the expo I found a booth that was handing out pace bracelets. I picked one up for my estimated time goal. It wasn’t until later when I actually looked through the bag that I noticed this pace bracelet would be of no help to me. It was in kilometers! With my race number in hand I could relax. Time to enjoy Paris.

We spent Thursday, Friday and Saturday sightseeing. I was able to get some short runs in around the city. There was also a small park across the street from our hotel. During one of these runs Eivind and I were wearing our Missoula, Montana Grizzly Triathlon shirts. A lady who was running with her dog came up from behind us and said “I just had to say hello. I am from Bozeman.” What a small world. On Thursday and Friday we spent a lot of time walking around the city. Saturday however I knew I needed to stay off my feet as much as possible. We used the public transportation system to get to and from our destinations. We got back to the hotel early, had a nice spaghetti meal and relaxed for the rest of the evening.

Sunday morning, marathon day. This was my seventh marathon and I thought I knew what to expect. I was wrong. I came prepared with my race day staples; electrolytes, gels, my favorite sunglasses, and running cap as well as my Garmin and I-pod with my marathon play list. My usual pre-race meal is a bagel and peanut butter, which I could not bring on the plane. “No problem,” I thought. “I will just buy some in Paris.” Wrong again. I could not find bagels or regular peanut butter anywhere. I had to settle for prepackaged pancakes and honey flavored peanut butter and I just hope that eating something new and different on race day would not have adverse affects on my stomach. Luckily it worked out. Since our hotel was so close to the start a nice brisk walk/jog was a perfect warm up. The race started at 8:45 a.m. at Le Arc de Triumph on the Champs E’lysee. The temperature was 70° F. A far cry from the cold temperatures in Montana that I had been training in all winter. At the start I had a brief moment of panic. There were 32,000 runners plus thousands and thousands of spectators and I did not know how Iwas going to get to my starting corral. I maneuvered my way through the sea of people and arrived to the entrance of the corral. There were volunteers there checking to make sure people were in the right starting area. I was not. The volunteer directed me to my corral which was further down the boulevard. I had to move through all the people again. Finally I found my corral. I checked in with the volunteer and YES, he allowed me entrance. Once I was inside the fenced off area I was able to take a big sigh of relief.

At 8:35 a.m. the handi sports began. At 8:45 the elite marathoners began. About seven to eight minutes later I crossed the starting pad. As soon as I started running all butterflies were gone. My race plan was to keep the pacer of my time goal in my sites but run my own race according to my Garmin. Wrong again. As soon as we started I never saw the pacer again. There were just too many people to be able to keep track of anyone. We started running down the Champs E’lysee into the sun. I was so excited. With so many runners I was about three miles into the race before I broke through and was able to run on my own. When we left the wide boulevard of the Champs E’lysee and entered the narrow streets of the old city of Paris we came to a bottleneck. We were literally stopped in our tracks before we were able to break free and run again. At mile eight I actually felt like I was running my own race and in my own rhythm. There was never a point in the marathon where I was running by myself.

As racers in the United States we all know how important the facilities are for those very important potty breaks. This was not the same in the Paris marathon. There were a few porta potties at the start but most people were running into stores and restaurants before the gun went off. Along the course I saw one aid station with about five porta potties. I did not see any other on the entire course. Maybe they were there and I didn’t see them but for the most part racers were on their own. The race packet even advised to bring toilet paper on race day. Okay, as we know if there is not a porta potty we have to find other means. This also was a challenge for runners because with over 200,000 spectators lining the route, running through the park was the only option to find a semi secluded area without thousands of people surrounding you.

The aid stations were set up on only one side of the street so trying to get water/nutrition resulted in a slight traffic jam. Now I know why people run fully self sufficient. As for the water, no paper cups were handed out. Sealed water bottles were the order of the day. It took some coordination to take the cap off and not let the full bottle of water splash all over myself. The race day statistics show that over 450,000 water bottles were handed out. Another small but fairly significant difference is that safety pins are not included in the race packet. Thank you hotel lobby. Also I did not think about the metric system. The course was marked in kilometers, except eight and sixteen were marked in miles. I’m thankful I had my Garmin to keep track of my distance and pace.

I felt comfortable during the run. Around mile seventeen I started to fade a little. I told myself to smile and remember where I was. I was running in the Paris marathon. I took another gel and got a second wind around mile twenty one. I started to pick up my pace during the last three miles. I did not however, partake in the red wine offered at mile twenty four. Ultimately
I finished strong and was happy with my time. Out of 32,000 runners only about 7,000 were female. This is definitely not the trend in the U.S.

After the finish all I wanted to do was to find Eivind and sit down. Wrong again. After crossing the finish I had to stand in line to have my timer chip removed. I was then directed to another line where I received my finisher t-shirt. I was then directed to a third line where I received my finisher medal. After that I got into the food line where I was able to refuel. I then spent about half an hour looking for the location where I arranged to meet Eivind. Once I finally found that spot there were so many runners and families that I could not see a thing. Eventually we found each other and I could finally relax.

In conclusion the entire experience was remarkable and unforgettable. There are always differences from one race to another and all that makes me realize how much I appreciate the wonderful running community in Missoula.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Boston With Swagger

For those of us who are accustomed solo runs down Montana highways scattered with mountain homes and wild animals, “the Boston” was like another world.

“The most surprising thing about ‘the Boston,’ for me, was the experience of getting into line to get on the buses to the start. As Chris Everett and I stood in line to get on the buses at Boston Commons, we were in hysterics at never having seen a line ‘worm around’ the length of ‘the convoluted shoreline of the State of California,’” Sally Russell said.

A cool wind made the 44 degree morning feel like the 30s. After enduring a 50-minute shuttle to the starting area, those participants who were smart enough to bring plastic bags to sit on avoided the grass soaked by an inch of rain from the previous day.

So began the 2011 Boston Marathon.

After experiencing the crowded expo, a runner knew what to expect during the three-hour wait for the race start: long porta-potty lines. Fortunately, the sun was shining and one had 25,000 people from around the world to keep them company while waiting in line.

“When we got to the athletic village, we immediately got in line for the porta-potties, and jumped right back in line a second time just in time to begin positioning ourselves for the corrals,” Russell said.

Unbelievably, some members of the Missoula training group met another Missoulian, Tom Simones, while waiting in line.

Marshaling 25,000 people to a start line that is located .7 miles away from the athlete’s village was a process, but when a race 115 years old, the process is well-organized. As friends separated, wishing each other last-minute encouragements before entering their corrals, runners faced a surreal moment, realizing that a lifelong goal was about to be fulfilled.

“At the start, you were so close to fellow runners that you could feel the adrenaline flowing from one person to another as we all jockeyed for space,” Ashley Schroeder said.

Nerves and the realization that the beginning of the hard-trained for race was finally starting with the crowded procession down narrow roads was an emotional moment.

“The energy was intoxicating,” Liv Fetterman said.

The roads were so packed it made it difficult to get into the early water stops. Runners were constantly passing one another. The crowds were steady for the first 12 miles.

“The best thing about the race was the crowds. It was awesome hearing people yell ‘Go Montana!’ so often,” Tammy Mocabee said. Before mile 13, the course passed the all-women’s Wellesley College. At least a quarter mile away from the college, the noise from the renowned “Scream Tunnel” began. Women lined the course screaming and urging runners to kiss them. At press time it could not be confirmed how long it took J.B. Yonce to run through the Scream Tunnel. This was the beginning of spectators cheering at a deafening pitch. Tim Mosbacher complained, “It was too loud; I just wanted them to stop.”Others were motivated to run even faster. “The cheering crowds all along the race course urging you on were fantastic. It is still unbelievable to me that they were still there three hours after the elite runners had gone past!” Chris Everett said.

The next 13 miles would be the challenging section of the course. The Newton Hills were a series of four hills that had the potential to wipe out a runner. Historically, these are the make-or-break miles. 2011 would be no different as the men’s and women’s elite lead packs were substantially reduced after the final hill, known as Heartbreak Hill.

“The hardest part was the hills. I felt like I took it easy on the downhill, but by the time I got to the top of Hearbreak Hill, my quads were shot. [Regardless,] I would definitely consider doing it again.” Mocabee said.After the hills, the course took the runners into Boston. Runners were funneled through screaming crowds and intoxicated university students. If the hills weren’t so painful, one might even enjoyed it.

“Those last few miles look easy on paper -- slight downhill -- but for me and for many others they were very tough. My goal the last few miles was simply not to stop regardless of my pace. Anyone who has qualified should make the effort to go and run it and find out for themselves how special finishing the Boston Marathon is,” Everett said.

Boston landmarks, including Fenway Park and a large Citgo sign, appear and then disappear. The course turns up a block-long hill, and then turns down the final finish stretch.

“The trip was special because of my wife -- cheering madly --and son -- running me in the last five --being present and the neat group of friends that made the trip fun! Plus all the support from those back home,” Dean Lipp said.

“I’ll never forget Monique [Krebsbach] running alongside the greenway, ringing her cowbell cheering for me. She had taken a pedicab a mile or so from the Finish to cheer me on. She was running along, very fast, and then would stop to text and then run again calling out my name,” Russell said.

“The Boston Marathon honestly may have been the best day of my life,” Fetterman said.

So what is it about this marathon that sets it apart from others?“There is a sense of accomplishment in making a Boston Marathon qualifying time. However, despite my initial thoughts, I've found that finishing the Boston Marathon has meant so much more,” Everett said. “It is not your pace that counts, it is getting to the end and finishing the Boston Marathon.”
-Compiled by Tim Mosbacher and Ashley Schroeder

Boston/Spring Marathon Training Group Wrap-up
The winter marathon training group ended in remarkable fashion with half of the sixteen members of the training group who completed a spring marathon finishing with new PRs. Training for a spring marathon has many weather hurdles and this year was no exception. This is a great training group that aids in training over the winter with the goal of completing a spring marathon. Join us next year!

The Boston Marathon
Tim Mosbacher 2:58:24 PR
Brian Fruit 2:59:14
Dean Lipp 3:01:28
Tom Simones 3:02:13 PR
Tim Brooker 3:07:08
Ashley Schroeder 3:21:58 PR
Liv Fetterman 3:28:19 PR
Dale Reese 3:32:18
JB Yonce 3:33:52 PR
Sara Stahl 3:39:44
Tammy Mocabee 4:01:30
Jen Revis-Siegfried 4:05:18
Maria Stokstad 4:11:43
Chris Everett 4:15:51 PR
Sally Russell 4:44:55

The Eugene Marathon
Patrick Murphy 2:39:38 PR
Trish Miller 2:54:00 PR
Julie Gilchrist 3:17:07
Bridgett Moriarty 3:57:50

The Paris Marathon
Danelle Gjetmundsen 3:39:17 PR

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Missoula Marathon is Best Event in Montana For 2010 – Let’s Make It Again This Year!

In the Hills of the Bloomsday course this year, for what is probably close to my 15th time, I couldn’t help but notice the thousands of volunteers that show up to help at this massive event. I have notice a lot on that course over the years, but honestly never given much thought to the volunteers. Each aid station was full of smiling faces giving out water and high fives. Even the finish line is incredible; volunteers line the bridge, handing out drinks and eventually leading you to the tables with the massive amounts of BLOOMSDAY FINISHER t-shirts you can proudly sport with the other fifty thousand runners that participate.

Needless to say, Bloomsday does an amazing job with its volunteers. This lead me to think of the Missoula Marathon and what a supportive running community we have. Just a few months ago, Marathon & Beyond highlighted the Missoula Marathon, specifically naming what amazing aid stations we had (don’t forget that Hawaiian-themed aid station!). We wouldn’t have been named best marathon from Runners World if we didn’t have the amazing volunteers we get year after year. I would love for all of you to come out there running this year, but if you didn’t have time to train or somehow want to get involved, we can always use your help. From course monitors to expo set-up, we have a place for you. We appreciate help any time, but mostly during the week leading up to the race. For more information, please contact Wilma Tabaracci (

Happy Running,
Anders Brooker – Missoula Marathon Race Director

Monday, May 9, 2011

Thank You, Bridgett Moriarty

Run Wild Missoula has been lucky enough to have hundreds of dedicated volunteers. Some of these volunteers stand out, though, because they give above and beyond. One of these volunteers is Bridgett Moriarty. Bridgett recently resigned from the Run Wild Missoula Board of Directors to spend more time with her family and start focusing on other interests. We wonder how Bridgett had time to continue with all of her volunteer commitments with Run Wild Missoula in addition to the amount of time she spent training in the first place!

Bridgett joined Run Wild Missoula when she joined the Beginner Runner Training Class a few years ago. Since then she has been co-director of the Pengelly Double & Single Dip, Missoula Marathon Registration Assistant, Secretary of the Run Wild Missoula Committee, and coach of the Beginner Runner Training Class. She has volunteered for almost every Run Wild Missoula race and gives her time to do training class aid stations. Bridgett has volunteered so much that I’m sure I’m missing something else she has done for the club and the running community.

On top of all of this, Bridgett still finds time to train. She recently trained with the Boston Marathon Training Class and competed in the Eugene Marathon on May 1. It’s an inspiration to see how far Bridgett has come with her running in the past few years.

When I asked Bridgett what her goals were for Run Wild Missoula when she joined the Board last spring she said: “I would like to see Run Wild Missoula become a club that is just synonymous with the Missoula community, and I would like to see us reach out and promote healthy, inexpensive recreation to everyone. I am in this for the runner and walker. I get a real kick out of seeing so many people out on a beautiful spring day, running and walking (and biking). I would like to hear more people complaining about traffic on the Kim Williams Trail than on the drive home from work.” Thank you, Bridgett, for striving toward this goal.
-Eva Dunn-Froebig

2011 Missoula Marathon participants in their own words: Amy Reed

The Road to 50 States
by Amy Reed

I've run 26.2 miles eleven times. On purpose. Yes, with my two feet. Yes, I said "on purpose."

My infatuation with running began innocently in the year 2000. A friend starting training for a 5K, and, not to be left behind, I started jogging behind him. Within a month, I had started to shed my sedentary lifestyle and ran my first 5K. I kept running about 2 to 3 miles several times a week. Within a year, thanks to my new hobby, I had not only shed my sedentary lifestyle, but I had also shed 50 I kept on running.

In November 2005, I decided I needed a challenge and registered for the Hospital Hill 1/2 Marathon, which was in June 2006. In order to tackle the distance, I joined the Runner's Edge of Kansas City, one of our local training groups. Before I had even run my first half marathon, I was hooked, and I signed up for the Kansas City Marathon, which was in October. I really looked forward to the camaraderie of training with my running group on Saturdays. In addition, as a chemical engineer, I seemed to respond well to the regimented training schedule, and I began to look forward to crossing off training runs on my schedule. I even created a spreadsheet to track my mileage and how far I ran in what pair of shoes. It was perfect for my Type A personality. I love goals and goal tracking. My first marathon was the Kansas City Marathon, one day before my 31st birthday.

Not to be swayed by the physical and mental challenges of completing my first marathon, I decided to run the St. Louis Marathon with two of my running friends (Marcus and Stacie) during Spring 2007. During that marathon, the idea of running a marathon in all 50 states was placed in my head. I still remember this portion of our conversation vividly: "you only need 10 states to get in", "yeah, only." At the time, it was just a seed that had been planted and was temporarily forgotten. After the St. Louis Marathon, I burned out on distance running and switched to cycling for a year.

In December 2008, I felt the passion burning within me to return to distance running, and I signed up for the 2009 Country Music Marathon. Between 2008 and 2010, I decided to return to the challenge of running in 10 states, so I ran the Country Music Marathon (TN), Twin Cities Marathon (MN), Little Rock Marathon (AR), Lincoln Marathon (NE), Chicago Marathon (IL), and the Gobbler Grind Marathon (KS). In the first quarter of 2011, I completed the Goofy Race and a 1/2 Challenge (FL), the Oz Marathon (another KS), and the Flying Pig Marathon (OH). (That's 11 marathons in 9 states if you lost count.) I've also finished 15 half-marathons in four states. Within the last year, I've qualified to become a member of the Half Fanatics and Marathon Maniacs but it is the 50 States Club that is the carrot that continues to dangle in front of me.

With each state I check off my marathon list, I find myself more and more infatuated with checking off another state. A lot of runners train intensely to qualify for the Boston Marathon. While I've chipped over 45 minutes off my original 5:37 marathon time over the last five years, I've accepted that Boston might be a slightly overzealous goal for me at the moment. Getting into the 50 States Club by running in 10 states is my Boston.

"But why 26.2 miles?", people ask me. All. The. Time. Two words. Race bling. I love adding a new finisher's medal to my collection. Seriously, though, there's just something about 26.2 miles. It doesn't matter how many marathons I run, the distance is always challenging. Each marathon has its own personality and obstacles. Maybe it's a hilly course. Maybe Mother Nature is going to wreck havoc on my time goals by delivering a cold 20 mph wind on an April day or, worse, a humid sunny 90 degree day in October. Maybe my stomach isn't going to agree with my nutrition. I just don't know what will happen in those 26.2 miles, and the excitement of the adventure is thrilling! Running marathons has simply captivated me. Even at Mile 18 when my knees start to throb, or at Mile 22 when my quads have cramped so badly I have to walk and I swear I'm never running another one, I run those final 0.2 miles to cross another finish line and the magic of the marathon wisks it all away.

As I write this, it is two weeks and five days after the Oz Marathon and five days after the Flying Pig Marathon. I can finally walk down stairs normally again, but I'm still pretty tired. However, I am ready to go again. The day after Flying Pig, I started to think about registering for the Missoula Marathon. Two days later, I kind of fixated on it and shopped around for airfare. Four days after the Flying Pig Marathon, I registered.

Why Missoula? I have traveled a lot in the United States, but I have never been to Montana. What better way to see a place than to run it? In addition, Missoula has been on my "must do" list since it was written up in Runner's World as the best overall marathon in 2010. As I continued to research it, I also discovered it's flat with one hill. (You cannot argue with only one hill.) Finally, of course, Missoula is incredibly scenic.

It should be noted that running so many marathons in such a short time frame does wreck some havoc on the body, so I train as intelligently and safely as possible. I know I couldn't have made it this far without the help of Eladio Valdez (my running coach), Toby Scott (my chiropractor), and Barb Rinne (my massage therapist).

I'm incredibly excited to experience the scenery and people of Missoula on July 9 and 10. It only seems appropriate that I will run my 10th state within months of my 5-year anniversary of running marathons. Who better to share a 5-year runniversary with than the Missoula Marathon?

Cheers! Happy running!

Friday, May 6, 2011

New Run Wild Missoula Board Members

Run Wild Missoula is lucky to introduce two new members of the Board of Directors: Pat Cross and Torrey Holmquist. They were nice enough to answer a few questions about themselves so you can get to know them better. You may already know Pat as the RWM Chancellor of Libations and organizer of the popular Beer Runs. Also, Torrey has been on the Missoula Marathon Committee since the inception of the event and was the volunteer Missoula Marathon Treasurer up until recently.

Pat Cross
E.D.: How did you become involved with Run Wild Missoula? How long ago?

Pat Cross: I joined RWM in 2008 figuring that the membership fees would quickly be paid for with the 10% discount at the Runner’s Edge. That year I started running with some of the evening and weekend group runs, and joined the Missoula Marathon Training Group in ’09.

E.D.: When did you start running? What are you training for now?

Pat Cross: I enjoyed the occasional run in high school and college, but struggled with shin splints so I really wasn’t able to be competitive, though I do remember running a 5k one morning my freshman year of college. I really got serious about running in late winter of 2008, and ran my first half marathon in September of that year.

E.D.: What are your goals for Run Wild Missoula?

Pat Cross: Well there are the obvious goals; continue to increase membership, find more ways to promote healthy running, walking and continue to put on a world class marathon and half marathon. But I think we also need to find more ways to serve our members beyond training classes and races, that is one of my motivations behind the Monthly Beer Runs, we, the members of RWM, just don’t get the club together often enough in true social situations.

Torrey Holmquist
E.D.: How did you become involved with Run Wild Missoula? How long ago?

Torrey Holmquist: I started as Treasurer with the original group who organized the Missoula Marathon. As the marathon grew, I had to step down last year from the Treasury position but also wanted to find another venue within the running arena I could volunteer in. Back in the day, I helped with the idea of having an oversight committee with the Marathon, and this eventually grew into what we now know as the Board. Since there were openings on the Board, I felt it would be a good chance for me to ‘see over the fence' and provide help and learn about what RWM had been doing all the time I was focused with Marathon planning.

E.D.: When did you start running? What are you training for now?

Torrey Holmquist: My running started my last few years of college as a cheep sport. It grew into the Snow Joke, an Ultra and then finally to marathons when I started on the committee. I'm planning on running the Missoula Marathon this year and my training is experimental in that I'm doing as little as possible with the hope for a decent race on July 10th.

E.D.: What are your goals for Run Wild Missoula?

Torrey Holmquist: RWM, in my opinion, has grown into a major vessel that makes the heart of Missoula what it is. I've got ideas how outside organizations may use RWM to help spread their cause while providing all who enjoy running and walking more reasons to continue. It's a long way down the road, but as Missoula ages, having a developed activity group folks of all ages can turn to for fitness will keep the community young and vibrant. However, if RWM and the training class could get my Mom to do the full Marathon - that would be fantastic.

- Eva Dunn-Froebig

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wear Your Support for Run Wild Missoula

There are lots of ways to support Run Wild Missoula: renew your membership (We hope you will all do that over and over again!), register for a race, join a training class or go for a run or walk with a friend and tell him or her about Run Wild Missoula. You can also wear your support for Run Wild Missoula.

You all need clothes to wear when you run or walk, right? Why not buy something that says “Run Wild Missoula?” It’s also a great choice when running an out-of-town race—a great way to show everyone where you are from. Run Wild Missoula has three choices of apparel available right now: long sleeved Saucony half zip tops in green for women and blue for men, short sleeved Sportscience technical t-shirts in light green for both men and women, and orange Brooks tanks for summer racing. Run Wild Missoula members get 10% off merchandise.

Run Wild Missoula is lucky to have the support of the Runner’s Edge, which sells all of these items for Run Wild Missoula in their store. The shirts are displayed on the wall of the store and the Runner’s Edge staff is happy to give you different sizes to try on. The Runner’s Edge will give you the 10% discount for Run Wild Missoula members. We also sell the items on Visit the “about us” tab and click on “store” to purchase the shirts with a credit card and have them shipped to your home. Get the 10% discount by logging into the web site with your username and password. Run Wild Missoula also has a credit card terminal at the Runner’s Edge for your convenience.

Run Wild Missoula shirts also make a great gift for your runner and non-runner friends. Friends and family from out of town will get a kick out of wearing something that says “Run Wild Missoula” and “Missoula, Montana.”

Brooks racing singlets Wear your support for Run Wild Missoula during a local or out of town race. These tanks say “RWM” on the front and “Run Wild Missoula” down the side. They come in a stand-out orange color for both men and women’s sizes. Sizes: Men- S, M, L, XL; Women- XS, S, M, L, XL. Cost: $20 or $18 for Run Wild Missoula members.

Sportscience technical tops They are a polyester/cotton blend-- finally a technical top that feels soft. This shirt can be worn on a run or for a casual look with jeans. The front says "Run Wild Missoula, Missoula, Montana" and has our slogan "Lace 'em up" on one sleeve and our colorful logo on the other. We chose heather green for men's and women's styles. Sizes: Men- S, M, L, XL; Women- XS, S, M, L, XL. Cost: $30 for or $27 for Run Wild Missoula members.

Saunony long sleeved half-zips These tops have a detachable light that is rechargeable on your USB port. They have the Run Wild Missoula logo on the upper right hand front and "Run Wild Missoula, Missoula, Montana" on the center back. The tops are an essential winter item. Sizes: Men- S, M, L, XL; Women- XS, S, M, L, XL. Cost: $65 or $58.50 for Run Wild Missoula members.

Thanks for wearing your support for Run Wild Missoula!

Keep Runnin’ & Walkin’,
- Eva Dunn-Froebig

Why I Run - Missoula Marathon

Why I Run
by Andrew A. Hunt

In the beginning there was only one reason I wanted to finish the Missoula Marathon, but it seems the list grows every time someone asks me about it.

The conversation goes like this:

“I’m training for the Missoula Marathon.”

“Really, why?”

“Three reasons, well, actually four, no wait, more like seven, have you got a few minutes?”

Stacking up reasons to stick with running is a good thing. The further I run, the deeper I get into the training, the more reasons I discover to keep going. It feels good, gives me some alone time, reduces the belly, puts me in touch with a great and supportive community of runners, improves my mood, you know the list. I don’t have to convince myself to push through the aches and grumblings of muscles and joints, nor rely on doctors’ orders to roll out of bed, lace up, and head down the road. When it comes to running, I’m a convert.

But, obviously, it wasn’t always this way.

I smoked cigarettes for the better part of two decades and often (too often) indulged in the worst “nutrition” on the dollar menu. I wasn’t overweight, but couldn’t claim to be fit. Although I kicked the butts a couple of years ago, my body was long past the easy cruising of my 30’s. It seemed like I had a choice, either surrender to the slow physical decline I felt taking hold around my belly (yeah, skinny guys get spare tires too) or do something, anything, to start moving in the other direction.

The notion to “do” a marathon started as a whim in the back of my mind akin to the phrase “let’s do lunch”. I had friends who jumped into marathon training courses and went from zero to 26.2 in a matter of months; I knew it was physically possible, you just sign-up and go. Right? But what, besides a t-shirt, improved cardio, and basic bragging rights, was in it for me? There are countless ways to get in shape, and running a marathon wasn’t on my bucket list, but the idea quietly started to seduce me. I started considering it. I didn’t dash out to buy shoes and shorts like Albert Brooks in “Modern Romance” (that happened later), but I flagged the idea as a possible option I might decide to pursue at some point in the undetermined future.

The more I “considered” it, the more intrigued I became.

I started to imagine what the training might be like with hours of quiet toil, alone on the road, no one making me take that next step but my own determination. I started to realize that training involved the necessity of time and repetition to build up strength and endurance, I couldn’t phone in the effort. If I were going to run a marathon I would really have to commit to the process. I didn’t know if I was up for the task, but I was curious. Could I get out and pound the pavement in the cold, or heat, the rain or snow, late afternoons after a long day or even worse, early in the morning while the rest of the family slumbered in warm beds? Did I have what it took to not hit the snooze on the alarm? That sort of commitment requires something that I was always a bit short on in my life, something that had been missing that I envied in others and secretly coveted - discipline.

And there it was, my first real reason for attempting a marathon. To get to the end of the race I would have to learn discipline. Self-mastery would be mine! I didn’t learn it in my yoga stances, meditation practice, or Zen study. I started writing and abandoned several dozen great American novels and have a collection of interesting, and dusty, musical instruments around my home office. I have pursued many enriching endeavors that excited and engaged me at some point, but soon fell to the way-side simply because they required regular attention in order to grow and flourish. I know that the best things in life are usually the hardest to accomplish because they take time and dedication. I can preach that verse but don’t readily practice the concept. Maybe I am weak willed, have a short attention span, am too self-conscious to pull off a downward dog in public, or simply give up when the going gets tough. Whatever the specific reason, I am fully aware of my inability to commit to things that would generally improve my quality of life. Self-awareness kind of sucks sometimes, but hope springs eternal.

So, armed with what I thought a darn good reason, I declared my intentions to run a marathon. I signed up for the Missoula Marathon training class, got some shoes (cue Albert Brooks shopping spree) and was so giddy I had a hard time going to sleep that night. The next day was my first “real” run, a frosty February morning with temperatures dipping in the teens, but I sprinted out the door at sunrise with a genuine smile on my face. My first two miles were logged on February 15, 2010.

Ten weeks later I was icing a stress fracture in my ankle and contemplating a crawl across the living room to retrieve the television remote.

It was all too far, too fast, too soon. Enthusiasm had crippled me during a ten-mile long run; call it an eager beginner’s mistake. Once I got a taste of it I wanted to run every day, further and faster. Every run was a contest to beat out a few more seconds, to tack on another half mile. It felt great, mostly, and so I kept going and ignored the warning signs my body was shouting at me.

After the x-rays were examined and the walking boot firmly applied it was obvious that I would not be getting the t-shirt and bragging rights as planned. I was still going to physical therapy twice a week when the 2010 Missoula Marathoners raced across the valley in glorious sunshine. Finally in August after several setbacks and lingering pain my doctor gave me the nod along with a photocopied handout titled “Return to Run Program”. My first distance was a quarter mile walk followed by a quarter mile “jog”. Reading that handout hurt almost as much as the injury, but this is what I signed on for, so out the door I went. The genuine smile was not along for that jaunt.

When February rolled around I was barely up to five miles, but they were healthy miles. I signed up for the Missoula Marathon training class again, got a new pair of shoes, and discovered that the genuine smile had returned to my face when we all started off on the first training route.

My path to the end of my first marathon, it turns out, is neither straight nor nearly as rapid as I expected. But I have no complaints; I got exactly what I wanted. Through the injury and road to recovery I started to learn the discipline I sought. I thought I had to commit to getting out and running far and fast. It turns out the real and harder commitment is to run well. My ego has learned to accept the slower pace, taking more recovery days, easing off on the short runs if I’m feeling winded and carefully pacing the long runs. Even with my caution and care I could end up on the sidelines again this year watching the race. Injuries happen, my knees are starting to complain and the miles keep piling on. So if not this year, then next, or the year after, or however long it takes to get to the finish line. I started this process because I wanted to learn, to grow, to find something undiscovered within me and I’m starting to think this race may be a bit longer than 26.2.

-Andrew A. Hunt