Monday, June 27, 2011

Hellgate Village 5K

Saturday, July 9, 5 p.m., Caras Park, the site of the Missoula Marathon Expo

Download the registration form or register online now. Questions or want to volunteer? Email Race Director Carol Brooker.

Want to be a part of the excitement of the Missoula Marathon, but don't want to train for and run the marathon or half marathon? Perhaps you are in town to watch a family member and want to participate in a family friendly fun run?

The Hellgate Village 5K starts and finishes at Caras Park, the site of the Missoula Marathon Expo. The course travels along the Clark Fork River on paved and gravel trails. Race proceeds benefit the Missoula Alzheimer's Support Group in honor of Anne Hayes, long time member and supporter of Run Wild Missoula.

Click here for the course map.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Help needed for Missoula Marathon course cleanup

Saturday, June 25, 7:30 a.m. - meet at Peak Health & Wellness, corner of Blue Mountain Rd and Highway 93

The Missoula Marathon is in two weeks and we'd like to present the course in the best possible way to all the runners and the supporters flocking into our beautiful city, coming from all 50 states, Canada, and at least a dozen other countries from all over the world. Let's show pride in our event and our state! This is a great opportunity to give back. Please bring: yourself, your family, friends, neighbors, gloves, heavy trash bags, and a positive, can-do attitude for only an hour or two. Also, try to wear something bright for safety!

A Glimpse at Who Is Training for the Missoula Marathon

Close to 450 people are registered for the running, walking and run/walk classes to train for the Missoula Marathon. That’s a lot of people to get to know. We thought it would be fun to get to know some of them and find out why they are training for the Missoula Marathon or Half Marathon.

Name: Hillary Ogg
Age: 32
Profession: Research & Business Development Specialist/Mom to 2 Boys
Training Class: Running
Will this be your first marathon / half marathon? Nope - my first 1/2 was the Seattle in 2007 (so.many.hills.)
What motivated you to sign up for the training class? I've basically taken the last three years off from running with any consistency- I had my two boys (one in '08 and one in '10) - was on bedrest for the end of my last pregnancy - had foot surgery - and needed something to get me back in the game, to keep me in line and keep me honest! I wanted to get back into running without getting injured and figured this class would be great to follow for mileage, as well as any questions I had along the way. A few of my friends and I put together our own running club in '03, Girls Gone Running: Best of the West, and three of us decided to do the training class together. We have a few other friends who are training for the Missoula Half in Seattle and Billings, as well. The class has been great for our friendships (both here and long-distance) and our exercise goals.
What is your race goal? My race goal is to finish under 2 hours 10 minutes.
Do you plan to do another marathon or half marathon? I have a secret dream (not so secret anymore) of doing either the New York City Marathon or the Paris Marathon in the next few years (say, within 5 years). I figure if I'm going to do a marathon, I want it to be somewhere I want to visit - good ol' multi-tasking.

Name: Barbara Riley
Age: 58
Profession: business co-owner; fitness instructor (dance)
Training Class: Walking
Will this be your first marathon / half marathon? Yes, the first.
What motivated you to sign up for the training class? Following the blog of Kimberly Dredger last year... and wanting to achieve weight loss and fitness from an activity I enjoyed but seemed to have some physical problems with when done on my own. I knew from Kimberly's experience that we would learn how to "walk" correctly and would have lots of support in reaching any goal. I also was looking for an activity my husband and I could do together anywhere, such as while traveling.
What is your race goal? To complete the half-marathon in 3.5 hours and without injury.
Do you plan to do another marathon or half marathon? Yes, already planning another half-marathon in the fall with family members in Georgia.

Name: Suzanne Tilleman
Age: 39, turning 40 in July
Profession: Assistant Professor of Management at the University of Montana
Training Class: Running
Will this be your first marathon / half marathon? It is my second half marathon. I did my first in February. I am pretty new to regular running.
What motivated you to sign up for the training class? My running buddy, she is always encouraging me to run.
What is your race goal? To run the entire length.
Do you plan to do another marathon or half marathon? Yes.
~Eva Dunn-Froebig

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Run Wild Missoula Member Profiles: Bob Taylor

Name: Bob Taylor

Age: 45

Place of birth: Missoula

Occupation: Driver for Coca Cola

What are your short-term running and long term running goals? Short-term, I just want to get back into running after not running all winter. Long-term, I want to complete the Missoula Marathon and the Pengally Double dip without injuries and continue on from there. I want to run the New York City Marathon someday.

Your favorite meal before or after a race? I try to eat normally. I do like to have spaghetti or some kind of pasta the night before, but I can make a case for just about any kind of healthy food. In the morning before the race I eat what I always eat: A small bowl of cereal, yogurt, juice and maybe toast with Nutella on it and, of course, at least three cups of coffee.

What is your favorite song and does it or any other play in your mind as you run? I don’t have a favorite. Usually the last song I hear on the radio or cd will stick in my head as I run. I’ve been to Bloomsday quite a few times over the years and the theme from Rocky near the end always choked me up.

What keeps you running on a bad run day? The running group. Lately I have relied on the scheduled group run to keep me going. There have been times in my running when I didn’t need any external motivation at all, but right now I do. No matter how I feel, or how bad the weather, I am always happy I made the decision to run with the training group.Runners are the nicest and most authentic people I know. I love that you can run up next to just about any runner and have something to talk about. There is always common ground. Almost anything goes. If you are running next to a male or female who is continually blowing snot rockets you can talk about that if you want. I had a nice conversation about that very subject at last Sunday’s run. It is difficult to be in a bad mood when you’re running. Even if I am, I find that I have usually run it out of my system by the time I complete the run.

I am addicted to: running shoes.

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.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon, May 15

The annual Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) convention always combines their conference with a running event to give attendees a chance to get a little competitive running in during their trip. That was the case with the recent conference in Fredericksburg, Virginia. The conference was timed just before the Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon, organized by the same people who put on the Marine Corps Marathon in October. They tout the Historic Half as a course that “covers a wide variety of scenic locations from parks, streets and neighborhoods to monuments, Civil War battlefields, museums and the Rappahannock River with entertainment all along the way.”

I had only run one half marathon and two full marathons so I was a little reluctant to sign up for the event. It was tempting to register for the 5K (my favorite distance) but I didn’t want to seem like a wuss to my fellow RRCA convention attendees. Plus, how often do Montanans get the chance to run a half marathon? We only have a few in the state and one in Missoula. Six weeks ago when I signed up for the race the longest run I had done since last summer was 9 miles. I attempted an 11 mile run a few days after registering and strained a muscle in my calf. My physical therapist gave me the “do not run” speech and told me to give it 1 ½ - 3 weeks. That set me back even further. I did manage to get a 10 mile run in two weeks before the event, making me feel a little better about being unprepared.

The three days before the race were spent traveling, networking and attending workshops on very little sleep. Plus, they fed us rich fatty food, including a lot of beef—which I never usually eat—and gave us drink tickets each night to indulge in beer or wine. I don’t have the willpower to not eat good food and use up drink tickets to taste local wine and beer. Our agenda was packed: Upon arriving Fredericksburg we had activities scheduled from 5 a.m. runs to dinners that went until 10 p.m. I didn’t want to miss out on the 5 a.m. runs on historic battlefields even though in Montana it was 3 a.m. By Sunday, I was glad that I had because I got to run through some beautiful historic sites and I got and run with some new people, many of whom are leaders in their running clubs—and I was little more prepared to once again get up at 5 a.m. for the Historic Half.

That morning, I groggily got out of bed, had my coffee, banana and bagel and took the bus to the start, which was in the parking lot of a major shopping center outside of the Expo Center. It didn’t have much character, but it could accommodate 9,000 runners. (In its fourth year it has grown from 3,000 to 9,000 runners.) The music was already pumping and their celebrity runner Drew Carey (his first half) was trying to get the participants excited.

I checked my bag, used the porta potty, took a last drink of water and headed to the 1:45-2 hour finish section, not really knowing what to expect for my finish time. Drew Carey made some final strained motivational announcements with a hint of nervousness and unknowing in his voice. The gun went off and about 45 seconds later I crossed the starting line. The first mile was spent dodging in and out of people who were blocking me in. At about the 2nd mile I had reached a rhythm and the runners had spread out a little. I moved along, feeling the humidity more than I liked. I felt pretty good for a while, but by the 10k mark I wondered how I was going to keep it up. We reached the town of Fredericksburg and ran through the historic streets. Although there were a lot of great volunteers on the course I was surprised at how little the community came out to cheer on the runners. There were some people in front of the houses cheering us on and generously handing out lemonade, licorice and gummy bears. Since I run without a watch or an MP3 player I tried to make small talk with other runners. I met mostly locals during the run, including a carefree young man who was running while bouncing a tennis ball while he maintained an 8-minute per mile pace. I asked him if he was training for something that involved bouncing a tennis ball and he said he found it a few miles back and though it would be fun to bounce it.

Just like the Marine Corps Marathon, the half is well-organized largely because of the hundreds of marines who line the course at the water stops, entertainment and cheering sections. They soften a little compared to their usual demeanor with cheers of “lookin’ strong,” “almost there,” and “nice job” in addition to a lot of high fives. At each aid station I took a cup of water, sipped it and poured the rest of it over my head. Even though it was in the 50s the humidity made my face feel hot and flushed. It reminded me of how I felt after high school track practice in upstate New York where it’s also quite humid in May. The majority of the runners wore capri running tights and some even wore long tights and long sleeves. I wore as little as possible—a tank and shorts.

After running through Fredericksburg and right by my hotel, where I was tempted to stop, we ran along the beautiful Rappahannock River. I started thinking to myself, “I’m in the homestretch, only about a 5K to go” and “I love 5Ks, this is going to be fine.” But it was not fine. The last 5K was mostly uphill. I slowed down and everyone started passing me. I thought, “I’m from Montana. We are surrounded by mountains, why can’t I run Virginia hills and why are these city eastern folk passing me?” I was disappointed in myself, but I thought of it as good training for the Pengelly Double Dip and realized that I needed to run a lot more hills when I returned to Missoula.

I was also glad I didn’t drive the course before I ran it. I started to have a vague memory of someone telling me at dinner the night before that there was a 6% incline on the course. Sometimes being ignorant is an advantage. The steep hills finally came to an end and the incline turned gradual. We ran over the I-95 overpass, which is where I remembered the 1-mile mark. “Oh good, I can run one more mile, I think,” I told myself. I caught up with the guy with the tennis ball, who had passed me on the hill. We ran together for a bit until he stopped and said he was going to wait for his brother who was running his first half marathon.

Finally, I could see the finish line. I sped up a little, but realized I still had about 500 meters left to go. I could see the people lining the finish area, then the race clock, which said 1:43. I was pleasantly surprised as I was hoping to finish around 1:50. Not wearing a watch and being ignorant worked for me again. Once I made the mistake in a 5K to ask a runner the time at the 2 mile point. When she told me I told myself I was going too fast and slowed down. If I hadn’t known I probably would have ran faster.

The finish area was lined with more Marines handing out bagels, pretzels, bananas, bottled water and other treats. I headed straight to the gear bag tent and got my bag with my long-sleeved shirt and water bottle immediately. Then I redeemed my beer ticket even though it wasn’t even 9 a.m. yet (and 7 a.m. in Montana). A beer after a race tastes great no matter what time of day. I was back at the finish area in 5 minutes to watch the other runners. Looking around I was surprised at how few people it seemed there were, but we were in a large box-store parking lot.
As I sipped my beer I watched the runners coming through the finish line. Everyone was going wild cheering for the people who were just breaking two hours. There was a lot of commotion all of a sudden and I realized Drew Carey had come through the finish line. I later found out he had finished his first half marathon in 1:57. Not bad for a first half, but I was secretly glad that I had beat him.
~ Eva Dunn-Froebig

Friday, June 17, 2011

Riding the Bloomsday Bus

First , a little history. I started riding the Bloomsday bus with my sister Carol Hedges in 1989. We had no expectations for the race except it was a 12K. And we could ride the bus to Spokane and back in one day. That first year I think there were over 58,000 runners. Yes, that is the right amount of 0s. The city of Spokane is so supportive of this race. It is amazing! Businesses sign up for water stations and they are 100 feet long, sometimes on both sides of the street. There are live bands along the way playing music from hard rock to polka. A couple years Elvis sang to us. This year there was a young lady singing a sultry song in a formal dress. People line the street cheering you on, playing music and spraying hoses on the hot days. As you round the corner for the run downhill to the finish line, “Chariots of Fire” is playing loudly on the stereo. Anyhow, we were hooked. We rode the bus every year after that until ’94, that was the last bus.

We, individually without sponsors, tried to get a bus going by hanging fliers but we could never get enough people to sign up. So Carol started driving the two of us over in ’97, giving up a whole weekend and staying in a motel/hotel and then driving back tired. But we didn’t want to give up the Bloomsday experience, so every year we made the trip. In ’08, we pitched the idea of a bus to RWM and they committed to three years of bus trips. The first year there were 5 of us on a Beachliner. The second year there were 7 of us on a YMCA bus. Last year there were 20 of us on two YMCA buses. Three years were up and we hadn’t filled a Beachliner yet.

Thank you RWM for extending it one more year. On May 1, 2011, 46 people got on the BloomsdayBeachliner to Spokane. Not everyone was a runner, we had two volunteers and one supporter. Of the rest, some were serious runners, some were walkers, some were first timers and some were experienced Bloomies. Each one of them was one of a little over 56,000 people moving over the streets of Spokane listening to bands and recorded music; having their pictures taken with the vulture on Doomsday Hill; being cheered on by citizens of Spokane; and rounding the corner and down the hill to the finish line. Only finishers get the T-shirt!

As hostesses, it is our sincere hope that everyone had a positive experience riding the bus. And also that you enjoyed the Bloomsday experience, too. We heard comments like “I love this bus,” “let’s do this again next year,” and “let’s try to fill two buses next year.” I hope we fill the buses for a long time into the future.
~ Bonnie Fergerson

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Missoula Marathon Beer Run

Missoula Marathon Beer Run


Friday, July 8, 6 p.m., Badlander, 135 West Broadway St.

Introducing a special edition Beer Run two days before the Missoula Marathon! This is a chance to show out-of-town Missoula Marathon participants a good time and to allow local runners/walkers to share our special community. The Badlander will generously offer drink specials on local micro-brews.

Run Wild Missoula's regular monthly Beer Runs are on the last Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m. at a different tavern or brewery. The group run of about 5 miles will be posted at the meeting place. If you’re not a beer drinker, we’ll make sure the establishment has other beverages (including non-alcoholic) available so you can join in the fun. Questions? Email Chancellor of Libations Pat Cross.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

View from the Back

In over 25 years of running, I had not run with someone else more than a dozen or so times. Not that I preferred running solo; this was more due to a lack of opportunity than anything else. Living in rural districts, there were no running partners available. A few times I ran with a family member, but in all my many races, I ran by myself. The starts always made me envious for it seemed that nearly everyone else was with someone, sharing the nervous tension so delightful at the start, while I was left with nothing more engaging than watching the seconds tick down. I am by myself, alone in a crowd. Standing in the midst of such excitement, I felt apart from the community of runners.

Last year I resolved to join our local running club. I thought it was a way to motivate my running which had become more and more a chore. I knew that there would be few opportunities to join in sponsored activities as my wife and I have a small ranch and feeding chores complicated any trips to town. Nevertheless, I hoped to participate occasionally and meet other runners. Purely by chance, I found myself writing for the Back of the Pack. Coincidentally, I had injured myself and my rehabilitation included easy running with lots of walk breaks. A BOP run was scheduled relatively close to where I live and I promised myself that I would attend.

And so I finally came to meet other runners from this group. I ran with a lovely woman with whom I had a delightful conversation. Afterwards, we gathered to share our stories and life experiences over a pot luck of snacks and beverages, some fortified, I might add.
A friendlier group, one would not chance upon. Our ages ranged from young to old, but to a one, our outlook on life was ageless. We enjoyed each other’s company and I felt that here was a group that I would enjoy being a part of.

Much has been made recently about the importance of social interactions as one ages. The stimulation of talking and engaging in enjoyable physical activities with others is a life invigorating tonic that can’t be underestimated. I think these runners understand this very well, that running gives many rewards – physical, mental and social. That is wisdom that we can all live and run by.
~Walt Max

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Death: The Ultimate Finish Line [by a Missoula Half-Marathon runner]

Death: The Ultimate Finish Line
Written by: Katie Barrett-Stevens

Death can make you do funny things… like make you in to a runner. My husband’s brother Nathan and his best friend Bryan were killed on the Sphinx Mountain in Madison County, Montana in 2004. It is a formidable looking mountain, maybe because it looks exactly as it sounds.

Nate and Bryan were active outdoorsmen. They ran, they hiked, they climbed, you name it they did it. And then one day it all stopped. And all of us close to them felt that feeling… it just stopped. They were no longer running, they were no longer hiking, they were no longer climbing. Yet, we were all still here. What could we do? Nathan had run the Penticton Peach City Marathon for his 21st birthday. I remember thinking he was crazy, and the crazy part was he took it easy and managed a 3:33 time. After he died in October, we were all searching for ways to best honor these two young men. Fall turned in to winter, and winter was soon going to be spring, the time when we should be celebrating both Nate and Bryan’s birthdays. Then it came, my answer… Penticton was the same weekend that Nathan would have been turning 26. My husband and I had two very small children and lived three states away from family. Training for a marathon just wasn’t going to happen, but Penticton gave an option for a half marathon. It felt so right, so Nate, I signed up right away.

The words from 2 Timothy carried me across the finish line, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith”. I was shocked as I looked at the time and it read 2:10:34! I did it, I made my goal of a 2:10 race and I did it with Nate. About this time my dad had called to tell me that he was in the hospital with congestive heart failure and pancreatitis. Things were not good, but they weren’t so bad either. The heart condition was irreversible, but the pancreatitis was, if he quit drinking. We played this don’t ask don’t tell game for a long time, until dad came to me and said that he hadn’t quit drinking or smoking, and that his last appointment with his cardiologist showed an aneurysm, in his aorta. My husband and now three small children had moved back closer to Missoula in 2007; we made it to Hayden, Idaho. Which was perfect for my dad as the only surgeon on the west side of the states that performed surgeries for aortic abdominal aneurysms was in Spokane. Dad asked if I would come with him.

The conclusion, Dad had a 30% chance of making it off the table alive with the health problems compounding the danger of opening his aorta. If he did survive the surgery he had a 3-6 month recovery period. The doctor told us if the aneurysm did rupture he would bleed out in 4 minutes, it would be painless. We waited 6 months to decide. The decision was let’s take what we can get. He opted no on the surgery.

March 21, 2010 I got the phone call I had been dreading, my dad’s aneurysm had burst and he had died.

Death makes you do funny things, like deciding to keep training for the Missoula ½ Marathon. It took me more than a month to get back on my feet. Not to mention between the two races I had completed, I had another child, and put on 50 pounds. I made my decision to finish my training late one night looking through all my dad’s pictures.

He was 57 years old, I realized (I had just turned 28) that half his life was already over at my age. I made a promise to my husband, my children, and myself. I would not meet my ultimate finish line because of choices I made to make myself unhealthy. If I were needed on the other side it certainly wouldn’t be because of me. So I carried Nate and Dad with me across another finish line, and smiled when I looked to my left and saw my husband finishing Missoula next to me in 2:17!

Death can make you do funny things, like running to the next finish line, and ending the day knowing that if the ultimate one comes tomorrow, at least I did my best today.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Missoula Marathon Registrations

After a flurry of online registrations and a flood of paper forms on May 15 - the deadline to register for the cheapest rates - I am predicting that 1,500 people will sign up for the marathon and 2,500 for the half marathon.

Well, "prediction" is a bit strong. "Guess" is more like it.

I do know that my database has someone from every state except Rhode Island; perhaps someone from RI is in the large stack of forms I have to work through.

Lots of Canadians have signed up (43, so far), and a couple of runners from Switzerland. The first US Territory to be represented at themarathon is Puerto Rico. We also have runners with addresses in Hong Kong, Scotland, Italy, Belgium, Korea, and Iraq.

Interestingly, there are people from towns with the same name but indifferent states: Victor, Montana and Victor, New York. Clinton is an especially popular city name: Montana, Tennessee, Iowa, and California.

Yep, paying attention to trivia like that is what keeps me awake at nights.
~ Vic Mortimer, Missoula Marathon Registration Director

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Missoula Marathon Relay

Are you ready to do the Missoula Marathon? No? What? You aren't quite sure you want to run 26 miles? Not even 13? Well believe it or not, you can still participate and not have to run the full marathon come race day. Gather three friends, family members, or your gullible co-workers and create a marathon relay team! The relay consists of four legs (8.5 miles, 8.2 miles, 5.6 miles, 3.9 miles). Questions? Contact Relay Director Meg Lerch at

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Missoula Marathon: Better…. Then bigger

Bigger is not always better. But as the Missoula Marathon Race Director, I hope we can be both. We may not be a being a bigger race this year, but we hope to be better.

This time last June, race registration was up a few hundred people over this year. Not bad considering we had just been named the Best Overall Marathon by Runner’s World. Our goal this year… to put on an even better race and remind people why we are the best. No matter what your profession or passion, the goal is always to better, right? This might be hard to believe, being 5’8’’ and growing up in rural Montana, but I was somewhat of a basketball fan when I was young. When I say “somewhat” I mean my room was covered in wall-to-wall posters of Michael Jordan (along with runners like Jim Ryun & Steve Prefontaine). When Jordan was asked when he would retire from the game he replied, “When I stop improving”! We could easily decide that the Missoula Marathon is a great event and we are just going to keep doing what we do. But we’re not ready to stop improving yet.

A few improvements you’ll see this year:
• Race shirts that have a better fit and nicer material
• Great finisher medals (you will be hard up to find a better medal, but I don’t want to ruin the surprise)
• A professional course company to help make the course safer for participants
• More visible mile markers

Run Wild Missoula is not only financially helping the Missoula Marathon become a better race, but has invested countless hours in hopes of making it the best marathon yet! I hope when you cross the line on July 10th you will agree!
~ Anders Brooker, Missoula Marathon Race Director

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Missoula Marathon and Half Marathon are six weeks away. I realized this with horror the other day when I looked at the calendar. You, no doubt, have been training your patootie off in preparation. I, however, have not.

My springtime training schedule had to be altered due to an unfortunate misunderstanding with gravity earlier this year. I thought I'd be fine, though, because I'm doing the half and not the full, and because the incident occured five months before the race, which would allow me adequate time to heal. Right?

I've recently been able to start ramping up my mileage, by which I mean I've been able to get up to five miles once a week - and I've been pretty happy with that, until I looked at the calendar the other day. Six weeks left!

Maybe you haven't been training either - maybe you've been busy, or maybe you just recently decided to run the marathon, or maybe you thought it was still March like I did. Well, at this point, perhaps you should consider doing the half rather than the full. I looked up six-week marathon training programs online for you but Google thought I meant sixteen-week marathon training programs. A search for a six-week half marathon training program might not yield such sarcastic results.

Regardless of where you are in your training program, good luck! There's still six whole weeks left!

Kelsi Camp