Tuesday’s on the Run: A Marathon Runs Through It

It’s Tuesday (okay, I know in reality it is Wednesday and I am a day late), so it’s time to link for Tuesday’s on the Run

images   Montana

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This past weekend, I crossed another state off my quest to “someday” complete a half marathon in every state with the Missoula (Half) Marathon. Why the Missoula Marathon?

brad2Maybe I was hoping to find a young Brad Pitt (circa 1992) waiting for me at the end with nothing but his waders on, after all “A River Does Run Through It” or should a say a marathon runs through it…

Seriously, If you are going to finish an event in every state is seems pretty clear that you pick the best one the state has to offer, and in this case the United States has to offer…

The Missoula Marathon has twice been named as the Best Marathon in the US (2010 by Runner’s World Magazine and in 2017 by BibRAVE).  It has also been named the 2017 Top Marathon for runners like me, Back-of-the-Packers, as well as a Top 10 Bucket List Marathon.

Missoula Marathon YOUTUBE VIDEO  

Now I know that I only completed the half (cause I am lazy that way), but for 10 miles of both events we shared the course…

The Missoula Marathon makes it look easy to be NUMBER 1…

The volunteers and Run Missoula Wild put on an event with EXCEPTIONAL RACE MANAGEMENT. From the moment I submitted my race registration in April, the Missoula Marathon provided weekly communication about the event via email newsletter.  Each week I looked forward to reading about Missoula as well as the race.  It was also nice to get a PRINTED race program at bib pick up, a keepsake. Bib pick up was easy and in a central location that also gave you insight into the finish set up, as well as a chip check for your bib (just in case you are one of those who are running for time).  Parking was easy, buses ran efficiently to the starting line.  The bag check as the best I have ever seen conducted, with a fleet of UPS trucks and men in brown and bags sorted according to bib number waiting on marked trucks as you made your way to the exit chute. The race start, with fireworks, went off smoothly and ON TIME. The finish was a well-oiled machine of stops (medal, bag, time tape, and food) before meeting back up with your own personal cheering squad.

It’s Montana! I knew going to be beautiful and being a fan of the movie (and book) “A River Runs Through it”, I already had my vision of the race course set in my head long before I completed the registration.  Missoula delivers on the promise of one of the most beautiful places to run (and I have completed mountain half marathons in both Colorado and New Mexico) with its 360-degree panoramic view of the mountains during sunrise, run along the river, charming homes on tree lined streets and the dramatic finish over the bridge and across the river into downtown Missoula.

But you want to know the real reason why Missoula is number 1…

The People of Missoula!  It felt like the entire town somehow came out on race weekend. From the countless volunteers who made sure not only did the race go off with out glitches but runners felt safe and welcomed, to the townsfolk who literally lined the sidewalks of the race course and offered their personalized spin on course entertainment…signs, cowbells, cowboys on horseback, a man playing a baby grand on his front lawn in tails, a string quartet, banjos, cowbells, unofficial course treats (including whiskey shots and popsicles) and just shouts of encouragement as you went past. There wasn’t any stretch of the race where there wasn’t someone cheering you on or a water sprinkler set up purposefully to keep you cooled off!

My experience with the Missoula Marathon demonstrated why in the movie that Brad Pitt’s character, Paul, would reply to his brother Norman “Oh, I’ll never leave Montana.” The Missoula Marathon makes you feel like you are part of the community, and who wants to leave a place where you are treated so well?

Oh yes and then there is the bling…

which is just about the size of the Big Montana Sky!

 

 

Tuesdays on the Run: My 2018 Races

It’s Tuesday, so that means I am linking up with Patty, Erika & Marsha for Tuesday’s on the Run. This week’s topic…

hometown

Favorite Hometown Race.  This topic is certainly a hard one for me, because I prefer not to run in my hometown thanks to some very negative experiences with local runners who put on an elite mentality when it comes to runners like me.  In fact, my very first race had a lasting impression…

It was my first 5K ever and I was trying to get an idea where I was starting at.  There was no time requirements and put on by the local running club.  I finished to my calculation in about 51 minutes, now this is my calculation for a simple reason.  As I was finishing they were putting up the timing equipment.  I was a little shocked, okay more embarrassed because the response to my crossing where the mat should of been was “We did not want to wait for you.”  Seriously? Way to make someone want to join your club, let alone ever want to run again.

I am a back of the pack runner and I will always be.  I use the Galloway method of run-walk-run and I am proud that I can get out there and not only feel, but be successful.  I don’t take my running to seriously, unless I am training for a race, when it is important for me to be prepared.

So instead of looking at Favorite Hometown Races, I am going to give you a rundown of the races I am looking at running this year…

  • Blue Bell Fun Run (10K)-I ran this race, or the 5K at least a few years ago and loved it for 2 reasons:  running through the Texas Hill Country in the Spring (bluebonnet beauty) and there is all you can eat Blue Bell Ice Cream Treats at the end. 
  • Slacker Half Marathon-This race caught my attention…Highest DOWNHILL half marathon in the country and who can no run a race with Slacker in the name.  Plus it gives me an excuse to go home to Colorado and run a beautiful course.
  • Missoula Half Marathon-Being a huge fan of the movie River Runs Through It, I have been wanting to go to Missoula for sometime. This is also one of the highest rated half marathon/marathon events in the country in terms of runner support.  I had wanted it to be my first full marathon, but that is not going to happen this year.
  • Texas Wine Series:  Llano Estacado-This is another repeat event for me.  I also ran it several years ago and set my personal best, almost breaking under a 3 hour half marathon.  A great flat course (praying it will not be windy) and there is A LOT of wine and after party when you finish.
  • Texas Quad:  Tortoise Half & Texas Double (November) & Whine Not Another Half (December)-I am looking at these events as one that I can use to get the distance in leading up to my full in January 2018.  Running the Distance seems to be a running club after my own heart as they highly encourage first timers with no cutoff times.  I plan on signing up for the half and then continue on the course until  have finished enough for my marathon training at that time.

My goal for 2018 is simply to work on dropping some pounds and training properly for the entire year for my first full marathon in 2019!

What races are you looking at for 2018?  Drop me a line in the comments, as I am always looking for races with a great atmosphere & pack of the pack friendly.  

And if a Disney race is in your future, I can help you with that…plus provide you with insurance should something happen during your training and you can’t run (something runDisney can’t do for you).