Missoula’s Mark Messmer hopes to win his hometown marathon this weekend

Missoula Marathon spectators cheer for every winner, whether they come from Polson, Corvallis or Kenya. But they haven’t celebrated a hometown win in the men’s full race since 2010. Mark Messmer hopes to change that this Sunday. Messmer has considered himself a competitive runner for as long as he can remember, but the former Missoula Sentinel Spartan and Montana Grizzly feels he is just now catching his stride. “I feel like I never reached my full potential in college, definitely not in high school,” said Messmer. “And it was always the longer the race the better, so moving up into the marathon was kind of just a natural progression for me.” Messmer knows it will be painful and difficult to reach his goal on Sunday, but he admits to dreaming of a possible victorious scene in downtown Missoula. “I’ve always kind of been obsessed with the banner you run through,” said Messmer. “I want that. I know they give that to the winner. That’s something since a little kid I’ve thought about.”

posted Thursday July 12th