Myrtle Miller, 85, had a bounce in her step as she crossed the finish line of the Missoula Half Marathon

For the first time since Miller started running competitively more than 50 years ago, all three generations of her family strode across Higgins Bridge together, cowbells and cheers giving them energy for the final few yards. Miller ran her first marathon at age 51 and is still a staple participant in Run Wild Missoula’s walking community, inspiring all those who hope to stay active and healthy as they age. “I’m going to keep going till I drop,” Miller laughed after the race, hugging her family. Her son, Brian Miller, and grandson, Kyle Miller, ran the full marathon, so she had four family members with whom to celebrate. Her daughter Heidi is a busy physician in Billings, but Miller finally convinced her to walk the half this year, together with Mara. “I have never done the half before with my mom,” Heidi Duncan said. “It’s ridiculous. I’ve never been over to cheer her on at the finish line, mostly because we’ve been on other trips. But last year I decided for sure I’d be there at the finish line. Then I thought about it a little more, and decided we should walk with her. She’s amazing.” Miller credited her daughter with pushing her this year, giving her a time of 3:37:51, a good half-hour before she anticipated crossing when she spoke with the Missoulian on Friday. “She really helped me,” Miller said. Miller trains four to five days a week, averaging about 15 miles as she trains.

posted Monday July 16th