Mark Messmer repeated as the champion of the Missoula men's marathon, breaking his personal best time with a 2:23:59, the second fastest in course history

The 13th annual running of the Missoula Marathon had nearly 4,000 participants from all over the country came out to run either the full or half marathon.

"It's awesome, hometown for me, I went out and did Boston this year and that was really cool, definitely a whole different atmosphere," Messmer said. "But this is just as cool, coming across the bridge, there's nothing like that with all the people cheering and as you pass people in the half everybody's cheering for you, yelling your name. It's really cool."

Messmer won by nearly eight minutes, but the women's race was much closer. Kayla Brown of Edwardsville, IL. won the race by less than a minute.

"I kinda risked it a bit in the middle, so i wasn't sure if that was the right move at the time, it seemed right," Brown said. "I was a little nervous near the end but, you gotta take risks."

Polson native Cynthia Arnold broke the record for fastest marathon while pushing a stroller. The previous record was 4:06, and Arnold broke the record by nearly an hour with a time of 3:11, good for 8th place in the women's race.

"I'm happy, I'm glad, I think the kids had fun. I think it went really well." Arnold said. "The Missoula Marathon is beautiful and fun and it was a really good experience, and a lot of my friends are here, so we're happy."

Kenneth Kosgei of Oregon and Bigfork's Mackenna Morley won the men's and women's half marathon's.

posted Monday July 1st
by Kevin Levine